How to be a bartender

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The Bartender Certification Course at Metropolitan Bartending School will show you how to market yourself as a professional bartender, secure a job, make great tips, professionally serve guests and keep an organized bar. You will leave Metropolitan confident. and ready for the workforce!

Horror Stories From Servers

Kelly Meehan Brown (That’s me!)

It was late on a Monday and the bar was pretty empty, save for this one older lady. We got to chatting, and while she was a bit strange, she seemed fine. I gave her some drinks on the house, and when I handed her the check, she walked out without paying. Cue me running down the street at 3 a.m. chasing this drunk woman. She returned, paid her $60 bill, and left me a $3 tip. I’m still not over it.

How to Be a Bartender or Server - Amanda FasanoAmanda Fasano

Amanda Fasano

“I kept the bar open late once for this group of guys, who I had been serving for hours. It was around 2 a.m., and their bill was at $500. They all drunkenly walked out shortly after without paying a cent.”

How to be a bartender or server - Chelsea CorreaChelsea Correa

Chelsea Correa

“I was serving a table of four dudes and was trying to be extra friendly and flirty for more tips. But when they racked up a $400 bill and left me only $20, I flipped out with my coworkers at the bar. Little did I know they were right behind me and heard everything! The less said about the Yelp review I got the next day, the better.”

How to be a bartender or server - Katie ShortallKatie Shortall

Katie Shortall

“A guy I had been polite to for the duration of his meal refused to tip me until I would give him my phone number. Thanks but no thanks. You can keep your $10, creep!”

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Further Reading: “Working at a Crummy Job Can Set You Up for Life!”

The Pros of Bartending

When you think about why you should become a bartender, three immediate reasons come to mind.

  1. Money! – $1 here and $1 there adds up quickly and at the end of the night, you might need help carrying all of them to your car.  The more experienced you become as a bartender, the more you can expect to make.
  2. Flexibility – Bartending is usually a part-time job and the hours are extremely flexible.  Obviously the more time you put in, the more money you can make and unless you already have a full-time night job, you should be able to make bartending work.
  3. Socializing – There’s no better way to make friends then being the bartender that everyone loves.  If you’re a good listener, you’ll make friends even faster.

The Cons of Bartending

It’s not all fun and games if you choose a bartending career so here are a few reasons why you should second guess your decision.

  1. Dealing With Drunks – There comes a time in every bartenders career when the decision to stop serving customers needs to be made.  If you come across with an angry drunk, no online class can teach you what to do and no two drunks are the same so make sure to stay calm and keep an empty Grey Goose bottle close at hand if you need it!
  2. The Pressure – Sometimes, the strength of a bar depends on it’s bartenders so the pressure is on.  If you leave the bar during a peak hour because you’re overwhelmed, don’t plan on coming back.
  3. Limited Advancement Opportunities – Other than moving from a low-scale to up-scale club or bar, there is very little in advancement opportunities for bartenders.  The job is the job and that’s about as good as it gets.
  4. Safety – Considering that alcohol is being served and the time at which you will be working, safety can be a big issue.
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Final Tip

If you live in St. Louis or Philadelphia, chances are you’ll make more as a bartender than if you live in Honolulu or Seattle. The former cities average a 19.6% tip rate, while the latter average 18.4%.

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