Barback Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Barback , or Bartender Assistant, is responsible for assisting Bartenders to ensure they have everything they need to serve customers efficiently. Their duties include replacing kegs, restocking glasses and other supplies needed to make drinks and maintaining a clean dining space throughout their shift.

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Barback Duties and Responsibilities

Summarize the functions and duties a Barback would perform in your organization. In addition to the regular tasks, specify if the job involves any special responsibilities. The idea is to give the candidates a complete understanding of how the position functions in your organization and who they would be reporting to.

Examples of Barback duties and responsibilities include:

  • Keep the bar stocked with liquor, syrups, glasses, napkins and all other necessary items before and during service hours.
  • Prepare garnishes, refill ice wells, change beer kegs and restock napkins and straws.
  • Clean up the spills, remove the glassware and organize the counter.
  • Keep the bar area neat and clean.
  • Coordinate with managers, kitchen staff and security personnel to ensure efficient service to customers.
  • Handle emergency situations, like cleaning up broken glasses and clearing up clogged drains.

What Does a Barback Do?

Barbacks typically work for bars or pubs to provide a supportive role to bar staff. They anticipate the needs of Bartenders and make trips to the storeroom to get clean glasses and restock alcoholic beverages behind the bar. Their job is to work with other Barbacks to communicate with Bartenders, wash glasses and go back and forth to the storeroom to maintain an effective bar service. They may also assist in unloading and storing kegs, drink bottles and supplies like napkins, straws and food products.

Barback Skills and Qualifications

A successful Barback candidate must have certain skills and qualifications. Outline all the educational qualifications and other qualities you need for your position. Depending upon the shift times and specific demands of the job, include any physical characteristics and personality traits the candidate needs to possess:

  • High school diploma, GED or equivalent
  • Minimum of two years’ experience in the role of a Barback
  • Be the legal age to serve alcohol
  • Physically fit to meet the demands of the job, such as lifting liquor boxes and standing for long hours
  • Strong knowledge of bar menu items
  • Willing to work in night shifts and on weekends and holidays
  • Friendly, responsible and punctual

Barback Salary Expectations

Average salary data for Barback is not available, but it should be close to what Bussers and Bar Staff receive. The average salary for a Busser is $10.80 per hour and that for a Bar Staff is $12.05 per hour. Indeed generated these estimates based on the salary data received from past and present employees for these positions and the job advertisements published on Indeed during the last three years.

Barback Education and Training Requirements

The position of Barback does not require any formal education. However, many organizations require candidates to at least have a school diploma so that they have basic computational and communication skills. Most Barbacks acquire their role-specific skills on the job, meaning there is no separate training involved. You should however ensure that the Barback candidate is the legal age required to serve alcohol, which is usually between 18 and 21 years.

Barback Experience Requirements

For entry-level positions, you may hire suitable candidates without any experience and train them for the job. However, if you are looking to directly put the successful candidate on the job without any training, look for candidates who have previously worked as a Barback for one or two years. If you are hiring an inexperienced candidate, make sure that the candidate you hire is a quick learner and is physically fit for the position.

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Frequently asked questions about Barbacks

 

What is the difference between a Barback and a Busser?

Both Barbacks and Bussers clean tables, transport dishes to and from dining areas and perform tasks like dishwashing. The only difference that distinguishes the two roles is that Barbacks work specifically for bars and pubs, whereas Bussers work specifically for restaurants and cafes. Further, Barbacks work closely with Bartenders while Bussers work closely with Waiters.

 

What are the daily duties of a Barback?

On a typical day, a Barback arrives to work before service begins. They help other bar staff stock the bar area with beverages and food items. They also refill ice coolers, stack glasses and make sure that Bartenders have access to boxes of napkins, straws and cocktail sticks. They set up tables and chairs in the front area and assemble table decor to maximize customer experience. They check the bathrooms to ensure cleanliness and restock items as needed. 

Throughout service, they remain close by to assist Bartenders when they run out of things like ice, glasses or alcoholic beverages to serve. After the conclusion of service, Barbacks sweep and mop floors, sanitize tables and clean up any remaining glasses from the bar area.

 

What qualities make a good Barback?

A good Barback should have the ability to work as part of a team to maintain excellent bar service. They remain calm under pressure, which allows them to stay focused and organized on busy nights of the week. They prioritize cleanliness, which means they help their employer uphold health standards for their building. 

Further, Barbacks need to be physically fit to lift kegs, glass bottles and boxes. They also need a degree of physical stamina because they spend most of their shift on their feet. Barbacks should demonstrate organizational skills by maintaining a well-organized counter space. This helps Bartenders to easily retrieve supplies throughout service.

 

Who does a Barback report to?

Barbacks typically report to Bartenders but they can also report to the Bar Manager if they have questions or concerns. For example, Barbacks communicate with Bartenders to see what they can restock throughout service and assist them as needed. In contrast, Barbacks communicate with the Bar Manager to report customer incidents that need a quick response. They may also report to the Bar Manager to receive their work schedule for the week and contact them when they can’t make it to work.

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