Bartender

Bar stewards or bartenders serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to customers or prepare drinks which waiters serve to customers. They mix drinks according to standard recipes or customer requests and usually collect payment for the drinks.


A bartender plays a key role in any drinking establishment by making patrons feel at comfortable, relaxed and at ease. A bartender must know a wide range of drink recipes and be able to mix cocktails and mixers accurately and without waste. Bar stewards keep their bars well supplied with spirits, beer, mixers, garnishes, ice and other supplies. They also clean and arrange glasses, bottles and mixers in an attractive yet convenient way. In addition the bar itself must be kept spotlessly clean. Bartenders need to know what type of glass each kind of drink is served in. They play a vital role in the running of any restaurant, hotel or bar. They deal directly with customers and should understand how to make people feel welcome and recognise them when they return.

In summary the bartenders job is to do the following:

  • Greet customers, and make them feel at home
  • Take order for drinks
  • Inform customers of specials, varieties of beers and the types of other alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks
  • Mix a variety of cocktails according a recipe
  • Clean and organise the counter and space around the bar
  • Take payment from customers including running tabs where required
  • Conduct stocktake, order and maintain supplies
  • Check identification of customers to ensure they are of legal drinking age

Personal Requirements

  • have a good memory for faces and names
  • enjoy working with people, a ready smile and a positive attitude
  • have a pleasant agreeable manner
  • be upbeat and always ready to pesent specials and offer service to clients
  • good communication skills (especially listening skills)
  • able to multi-task by working multiple tables at the same time
  • able to cope under pressure.

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

No specific high school requirements are needed to enter this career, but it is recommended that candidates have a basic knowledge of arithmetic to be able to add up customers’ orders.


What to Study

On-the-job training, TVET (Technical Vocational Education and Training) Colleges


Employment

  • restaurants and cafeterias
  • hotel dining rooms
  • private clubs
  • bars and cocktail lounges
  • casinos
  • other establishments that serve drinks
  • self-employment, with enough capital to start own business

Further Information

Tourism Business Council (TBCSA)
www.tbcsa.org.za


Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation work in an establishment that sells alcoholic beverages
  • make an appointment to speak to a bar steward about this type of career