Training in the bartending world is like no other in any other industry. When you train at a new bar, as a bartender, you get paid your hourly wage, but you don't receive any piece of the tipping pie. New bartenders can train anywhere from one shift, up to four. It's just the small price bartenders pay for receiving shifts at a new bar. It's an industry standard. Anyone who works in the industry knows how training as a new bartender works.
If you work at a restaurant, training shifts might entitle you to free employee meals. I say might. So ask first before you assume that you will be eating for free.
Once you know how to bartend, you know how to bartend. So what's up with the training shifts for bartenders? When a bartender trains a new hire, they have to take time away from their normally scheduled program of making drinks for their bar customers and servers. They have to show the new bartender how to set up the bar and close it down, how to properly make the drinks that are served (especially with specialty cocktails if there are any), paperwork/cash drawer closing procedures, show them where things are located behind the bar and in the storage room, how to use the POS system or cash drawer, etc. The new bartender is basically shadowing the old bartender until they get the hang of how things operate behind that bar.
Tonight is my last offical training shift at my new place. Yay! I am so excited. I am a little nervous because the bar is so small and the way things are done behind the bar have to be done in a certain way or else there is NO flow. I have been making all the drinks myself up until this point and doing most of the opening and closing procedures. The only night I shadowed the current bartender was my first night of training.
Everyone gets nervous working at a new place. Even a bartending veteran like me, believe it or not. This Sunday will be my first real night on my own behind the bar. I am really looking forward to my share of the tipping pie. You can't live on a bartender's hourly wage alone here in San Francisco!!!