Bar Manager Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: August 22, 2022


A Bar Manager, or Pub Manager, oversees the staff and operations of a bar by making sure it’s clean, functioning efficiently and inviting for customers to relax in. Their main duties include scheduling employees and building their shift calendars, managing and resolving customer complaints and ensuring the bar’s inventory is well-stocked.

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Bar Manager Duties and Responsibilities

A Bar Manager uses skills in project management and leadership to ensure customers have a great experience. Bar Managers often have the following responsibilities:

  • Recruit, interview, hire and train new bar staff employees
  • Handle customer complaints
  • Advertise the daily, weekly and monthly promotions of the bar
  • Ensure staff is following all food control and safety regulations
  • Create employee schedules based on expected customer numbers
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What Does a Bar Manager Do?

Bar Managers ensure the bar is running smoothly at all times by overseeing its day-to-day operations. It’s the Bar Manager’s responsibility to maintain a safe and fun environment for customers. Bar Managers maintain liquor licensing and ensure that staff is following local requirements and proper alcohol distribution regulations. They’re often in charge of hiring and training bar employees and building schedules to ensure there are enough people working at the bar during its peak hours.

A bartender, training another bartender on how to mix a cocktail. A bar is in the foreground, the baristas in the middle, and a rack with bottles in the background. Text reads: "Sample bar manager duties:Recruit & train new bar staff,Handle customer complaints,Create employee schedules,Ensure bar runs smoothly"

Bar Manager Skills and Qualifications

Bar Managers will need certain prerequisite skills and experience, which include:

  • Communication: Bar Managers will need both written and verbal communication skills. Written communication skills will assist the Bar Manager with understanding directions from the general manager, district manager or corporate employees. Verbal communication skills are crucial as Bar Managers will need to develop working relationships with employees, customers and other management.
  • Problem-solving: It is the role of the Bar Manager to diffuse conflict within the bar. This requires developed problem-solving skills that allow the bar manager to effectively handle conflict in a way that works for both the customer and the staff.
  • Leadership: Leadership skills will assist the Bar Manager in effectively leading their bar staff in a way that is productive and organized.
  • Organizational: Bar Managers are in charge of many different aspects of the business including hiring, promoting, training, scheduling and managing, so strong organizational skills are necessary.

Bar Manager Salary Expectations

The average expected salary for a Bar Manager is $45,501 per year. Some Bar Manager salaries may range between $14,000 and $93,000 per year, depending on geographical location, size of the bar and the experience of the Bar Manager. A Bar Manager who works for a busy bar in a large city can expect to earn more than a bar manager who oversees a smaller neighborhood bar. Additionally, some Bar Managers may work on a part-time or hourly basis, whereas others work in a full-time, salaried position.

Bar Manager Education and Training Requirements

A high school diploma is often a requirement to work as a Bar Manager, but some hiring managers may prefer an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Relevant industries include sales, business administration or restaurant management. Some hiring managers may hire a Bar Manager with many years of experience in lieu of a degree. Most Bar Managers will receive on-the-job training, working their way up from bartender to supervisor and eventually, Bar Manager. Many companies will have their own training program and may prefer to hire a Bar Manager within.

Bar Manager Experience Requirements

Hiring managers will often expect a Bar Manager to have previous experience in the bar or food industry. Some Bar Managers may come from a relevant industry working as a restaurant or retail manager. Bar Managers will continue their training on-the-job, getting to know the requirements and expectations of the specific bar management job.

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Job Description Samples for Similar Positions

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Frequently asked questions about Bar Managers


What's the difference between a Bar Manager and Shift Manager?

A Shift Manager oversees the operations of a business, ranging from restaurants to retail stores to bars. They’re often in charge of delegating tasks to their employees, tracking inventory and coordinating with suppliers to ensure products are delivered on time. 

Bar Managers share many responsibilities with Shift Managers, but their duties are primarily completed in a bar. Shift Managers can work in a variety of different businesses and industries, and their responsibilities may vary depending on the location they’re in. 


Who reports to a Bar Manager?

Bartenders, Custodians and almost any other bar employee reports to the Bar Manager. They’ll create schedules, resolve any issues employees are facing, and recruit and train the bar team members. If Bartenders are having troubles with difficult customers or need guidance solving any customer issues, a Bar Manager assists the Bartender in resolving any problems to keep customers satisfied and the bar running smoothly. 

Bar Managers regularly oversee the staff to ensure they’re following proper guidelines. Bar Managers are often responsible for hiring new team members and providing them with the necessary training materials to operate as a successful bar employee. 


What should you look for in a Bar Manager resume?

A strong Bar Manager resume lists extensive experience either working in a bar or serving in a leadership role. Bar Managers should know how a successful bar functions to maintain a clean and entertaining atmosphere. They should pay close attention to detail since they’re regularly scheduling shifts, ensuring that rules are being followed and taking stock of all the bar materials and supplies. 

Bar Managers should also mention their flexibility and willingness to adapt to change. Bars are often open late during weeknights and weekends, so they should be ready to work long shifts outside of a typical office schedule. They should also be ready to handle new challenges and resolve problems in a creative way. 


Who does a Bar Manager report to?

The person a Bar Manager reports to often depends on the size of the bar and team members. Larger bars with a significant amount of employees typically have several Bar Managers, so they may need a Bar Supervisor to oversee the performance of all the Bar Managers. Supervisors often work in a senior-level role, making sure the Bar Managers are leading the employees effectively and are keeping the bar running smoothly. 

Smaller bars usually have one or two Bar Managers who report to the owner of the bar. Bar Managers typically collect performance reports and data and provide them to the owner. They also report any high-level employee or operational concerns for the owner to address and resolve.

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    Last updated: Apr 28, 2021