The bartending world is in a period of growth, with unique, independent bars opening up all the time. As a result, the demand for bartenders has increased too.

Like with many jobs, understanding what employers are looking for is hard. Learn all about a bartender job description in our expert piece, with the help of professional bartenders...

Bartender job description

Bartender layering a B52 cocktail shot

The job description of a bartender is relatively simple. Taking inspiration from a bartender job description sample, this position reads:

''Looking for an enthusiastic bartender who can confidently deliver exceptional service and engage with bar guests with a captivating and intriguing personality. You should have extensive knowledge of wine, spirits and cocktail recipes in order to lead an outstanding bar service''.

This bartending job description may seem a little obvious, but the truth is that they can vary a bit. It's usually only subtle differences to the duties and responsibilities but the main idea of bartending remains the same!

Bartender responsibilities

Bartender and customer laughing at joke

Bartender job descriptions may not explicitly cite these responsibilities because they're to be expected from you! Executing these top bartending responsibilities well, will ensure you'll thrive in the bar!

  • Interacting with customers at the bar - Making customers feel welcomed and valued is a huge part of a bartender's responsibilities. Anything from a friendly welcome to making a recommendation is all part of the job.  

  • Making and preparing drinks - Memorise the bar’s selection of drinks and cocktails, so the stirring, shaking and pouring can be done quicker and better. Bars and restaurants will expect you to do this easily.

  • Keeping the bar space clean, tidy and safe - This includes cleaning smaller items like bar equipment and drinks glasses. Ensuring the bar is hygienic and inviting for customers is a basic requirement. Anyone working in hospitality should naturally have this within them.

  • Managing payments and handling money - Understanding of a POS system is a must in a bar these days. Bars are stressful, so you don't want any money or technical issues on your hand. Make sure you know how the cash register system works.

  • Checking and maintaining the bar stock - This avoids embarrassing situations like rejecting a customer’s order because you lack the stock. Keep everything up-to-date and you'll fulfil this basic bartending practice.  

  • Adhering to the standards of the bar - This includes appearance and mannerisms. Whatever style of bar you work for, there's a standard set. It's your professional duty to uphold those standards and do your best work!

Bartender skills

friends smile bar bartender

To do the best job as a bartender, you'll need to harness and refine your bartender skills. Here are our top 5 skills for a bartender job description...

  • Attentiveness - Focusing on the guests is what is expected of you and what you shall do. The whole bar experience is there for the customers, so respect them.

  • Accuracy - This is key when fulfilling an order. It doesn’t matter whether it’s using a specific brand or measuring out a spirit, getting everything correct is so important. Bartenders must be precise.

  • Punctuality - Get to work on time and be punctual when serving during a bar service. In fact, getting to work early might be even better, as you’ll have time to prepare. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, so be ready!

  • Speed - Working quickly (but efficiently) is required for all bartenders. There are lots of customers to get through and you don't want to keep any waiting. Make sure you know your bar area and drinks well to avoid this!

  • Calmness - Flustered bartenders never perform well. The bar can be a stressful place, so it's imperative to manage it. Make sure you appear calm, to appear professional and skilled, and to put your customers at ease. No one likes a stressful night out at a bar.

Take both these responsibilities and skills as part of the bartender job duties and use it as part of developing a bartender job description template. These are the basic elements that should be expected of a good bartender CV.

Bartender experience

EBS student pouring during a course

The last consideration for a bartender job description is experience. For many bartenders, experience can make or break a bartending opportunity, so it's great to collect some in preparation.

Bartending experience - Many bars or restaurants these days are looking for someone who can quickly adapt to their standards and menu. Working in similar environments is one way to get noticed by employers. Experience pays well in this business!

Bartender training - Don't underestimate the influence of training within bartending. This is just as good as proper bar experience, as you'll learn accurate recipes, best bartender practices and drinks knowledge, whilst also making the drinks. It's a win-win for us!

A bartender job description may not always ask for experience of some kind, but by having some (even just a little) will go a long way to helping you get the job.

FAQs: bartender job description

bartender preparing cocktail

What are the responsibilities of a bartender?

The responsibilities of a bartender include making alcoholic beverages, serving and interacting with customers, keeping the bar hygienic, handling customer's money, maintaining the bar inventory and maintaining the standards of the bar.

Bartenders may also have additional responsibilities and duties like verifying that customers are of legal drinking age, handling food from the kitchen and making recommendations for the bar guests.

What does a bartender do?

You may be wondering what is a bartender and what they do exactly? The answer is simple!

A bartender is someone who works in a bar and is responsible for serving alcoholic beverages (and non alcoholic beverages) for customers. As mentioned above, there are many other duties that come with the job title, however this is the primary responsibility.

How do you write a good bartender CV?

A good bartender CV is very similar to any other job CV. When formatting the CV, make sure all the important skills are right at the top. This way, it's the first thing a potential employer sees (and maybe the only thing).

Other important considerations include showing your experience and what kind of person you are. The latter is something you'll have to judge for yourself when it comes to applying, as each establishment looks for a different kind of person.

Do bartenders earn a good salary?

Yes. The average bartender salary in the UK is just over £20,000 annually. Of course, this is just an average and differences can be found because of location, experience, establishment and job title.

Do you need training to become a bartender?

No, not necessarily. You can sill get a bartender job even without any pre-bartender training.

However, like most skills and professions, gaining knowledge before exploring a career is invaluable and can give you an amazing advantage over others. It's definitely worth considering completing some bartending training before taking the dive, regardless of experience.

Plus, a bartender qualification looks great on a CV, trust us!

Ready to take on the bartender duties professionally? Learn about our exciting bartender courses and start your future career...