Bartending?

Discussion in 'Community' started by iJon, Jul 13, 2005.

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  1. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #1
    I was curious to know if anyone here ever bar-tended in their days or currently still do. I just wanted to know what your experiences were like, money you made, pros/cons and what kind of training you had.

    I know very little about bartending but a friend and I are thinking about going to bartending school down in Dallas. It is one week long (40hrs) and they teach you everything you need to know. It is also suppose to be one of the top rated schools in the country. I don't know about my laws here in Arkansas on age to serve but I figured even if it was 20 or 21 that would give me some time to practice on my skills and go into working with better knowledge.

    The reasons I'm considering this is because I'm getting a little bored of working for my parents selling Macs all the time. I know some of you would kill for a job like that, but since I've been doing it for the past 5 years and I've been around Macs all my life my interests have somewhat wore off.

    So come on, share your knowledge with me if there is any to offer.

    jon
     
  2. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #2
    Good money, hard work, wet, depressing to watch drunk people all night long.

    That's my experience in a nutshell.
     
  3. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #3
    The money is great and the hours are short! Unfortunately, that's where the pros end.

    The cons are numerous. Everybody else is having fun right in front of you while you're working. There's always that one drunk who won't stop talking to you. Sexual harrassment from customers is inevitable, whether you're male or female. I was actually offered money for sex several times from other guys. Some people can ignore all this, I couldn't. I lasted six months. The grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence.
     
  4. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816

    pulsewidth947

    Joined:
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    Location:
    squarefrog.co.uk
    #4
    Theres a school for Bartending?! What do you learn? Cocktails and stuff?

    I did a bit of work on a bar while studying at uni, and it certainly had its ups and downs.

    Ups - it can be a laugh if you are working with your friends. If you get a good boss who lets you have a couple of free pints and a game or two of pool after shutdown. usually flexible hours!

    Downs - aggressive people. having to ID people. cleaning up at the end of the shift. poor wage. having to put up with happy drunk people if your in a bad mood.
     
  5. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #5
    I bartended for Applebee's (family-type bar and grill) for awhile. It was okay at best. I really enjoyed serving more, and eventually went back to doing that.

    Being stuck behind the bar meant that I had to hang out with people I didn't know who weren't very much like me. When I was serving, between table visits I would get to hang out with my coworkers, who were much more like me.

    At the end of a night of bartending, my knees killed me from basically standing in one place all night. Very little movement involved.

    The money was alright, but the girls definitely made more than I did.

    The positives included learning more (I love to learn new things) and being in charge of a whole area.
     
  6. Lau Guest

    #6
    I think in the US it's a pretty decent career type job, where you are expected to know cocktails etc, and be fairly professional. Whereas in the UK they let any old random like myself behind a bar.

    I hated it by the way. I used to work in a punk bar which was a laugh, but in all the other bar jobs I've done I couldn't be bothered with the whole smiling nicely at people who were annoying/sleazy/aggressive/crazy/etc. But I am fairly crap at customer service in general, and not a good measure of this. Quite a few people I know who are massively sociable, and generally of a sunny 'good customer service' type disposition love working in bars, and see it as a paid extension of their social life.
     
  7. mpw Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    #7
    I love the idea of a classroom where the teacher just turns a stereo up to the max and shouts something slurred and unintelligible to you while staring at your breasts and to pass you need to serve a Vodka-Red Bull!

    Bartending Joke (You need to be aware of the Scotch Whisky “White Horse”)

    A white horse walks up to the bar and orders a beer. The bartender serves up the beer and says “Hey, did you know I’ve got a bottle of Scotch here named after you?” The horse looks surprised and says “What, Colin?” :D
     
  8. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #8
    Everyone that I knew who tended bar loved the job for the first few weeks, eventually it set in that it's a job, even if you get to hang out in a bar all day. Of course it depends on the bar, too, if you work in a place where you can drink and smoke and watch TV, kudos... but probably you won't be so lucky. At any rate, I've never known a bartender who was happy with their job past the first year. But most say they learned a lot of valuable lessons/skills from it.
     
  9. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #9
    That's true I guess. You do learn a lot about dealing with people.
     
  10. iKwick7 macrumors 65816

    iKwick7

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Location:
    The Wood of Spots, NJ
    #10

    Whoa!

    Which state?? I'm in NJ. So here is my experience with bartending....

    I served for about 2 years, then started bartending and serving, all while going to college. I've been at the same place now for 6 years. I've finished college and I still bartend every saturday (day) just for fun and some easy cash on the side.

    First, you HAVE TO have the personality to be a bartender. Basically, if you are some boring, unsociable person, you are either going to suck at it or make no money. People have to like being around you. In all honesty, you don't even have to be taht good at making drinks- you just have to be easy going and very likeable.

    As for the money, in my experiences, its fantastic. Applebee's, like the other poster said, is a family bar (like a Friday's)- so there isn't really a massive drinking crowd, depending on the bartenders. So, typically, you would make a lot more at a club or something that does have the drinking crowd. We have some BEAUTIFUL bartenders here, so, needless to say, we usually have a packed bar at night. I would typically make between $200-$300 on a friday or saturday night (from 5pm to about 3 am, bar closes ar 2, but it takes awhile to clean up). I only work morning/afternoons now, since I don't really need the money and since I have gotten older, I don't have the staimina for it anymore. :) I usually make between $100 - $200 on a saturday afternoon (12pm - 5pm), on a bad day I would walk out with about $80.

    It's a blast, you get paid to do nothing, essentially- just hang out with people and tell them what they want to drink, and watch sports. If you don't like the idea of getting paid to pretty much "hang out with people I didn't know who weren't very much like me"- then its not for you.
     
  11. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Its not so much where you are as when you are.
    #11
    A horse walks into the bar, the bartender says "Why the long face."

    A priest a minister and a rabbi walk into the bar, the bartender says, "What is this? Some kind of joke?"
     
  12. mpw Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    #12
    A lion walks into a bar and says "Bartender I'd like a beer.................................................................................................................................................................................and some nuts." the bartender asks "Why the big pause?" "I dunno'" says the lion " I was born with them!"

    Man walks into a bar "Ouch!". It was a steel bar.
     
  13. iJon thread starter macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #13
    All your guys info has been great. Here in my town there are tons of places to work at simply cause we are a college town. Always such a huge upbeat atmosphere. The personality part I shouldn't have a problem with. Like I mentioned earlier, I have sold Macs for years and have excellent people skills from doing just that. I develop good relationships with people and I feel those skills can transfer to any job for the best.

    But I am still debating whether I will do this or not. My parents best friend own a big hotel in town that also has a bar. It caters more the older crowd than the college scene and I would probably be able to land a job there and start getting my first experiences out of the way.

    My other reasons for doing it is the good amount of money for my age and job. My college schedule conflicts a lot with working for my parents so I don't make as much as I used to and with all my worldwide trips I like to take while I can will benefit from the extra cash.

    Keep bringing on those experiences, I appreciate everyone's advice.

    jon
     
  14. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #14
    I guess you'd always be very popular at parties when people want cocktails!

    Part of the job depends on where you're working and how good the boss is. I've worked in bars where there were enough bartenders to be able to be able to serve properly and enjoy some banter with people. And others where the manager skimped by not having enough staff so the punters were always annoyed that you couldn't serve them fast enough, you were rushed off your feet and life was more stressful.

    In the UK, being a bartender can be the pits since in general, there's not a tipping culture in pubs/bars.
     
  15. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #15
    ...because all the drinks (in the city anyway) are so bloody expensive! :eek:
     
  16. treblah macrumors 65816

    treblah

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    Oct 28, 2003
    Location:
    29680
    #16
    Thats pretty much my experience also. You need to be very outgoing (personality wise) too. Dealing with drunks when you are not is an exercise in futility. I worked in a smallish bar outside of Atlanta in between HS and college and got paid great. Just treat everyone like a 'regular' and treat the 'regulars' like best friends and you will walk home with a wad of cash every night.
     
  17. iJon thread starter macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #17
    I must agree, London's Hard Rock takes the cake for my largest bar tab to date. That was a fun night though. Can't wait to venture back to Europe this winter.

    jon
     
  18. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #18
    I don't know anything about bartending. My one real concern would to be working around smokers. It has been proven that second hand smoke is just as dangerous.

    Don't know about the town that you are living. Here in Boston they have eliminated smoking in all restaurants and bars. So to me that would be a huge relief.

    As far as standing on you feet all shift you are already familiar with that working for your parents. It would seem that if you like to be around people it would be a good job. Allows a chance to help people by being a good listener.
     
  19. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #19
    I went to a cocktail bar for a mates birthday a few weeks back, Mai Tai, £6.50 per cocktail, with even shots weighing in at £4.90 each!!!!! No freakin tips from me!!!
     
  20. jayb2000 macrumors 6502a

    jayb2000

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    Location:
    RI -> CA -> ME
    #20
    Two Blondes walk into a bar .....
    You think ONE of them would have seen it.

    and the classic

    A naked blond walks into a bar, with a poodle under one arm, and a two foot salami under the other. She lays the poodle on the table.
    Bartender says, "I suppose you won't be needing a drink." The naked lady says...
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    AAAAAAAAGGGGHHHHHHH <crash>
     
  21. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #21
    Unless iJon wants to work out and sit behind a bar where the men would make more than the women. ;)

    But I doubt having that would be much fun for him (fighting off all the drunk men that think he's cute, or worse at a strip club where all the women in the crowd think he's cute), though the money would be a lot better.
     
  22. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, Alabama
    #22
    "Could you describe the ruckus?" ;)
     
  23. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a

    Nickygoat

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #23
    But very little of that goes to the staff. £5 something per hour is the going rate. Hard in an expensive city.
     
  24. Nanda Devi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    East Lansing, Michigan
    #24
    I've always thought if I could get a bartending job in a small bar in a slick little "moutain town" like Breckenridge or Aspen, it would be a blast. Just hang out and shoot the ***** with people all day.... but I've worked in a lot of restaurants as a waitress before, and I know that being around drunk people while you're working isn't exactly fun. I think it totally depends on the place (NEVER, EVER even CONSIDER working for a chain!) and you're situation (i.e., if it's the only job you can get and you know you might be doing it till you're 60, it's probably not going to be a good experience)... could be fun, could suck.

    Anyway, I'd also watch out if you like to drink a lot... Someone who has a propensity toward being a bit of lush might find themselves flat-out alchie after working in a bar for a spell....

    ND
     
  25. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #25
    Oh I'm not saying that the staff are paid well, but when the bar is ripping you off on the drinks the last thing you're going to do is tip.
     
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