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.
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.
As a bar person, you will need:
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.
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