Starting can often be the hardest part of any journey, especially in a career. You need experience to work, but you can only work if you have experience and it can seem like quite the vicious cycle; but those days are coming to an end.
Though it may be a bit daunting, we have some tips that may help you land a bartending job having had no prior experience to the role – and for those of you with some experience, we’d love for you to leave any additional comments and tips for anyone looking to work in the sector!
The first thing to remember about any job is that they’re hiring personalities, not just skills. Bartending is such a social skill, so you need to make sure that you show your friendly side as a bartender not only serves up drinks but can sometimes be useful as a guide to the city, someone to chat too, and is able to entertain – in that moment you are the host, make everyone feel welcome and serve them with care, not just beverages.
Just because you don’t have experience doesn’t mean you can’t have knowledge. Look online and read some books on how to establish yourself, learn the trade and look at the art of mixing drinks. Build your knowledge and then bring your friends and family around for practice.
Practice is vital, learn some of the most known cocktails and test them on anyone you know that’s willing to help you master these drinks. If you have the time, then try to take a class to develop your skills and confidence.
So, now you have some experience with making drinks, you have the shining personality, how do you get the job?
You could start of as a bar back, get a feel for what it’s like and learn what you need to do with bartending duties by first assisting bartenders, learning the craft and doing more graft work like looking after the glassware, stock and being on ice duty. If you have somewhere you go regularly, then it may be good to approach them first when the staff know your face and friendly character; ask them if you can stage, and let that spark up an employment conversation itself! (It may also help if you spend time in bars to learn rather than drink. Order up some food and look at the movements and actions of the bartenders, even spark up a conversation with them to get some tips!)
Once you build up skills, show you’re determined to learn and work, it’ll be so much easier to find a bartending job as they’ll be so invested in your investment in the trade that the little experience won’t phase them.
Looking to make your move to bartending? Have a look here to see what we have on offer!