Mixing drinks and chatting to inebriated customers may not be every person’s idea of the perfect job but to some, bar tender jobs are exactly what they want from a career. Apart from the late start to the working day and small fortunes in tips at times, a job as a bartender is rewarding if you are a people person. Whether you are looking for a bartender job in a nightclub or at the local pub, you need to have skills and references to get started in this line of work.
Being a bartender is no easy task. Like any job, it requires skill, commitment and hard work. If you think that you can rock up at some bar on your college holiday and successfully land a bar tendering position, think again. Bar and club owners can spot an experienced bartender from a novice and they are not going to waste time and money on hiring you if you cannot meet their customer’s demands. You may know your local booze and a few fancy cocktail names but working as a bar tender goes beyond this.
First you have to have people skills. If you cannot chat to the customers, make them feel welcome and still serve up their drink speedily, then a bartender job is not for you. During the busy hours you will have to handle hordes of customers flagging you down for their drinks while the waiters and waitresses are snapping at your heels. Mixing cocktails, serving drinks, clearing glasses and cashing up are just a few of the tasks that you will have to be able to do simultaneously.
Despite your best efforts to read the latest cocktail handbook, you will need to consider a bartender course. Even if you plan to tender just for the holidays, you can find a technical school or workshop that will run a bartender course over a weekend or a few week days. This will not land you a top paying bartender job at the nearby five star hotel but it is a start to getting into the trade. Its not only about learning how to mix a cocktail – bartender courses will teach you additional skills like customer interaction, understanding the differences between wines and creating a rapport with your co-workers. References are important in this industry and if you lack them, then you may have to settle for starting off as a waiter or busboy until you work yourself up to the bartender post.
Some of the best ways to find a bartender job in South Africa without have to go bar hopping yourself is to contact caterers. Pubs and clubs acquire their wares through catering companies and these businesses know which of their clients are looking for a bar tenders. Signing up with a recruiting company that specialises in holiday and temporary jobs is another way to get your foot into the door. If you are looking for a job in a hurry then you may try advertising your bartender services in the classifieds of your local newspaper. State your experience from the outset and don’t get caught out by not knowing the difference between a mojito and a margarita.