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Host

How did you get your start doing bartender work, and what career moves did you make to get to your current position?

Do you need a particular educational background?

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Williams Hills in Los Angeles, California

77 months ago

1. My roomates suggested it to me so I went to a bartending school.
2. Best to go to a GOOD school. Check 'em out first. They're not all the same...most are crappy.
3. usually min wage but the tips are good.
4. Pros: Great money. Cons: Dealing with drunks & fights on occasision.
5. A bartender is someone who knows "service" as well as drinks recipes (Mixologist), flair bartending is flipping bottles...which is NOT bartending.
6. 21
7. I like making Cosmos. I think it's my best drink. Or AppleMartinis.
8. YES
9. Everything from making drinks, cleaning, inventory, checking I.D.'s, Monitoring the bar, etc..
10. I love it. For someone who didn't go to college I've been around the world and seen things professional people only talk about. I think I've learned a LOT being a bartender. The world is one big university.

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David in Greenwich, Connecticut

76 months ago

"...there are a LOT of misconceptions out there about bartending. It's not hard. You don't have to be "lucky" to get a job...just go out and look. Keep applying and you'll get hired"

Thanks a lot for your comment, this help me a lot!

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Bartender Tony in New York, New York

74 months ago

After bartending in NYC for a few years now, I would suggest you shop around for the best school to attend before dropping $500-$1000 for a course. Be sure that bartending is for you, and that you can handle the late nights and drama often associated with it. When you are ready to begin, find a local pub/bar near your place and begin helping out there. Even if you are only a barback or the pay is minimal, you need to get in somewhere. Remember, you are not working for your first job, you are working for your <b>next</b> job. When you have a few months of experience and ready to jump to the next step, begin looking for places you might want to work at and see their employment status. Do they need someone? Are all the bartenders a certain gender, where you might not be able to bartend no matter your ability? What is the clientèle like? Remember, younger partiers may go out more often but tend to tip less, where older crowds may be more sporadic but leave you more per drink. Once you found the location you want to work at, and determine whether or not you need schooling, begin to look at all the options. I am biased towards my school, The Academy of Professional Bartending (www.ezbartending.net), because that is where I went. (Sorry for the shoutout, they are great people and want to thank them). See what each school offers, their prices, location, time, etc. After finding the best school for you, see if you can go one class for free, which most offer. Make sure your school has lifetime job placement and has connections with good bars in your area. Complete the school and use your networking skills to the max. If you follow these steps you should be in good shape for your first real bartending job. Good luck!

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RoyaltyBartenders.net in League City, Texas

73 months ago

hang out on a slow night at a local bar & talk to the bartender what are the main drinks they serve. pubs and dance clubs have extremely easy drink lists.
don't be an ass and make the bartender tell you whats in every drink just write down on a notepad the most common drinks then when you get home look up the ingredients for everything and make a drink list including ingredients. Now that you've leaned the majority of the drinks start applying as barback/bartender at any of your local bars and be persistent. When you go for the pos. tell whomever you bartend but will barback until a pos. is available. You are the definition of a hard worker. Barbacks work really hard and should be respected just like a bartender but they never get that respect. Once you start pouring drinks or getting more hands on experience start applying for bartending pos. at other places. I worked my way up. It was valuable experience.

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AJ in Jensen Beach, Florida

72 months ago

Host said: How did you get your start doing bartender work, and what career moves did you make to get to your current position?

Do you need a particular educational background?

It takes a certain type of person to be a good bartender. I started at 21, now 27 and still going strong. I feel like I have done so much growing behind the bar. I have become better and better every year. I did the chain restaurants (thats where i got my start), I did a happy hour saloon in downtown where many lawyers and county officials daily visited. I did a mexican restaurant, I did owner operated local hot spots, banquet bartending (weddings, kinces, family reunions, office christmas parties, high school reunions, etc), hotel bartending, and now I bartend at a pool bar-- love it. I have loved every place I worked at, honestly. It IS like being an actress. You need to appeal to everyone who sits at your bar to make the best money, so you are constantly self adjusting and finding how you can fit with people. Its actually fun. Everyone wants to make friends and if I kept every business card I would have a shoebox completely full. Every night as I dump out my tip jar, the cards and numbers get thrown away, most often without even thinking. But its not that I dont truly like the people, there are many people that I will never forget and I have met so many cool characters over the years. It has helped me realize what I like in people and what I want to portray in myself. Bartending and the relations with others has given me a lot of clarity with life. Ive worked with awesome bartenders, and really sucky bartenders. My advice for any bartender is to be yourself. Even as an actress/actor and PEOPLE PLEASER, you can still be real and let YOU shine through. Those who are phoney, arrogant, cocky, conceited, or are doing it for attention or girls, never make it big, or long

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casandra bennett in Northridge, California

72 months ago

thanks soooo much bartenders for sharing info on all of the postings... it has really given me confidence to go out there and land that bartending job!

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Hector G. in Lakeland, Florida

71 months ago

I'm thinking of going into bartending for financial reasons and because I've found that I'm pretty good at selling extras at restaurants. I've found the questions and comments here very helpful. I'm hoping I can find a local school to go to since I'm a hands on learner unless I can find a bar or restaurant that'll hire me and I learn as I go which is my best way of learning. At the moment I'd be happy to get a positon as a "bar back" to learn about this as a career.

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edgemeister in Cliffside Park, New Jersey

71 months ago

i like to go to the employment sites that are geared towards our industry. i've been hooked on www.fiestajobs.com lately. marriot posts there with some other big guys....

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Margarita in Dallas, Texas

66 months ago

If you have no experience and are young I would start by getting my foot in the door as a barback. See how the long nights work for you and your life style. See how quickly you can pick it up through on the job training/experience. I went to bartending school and was not impressed at all. There were too many in the class so I took my own time and came in after hours to get more practice. They had the TABC (Texas) training apart of it so it cost me more like $100 for it when I can do it online or outside of the school for $25. Some of the information given to us in the training "material" was straight from the web. My externship ended up to be sitting at a restaurant they directed me to for 2 hours (which I paid them for & got paid $0) and doing nothing. Although while I was watching the bar I saw they did nothing like what the school was teaching us. The school can teach you what they call the "right" way of doing things but in real life at the various places you will do it "their" way which might be quite different. So for me I don't think the school are worth it unless you are 18 and have no prior experience working in any real job.

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Miranda Flowers in Jesup, Georgia

65 months ago

Host said: How did you get your start doing bartender work, and what career moves did you make to get to your current position?

Do you need a particular educational background?

I was a bartender for 4 years I started out with no clue except working at a waitress. You have to be out going, and attractive to make money. It is easy to learn. Main thing is to read the books on drinks. One book that is good is bartending for dummys. It teaches what the differents in well drinks, bourbons, and liquor, etc.

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Vera in Ohio in Columbus, Ohio

63 months ago

well, i would love to be a bartender. And what? cant find anything. I have a feeling that people, after looking at my application and see no experience dont wanna deal with me, or maybe because of my accent (im not from US). So, i dont know, maybe i am not lucky?
and btw, i went to bartending school, paid 300$ (which is not bad). At least i make drinks at home when friends coming over.
keeping looking for a job anyway.

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ajrobin in Jensen Beach, Florida

63 months ago

you should try hotel bartending, it would be much easier being from another country, with an accent. just be confident during interview and let them know, you know, what you're doing (even if you don't, its okay) try large hotels that cater to international travelers. also, maybe try picking a restaurant or bar that has influence from your country. you would think that would give you the upper hand and make the experience for the guest more traditional. (ex, if you are latin, try a mexican bar or restaurant; if you are irish, try an irish pub. this could be your gateway). one thing about this business, you gotta use what u got. good luck

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Chan in Anchorage, Alaska

63 months ago

Williams Hills in Los Angeles, California said: I know some bartenders are gonna laugh but I went to bartending school. They helped get a job in a sports bar, then I moved on to a club ( made 200-400 per busy shift.) I thought it was easy. It didnt' have to "work my up" as a barback or server either.

One thing about bartending schools: They're not alike. I shopped around and found prices ranging from over $1,000 to $400.00 and NO the more expensive school was not the best (kinda a dump) it was the cheaper school that was the best. SHOP AROUND!

there are a LOT of misconceptions out there about bartending. It's not hard. You don't have to be "lucky" to get a job...just go out and look. Keep applying and you'll get hired.

Thank you for your input. I live in Anchorage, Alaska and will be starting bartending school soon. There is only one bartending school in Alaska so I don't have a lot of options. The school here costs $800.00 but has a solid reputation & is known to assist w/ job placement. I hope all goes well.

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Chan in Anchorage, Alaska

63 months ago

young america in Houston, Texas said: I am thinking about going to bartending school. How hard it is to be a bartender? I am a quiet person. Do I need to talk much to be a bartender?

I'm not necessarily load but I'm not quiet either. I think you'll need to come out of your shell a bit in order to bond with your customers. You don't have to be load and crazy, but try to be a bit more extroverted.

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Chan in Anchorage, Alaska

63 months ago

Chan in Anchorage, Alaska said: I'm not necessarily load but I'm not quiet either. I think you'll need to come out of your shell a bit in order to bond with your customers. You don't have to be load and crazy, but try to be a bit more extroverted.

loud*

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gerader schoolldagotts in Crystal River, Florida

62 months ago

My age (56 ) and background checks are the things that will prevent me from going ahead with my plans for becoming a bartender I believe.

Has anyone out there got any experience with this ? I retired too early and am really looking forward to this.

Thanks for any input !!!

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Rita in Newtown, Pennsylvania

61 months ago

I went to bartending school and I LOOOOOVED it. I went in there knowing NOTHING, just like everyone else in my group...and after 8.5 hours a day for 5 days, I cant even believe how much I have learned. I would definitely recommend going to bartending school. Make sure you find a GOOD school. I JUST finished this past friday, and I went into a go-go bar and asked the owner if they were hiring bartenders. He told me to come back tomorrow and get behind the bar and work a few hours! So this proves a point: don't just search on craigslist for places that need bartenders. Make a list of bars that you think you would like to work at, and go to them in PERSON and talk to the owner/manager about a possible job. It is waaaay easier to get a job in this type of industry then people might think. Also, you can buy mixing kits, which is a really great idea if you want to get your feet wet with private events first before working at a bar. Make some business cards...set them up in front of your bar when you are working at your private event, and Im positive people will take your cards and word of mouth will help get you some private events to bartend at.

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Paul Mitchell in Long Beach, California

61 months ago

Host said: How did you get your start doing bartender work, and what career moves did you make to get to your current position?

Do you need a particular educational background?

Hello question man. Well there are different ways to become a bartender. I went through vocational training program with the USBA. They have a great book, an instructional dvd and a test. You get certified by them and helped out with job placement. I was with them for two months and now I am really making the type of money I wanted to make. Their about $100.00. What a bargain. I got their profile builder for 9.00 per month and the bar contacted me. Now I work at the blue laguna. Their website is www.bartendingbartenders.com

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Paul Mitchell in Long Beach, California

61 months ago

young america in Houston, Texas said: I am thinking about going to bartending school. How hard it is to be a bartender? I am a quiet person. Do I need to talk much to be a bartender?

I went to the USBA bartending training course. It was a hundred bucks and I learned a ton. Give them a call they even help place you into jobs. www.bartendingbartenders.com
I do not think that age is a big deal.

Paul

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gson in Perry Hall, Maryland

61 months ago

Most bars do not perform background checks for bartenders and servers. If you need to learn how to bartend go to www.barninja.com They have tons of information on bartending and learning to bartend.
-Mike

gerader schoolldagotts in Crystal River, Florida said: My age (56 ) and background checks are the things that will prevent me from going ahead with my plans for becoming a bartender I believe.

Has anyone out there got any experience with this ? I retired too early and am really looking forward to this.

Thanks for any input !!!

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Pittsburgh bartending School in Washington, District of Columbia

60 months ago

There are a lot of great comments above. I'm not going to refute what some of the experienced people above have said. We operate several bartending schools; one of them at www.bartending-school.com has been the premier school in the Washington DC/Maryland/Virginia area for decades. Another one at bartendingschoolpittsburgh is the only Pennsylvania bartending school that includes the state preferred alcohol management program as part of its course: RAMP. That school also includes a national program, TAM. We do things right.

You can become a bartender in a lot of ways, including on the job training and through a bartending school. There are clear advantages to a good school. One of them should be realistic training with bartenders with vast experience; the other should be active job placement assistance with real leads. We provide both.

Over the years one thing that has changed are the number of places that provide quality training for bartenders. That number has definitely shrunk. The quality of on-the-job training is far less than it once was.

A second way to really develop is to apprentice or learn from quality experienced bartenders. I can't emphasize how much you can learn in that fashion while on the job.

One other thing that we see all the time from commentators is how bars/clubs/restaurant managers won't hire from schools.

Having owned a bar, hired bartenders and managers and fired bartenders, let me say that isn't true. We actually found very good reasons for hiring people out of a school, when we owned a bar, and conversely we have explained to owners and managers benefits that will help them with our grads.

We don't give those secrets out...but we did build a small bar into the killer in its market by very sound business reasons....and one small part of it had to do with hiring fresh bartenders from schools.

Good luck in how you proceed.

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nightlifeguy in New York, New York

60 months ago

Host said: How did you get your start doing bartender work, and what career moves did you make to get to your current position?

Do you need a particular educational background?

Well at the time it wasn't my intention to be a bartender, it kinda happen over night . i didn't have a job my wife was the bread winner. I needed to some way provide. so a friend of minds call me one evening and told me he was heading to a local bar and asked if I wanted to come... it was silent then he said he was paying ..lol I said cool. so we get there and i seen a old friend Gary as a bartender so i walked over to say how's it going .. he was telling me that he's been bar tending for about 6 months only and that he loved it and it was easy money for him. so i was very intrigued I asked how did you find out about mixing drinks and the whole run down and so forth, he said "the internet"
he said he took a course got certified and got job soon after.

So i did the same 3 years later here I am! I'm loving it easy money and its not hard at all.

if your interested go to google and research, you'll find so much info that way. and if wanna know about about the drink mix process go to www.audiodrinks.com here you can download a free trial of audio drinks mixes on your Mp3 or iphone. very useful tool!

good luck freedie O

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Manda Nicole in Corpus Christi, Texas

58 months ago

Host said: How did you get your start doing bartender work, and what career moves did you make to get to your current position?

Do you need a particular educational background?

im a military wife and im only 20 (been married almost 4 and half years) but here in texas you can serve at age 18

i started bartending at 18 not knowing what i was doing, just leanred and used online to see what drinks were now im pretty damn good at it ringing about 1-2k on a good decent night pulling 400-500 dollars AFTER splitting with 2other bartenders

now when we get restationed in dec to VA which you have to be 21 to serve, i dont turn 21 till may but once i do ill be a bad ass bartender cause ill already know what im doign :)

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The Tipster in Cathedral City, California

58 months ago

Hey Everyone,

I am an author and I am writing a new book on how to make more money in tips as a server or bartender in a recession. Now I have been in food service for over 9 years but I want to know about some of the things that you may do to make more money in tips or something you may have seen someone else do that got them a higher tip.

Any information you can give me on this topic would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

Cheers

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jagerbomb1051 in Galveston, Texas

53 months ago

Has anyone tried www.totallyfreebartending.com ? I took thier online course in a day and I will admit I did learn a lot. Today was my first day looking for a part time bar tending job with limited success. Found out the being a guy is half the loosing battle in my area lol. Anyways, great post people, helped me out a lot. Gave me some ideas for my area.

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premhosmar@yahoo.com in Manama, Bahrain

50 months ago

hi My name prem I wark in bartender job still 10years 5years in mumbai 5 years in bahrain

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Lorenzo in Los Angeles, California

49 months ago

I think it is good to look at a few different things as far as information is concerned. www.freebartendingtips.com has a little article on whether one should go to bartending school. I hope that helps.

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Steven in Princeton, New Jersey

49 months ago

Hello fellow bartenders and mixologists. We’ve just redesigned the bartender lounge web site and want to get your thoughts on the new platform. Click the link below to visit the new site, or got to bartenderlounge.com

www.bartenderlounge.com/join.html?sID=42

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greg in Los Angeles, California

49 months ago

Hector G. in Lakeland, Florida said: I'm thinking of going into bartending for financial reasons and because I've found that I'm pretty good at selling extras at restaurants. I've found the questions and comments here very helpful. I'm hoping I can find a local school to go to since I'm a hands on learner unless I can find a bar or restaurant that'll hire me and I learn as I go which is my best way of learning. At the moment I'd be happy to get a positon as a "bar back" to learn about this as a career.

bartending is great and lots of reasons to do it! snipsly.com/2010/07/20/learn-to-bartend-for-free/

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prayeveryday123@earthlink.net in Aiken, South Carolina

47 months ago

What do you guys thank about breathalyzer in bars?

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barassociate in Brighton, United Kingdom

47 months ago

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jesse davis in Mesquite, Texas

46 months ago

Margarita in Dallas, Texas said: If you have no experience and are young I would start by getting my foot in the door as a barback. See how the long nights work for you and your life style. See how quickly you can pick it up through on the job training/experience. I went to bartending school and was not impressed at all. There were too many in the class so I took my own time and came in after hours to get more practice. They had the TABC (Texas) training apart of it so it cost me more like $100 for it when I can do it online or outside of the school for $25. Some of the information given to us in the training "material" was straight from the web. My externship ended up to be sitting at a restaurant they directed me to for 2 hours (which I paid them for & got paid $0) and doing nothing. Although while I was watching the bar I saw they did nothing like what the school was teaching us. The school can teach you what they call the "right" way of doing things but in real life at the various places you will do it "their" way which might be quite different. So for me I don't think the school are worth it unless you are 18 and have no prior experience working in any real job.

Thanks for that comment that's what I was looking for. I've been bartending for about a year now at a high volume restaurant in Longview, tx. I want to move to Austin and bartend downtown and make some real money, and I was thinking about attending the school just so I would have more on my resume. But I think i'll second guess that.

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A P Geofrey in New York, New York

43 months ago

Well if you are looking for a bartending job then you can try out this website www.bartendingjobs.us
They have more than a thousand bartending positions posted from all over the US at every given time. And I believe you don't need a lot of experience to land one of these jobs just keep applying and since there are so many job postings there, you can apply to as many as possible that way you maximize your chance of landing a decent and good bartending job.

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BARNYCmagic in Lima, Peru

42 months ago

Hi guys I just wanted to share with you all bartending starters this might be a great way to get involved in this exciting bartending world: www.bartendingcrashcourse.com/ rather than going to bartending school you can download this bartending ebook, I have bought this myself, and it looks great almost all american drinks are in here, tips and tools you need to use a great way to get started with bartending.

www.bartendingcrashcourse.com/

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Bartender in Cali in Corona, California

40 months ago

Wow, there's a lot of people linking their paid courses and ebooks without any mention of cost or that they make commission off of it :P I personally liked this site: www.BartenderMixed.com/ unlike the others mentioned it's free and offers more than many of these ebooks do. I've bought a few of them and they help, but only to a certain extent.

If you still aren't sure beyond this site then take a class. My friends got jobs after taking classes and said they liked them. Personally I just used sites like the one I mention. Different things work for different people.

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Lauren in New Brunswick, New Jersey

39 months ago

Bartending schools are deffinately not the same. I am a rutgers student and i dont have a lot of money. I eventually signed with topshelf their tuition is really pretty cheap compared to most. They were right down the block from my house in New Brunswick.

This school is not like any of the others. I was really totally supriesed and impressed as soon as i walked in. The owners were really down to earth. When i finished the class they kept their word and set me up on my first interview. They called the bar manager right in front of me and set it up! It was a great experience i highly reccomend these guys.

www.topshelfba.com

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LA, CA: Night Clubs in Houston, Texas

37 months ago

This is a note I sent to a friend when he started. Here the advice I gave him when he wanted to set a job at a big dance club in LA, CA. Enjoy!
Location, Location, Location: These areas below are going to give you access to some of the high capacity and big money night clubs in southern California. You will not be traveling during peak hours, so there will be little traffic. These locations should take you 45 minutes or less and are the closest night clubs where you can make money and meet people.
Getting Your Foot in the Door: In my day (1980’s) a bartender could make $300.00 a night, peak nights. Getting a bartending gig in these bars is VERY competitive, so to get your foot in the door you may need to start as a barback, but in those places you should clear over $100 in tips on peak nights (thru, Fri, Sat). Night Club bartending is not like the bartending you do now, so saying you already have 2 year experience only means you know the drinks. These guys pure about 25 drinks a minute on average and have no time to chat other than to throw out a 1-liner or two before the line to the bar is choked up. I used to pure $3000.00 worth of $3 drinks in a 5 hour shift. Have you ever done that? If not, you’ll be very happy you got started as a barback.
You need to take a day and plot out all the bars that are in an area, get them all listed so you don’t waste time going back and forth too much when you visit them, but you need to check the place out and shake the bar manager’s hand. A phone call or email is a complete waste of time.
Your Look Matters: Night Clubs cater to particular crowds. So, you’ll have to decide if you fit in and if not, can you make yourself fit in. This may mean changing the way you look by turning into a Hipster, or whatever. For this reason you’ll always have an edge with bar jobs and women if you have a little muscle. You should aim for 14-16” arms (at my peak mine were 21.5 inches).
The links below are very good books:
1. The Core Per

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LA, CA: Night Clubs in Houston, Texas

37 months ago

This is a note I sent to a friend when he started. Here the advice I gave him when he wanted to set a job at a big dance club in LA, CA. Enjoy!
Location, Location, Location: These areas below are going to give you access to some of the high capacity and big money night clubs in southern California. You will not be traveling during peak hours, so there will be little traffic. These locations should take you 45 minutes or less and are the closest night clubs where you can make money and meet people.
Getting Your Foot in the Door: In my day (1980’s) a bartender could make $300.00 a night, peak nights. Getting a bartending gig in these bars is VERY competitive, so to get your foot in the door you may need to start as a barback, but in those places you should clear over $100 in tips on peak nights (thru, Fri, Sat). Night Club bartending is not like the bartending you do now, so saying you already have 2 year experience only means you know the drinks. These guys pure about 25 drinks a minute on average and have no time to chat other than to throw out a 1-liner or two before the line to the bar is choked up. I used to pure $3000.00 worth of $3 drinks in a 5 hour shift. Have you ever done that? If not, you’ll be very happy you got started as a barback.
You need to take a day and plot out all the bars that are in an area, get them all listed so you don’t waste time going back and forth too much when you visit them, but you need to check the place out and shake the bar manager’s hand. A phone call or email is a complete waste of time.
Your Look Matters: Night Clubs cater to particular crowds. So, you’ll have to decide if you fit in and if not, can you make yourself fit in. This may mean changing the way you look by turning into a Hipster, or whatever. For this reason you’ll always have an edge with bar jobs and women if you have a little muscle.
The links below are very good books:
1. The Core Performance
2. Bodybuilding: a scientific approach

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LA, CA: Night Clubs in Houston, Texas

37 months ago

The links below are very good books:
1. The Core Performance
2. Bodybuilding: A Scientific Approach
Remember, do not show up in ratty cloths, but don’t come in a suite either. Instead, ware black pants and a black button-down shirt, can’t go wrong with that and most dudes look good in black anyway. Bring a resume with a good head-shop (picture) on it. That’ll make sure the manager remembers you. You need to have a friend take a bunch of pictures of you (wear a black shirt) until you find one that looks good. Don’t wear your glasses in front of the bar manager until you have cool glasses or get the job.
Summary
Ultimately, it is up to you how much effort you put into getting in front of the managers. But the more you work at it, the better chance and the better job you’ll get. Don’t expect to get the best shifts right away, 6 months is a better opportunity and during that time you can sub for sick bartenders and pick up good shifts and build your reputation with your co-workers, as a can-do guy.
The best places are big dance clubs for well paid people between 21-35 years old.

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Dave in Washington, District of Columbia

37 months ago

I responded a long time ago and subscribed to this thread. We have run bartending schools. Before that we owned and operated a bar, hiring, firing and promoting bartenders. We built from nothing to the best bar in its market. Our <a href="www.bartending-school.com"> DC Bartending School</a> helped about 1200 grads land bartending jobs last year and this month, June, grads landed over 100 jobs. We document it. Real names, real dates, real places.

I gotta say the comments above are spot on with regard to hooking up great club jobs.

A) You HAVE to get in front of the MOD/hiring manager/club manager. It has to be face to face.
B) You HAVE to look good and look the part for the club.
C) Expect to start slow as advised above. The big clubs have a lot of bar stations with a lot of bartenders. Some of the stations are in prime club real estate and some are in corners. Newbies always start in the corners. If you outperform the norm you'll get promoted to better bar stations. Treat it seriously.

We do so many things, contact so many employers and have so many methods to help people get work...but I gotta say the above comments about working in clubs in LA applies anywhere, it worked in the 1980s and it works now!! Well written.

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ajrobin2 in Port Saint Lucie, Florida

37 months ago

I completely agree with those singing praises of bartending school. I think the misconception of bar owners not hiring students straight out of school, is that they really have no 'on the job' experience. but someone will give you a chance, you have to just keep trying. just like someone who is trying to get into the business without school, youre still a newbie and youre still a risk. i attended bartending school after 2 years of already being a bartender because I craved more knowledge. I was trained by the bartender above me at a chain restaurant and only learned HER way of pouring, HER way of mixing, and HER way of counting. I wanted more. Bartending school taught me so much about OLD SCHOOL bartending, glassware, and the true art of this business. You cant learn it from a book, its way more complex than that. Do your research and make sure you pick a REAL school that will benefit your career. Dont do it for the job, do it for YOURSELF, to have the confidence to be a REAL bartender. 10 years behind the bar, and still going strong

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newly certified bartender in Reston, Virginia

30 months ago

I just recieved a bartending lisence I have previous waiting experience and am having difficulty finding a job. How the heck is a guy supposed to start out if no one wants to give him a chance.

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Shawn in Narellan, Australia

29 months ago

Hello fellow bartenders!
I stumbled across this while doing my daily search for new information on bartending.
I have a site up if anyone is interested in learning anything about becoming a bartender.

www.becomeabartendertips.com

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TheRealBarman in Martinez, California

29 months ago

I know it's tough out there right now. I've been a bartender and bar manager for 15 years now and when we go to hire someone we do get A LOT of resumes, especially in this economy. You definitely have to have a plan. I am also a writer and spend a good deal of my time helping people get hired in the business. I've had great success and I love what I do. You may already have your own plan, but if you want a different angle, check me out: TheRealBarman.com.

Either way, best of luck!

Dave, TheRealBarman

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ang in Georgetown, Idaho

29 months ago

Host said: How did you get your start doing bartender work, and what career moves did you make to get to your current position?

Do you need a particular educational background?

We are WEbarfly.com. We recruit bartenders for establishments all over the world. If you are interested in our services email- ang.webarfly@gmail.com and I will have a recruiter contact you as soon as possible. If you choose to sign up on the website please tell them Ang sent you. That’s how I get paid. CHEERS!

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Missouladan in Bozeman, Montana

28 months ago

So I am an actor currently touring the country, but eventually I plan on going to L.A, and bartending seems very appealing to me as a job while I am trying to audition. My first question is since I am on the road what is the best way to get experience, before I move to L.A? Books, online classes? The second question is how hard is it to get into bartending as a guy in his Mid 30's with no bartending or serving experience. I have a ton of experience working with people, job job right now allows me to interact with hundreds of people a week. Thanks for any feedback!

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EJ in Las Vegas, Nevada

26 months ago

To all bartenders, I need your opinions. I went to bartending school graduated and have been looking for a job. Now I hear different people telling me how to get my foot in the door BTW I live in Vegas just so you know. Some people tell me to hang out at the bar become friendly and ask the bartenders if they're hiring. Other things I heard is doing the walkin to the bar and ask if they're hiring and if they say no...then they say ask to be put on stand-by. Now the job placement woman says to don't bother even going to the Casino's (on the strip) b/c there's 4,000 laid-off bartenders, however she said to concentrate on the station casino's known as the break-in houses or places that lease from the casinos on the strip as they're non-union. Now here's what I been doing,
e-mailing every craiglist ad my resume and cover letter with a headshot to all that are hiring for either bartenders or barbacks, I try to stay away from the high class places that want the most experience ppl. Also I called people from craiglist ads who do gigs like parties and weddings and one guy took me on and I did a party on Sat night he said I did real good for my first actual experience and yes I only worked for tips I made 76 in 5 hours so I am doing this only for the experience....I only made basic drinks like Margarita's,
Sex on the beach, Screwdrivers, Tequila Sunrises, Pina Colada's and Long Beach Ice Tea's. So what I'm looking for is a correct course of action from the senior bartenders If I'm doing something wrong please let me know and If there's something that i'm lacking or don't know please let me know that as well. I already know I'll probably start of as a barback but that is fine with me.

Ok I'll wait for comment's and suggestions
Thank you.

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Mike in Arlington, Virginia

26 months ago

Host said: How did you get your start doing bartender work, and what career moves did you make to get to your current position?

Do you need a particular educational background?

You can find all the info needed to become a bartender at www.barninja.com. It is a wealth of Knowledge. Then I suggest getting into the restaurant as a server so you can build trust with the owners and let the owner/manager know that ultimately you would like to become a bartender at the establishment. The other alternative is to go to a less desirable establishment just to get the experience.

I really dont thing you need a paid course to get the knowledge needed.

Cheers,

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Ej in Las Vegas, Nevada

26 months ago

Mike in Arlington, Virginia said: You can find all the info needed to become a bartender at www.barninja.com . It is a wealth of Knowledge. Then I suggest getting into the restaurant as a server so you can build trust with the owners and let the owner/manager know that ultimately you would like to become a bartender at the establishment. The other alternative is to go to a less desirable establishment just to get the experience.

I really dont thing you need a paid course to get the knowledge needed.

Cheers,

Huh yeah I did, because I did a house party and if I didn't have the schooling behind me I would have not been as good as I did it took me around 15 minutes to soak in what he was telling me to do and all the schooling kicked right in so for any bartenders out there I disagree with you!! But thanks for the advice I will try to get in as a server somewhere but when you mean server you mean a waitor right?

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