Bar Person Careers

How to become a Bar Person

What does a Bar Person do?

Bar staff, also known as bartenders, work in public houses (pubs), clubs, wine bars, café bars and hotels. Their main duties are serving customers with drinks and collecting payment. Snacks such as crisps and nuts may be served, in addition to hot and cold food at lunchtime and in the evening.

The bar area needs to be kept clean and well stocked. Other duties include washing glasses, emptying ashtrays and storing empty bottles. In bars it is necessary to clear and clean the tables regularly.

Conversing with customers and providing a welcoming, friendly atmosphere are important aspects of the work. Bar staff need to be alert for any trouble that may develop and must be prepared to try to prevent it.

What's the working environment like working as a Bar Person?

Hours in a bar can be long and usually involve evening and weekend work. Full-time employment is likely to be on a shift basis, but many employees work part-time. Flexible opening hours for premises, providing the potential for up to 24-hour opening, seven days a week (subject to objection) was introduced late 2005, and may impact on the type of shifts bar staff will work.

There are opportunities for seasonal work.

Bars, pubs and restaurants can differ greatly. They can be noisy and smoky when busy.

What does it take to become a Bar Person?

As a bar person, you will need:

  • good communication skills
  • an outgoing personality and a pleasant manner
  • a smart and tidy appearance
  • tact and diplomacy for dealing with difficult customers
  • good physical fitness and stamina
  • a good memory
  • an honest nature
  • numeracy skills for handling cash
  • the ability to work well in a team
  • flexibility and adaptability.

Bar Person Career Opportunities

Bar staff are employed in pubs, clubs, restaurants, hotels and other leisure complexes. Opportunities for work may also be available in theatre bars, holiday centres, sports clubs, airport terminals, and on ships, trains and aircraft.

Prospects for promotion are excellent for those prepared to combine hard work with the determination to succeed. With experience and training, bar staff can move on to become supervisors, deputy bar managers and eventually bar managers. Others become club stewards, publicans or bar managers with a chain of hotels. Some eventually buy a freehold pub or apply for a tenancy.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Bar Person that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

British Institute of Innkeeping (BII)
Wessex House
80 Park Street
GU15 3PT
Tel: 01276 684449

Tel: 08707 202 909

Tel: 0845 170 0001

Alcohol Focus Scotland
2nd Floor
166 Buchanan Street
G1 2LW
Tel: 0141 572 6700

2nd Floor
Armstrong House
38 Market Square
Tel: 0870 060 2550

Facts and Stats:

  • The biggest curry was made in Essex in 1998 and weighed 2.65 tonnes
  • Restaurant grader, Fred Magel of Illinois USA, ate out a record 46,000 times in 50 years.
  • The most expensive meal recorded cost £13,091.20 for three in 1997, at Le Gavroche in London.
  • Denmark is the country with the highest calorie consumption per capita, closely followed by Portugal and then the USA. The UK does not rank in the top 10.

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