Sunday, January 11, 2009
What Kind of Bar Should I Work In?
As a bartender school instructor, the question my students ask me most is:
"What kind of bar should I work in?"
There are so many types of bars out there to work in: nightclubs, dive bars, sports bars, hotels or restaurants, just to name a few. Living here in the city by the bay, you could even bartend on a party boat if you wanted to. There are so many options out there for a bartender. Whenever my students ask me what type of bar they should work in, I always tell them that it really is up to them. What kind of bar would make them happy? What kind of environment do they want to work in? What time of the day do they want to work? What type of crowd do they want to be around? What kind of cocktails do they want to make?
Your first bartending job is rarely going to be your ideal place to work. I have been bartending for five plus years and I am STILL learning what my perfect bar to work in might be. I have a pretty good idea nowadays, but with each job, you are always learning what you like and what you absolutely wont tolerate.
In my younger days, I worked late nights in a busy nightclub. I worked in a busy college bar right by where I was going to school. I worked in a uber sexy lounge located smack in the middle of a highly populated tourist area, surrounded by stripclubs. I have worked in small lounges and I have worked in restaurants. I have even worked in a live music venue. I think it's safe to assume that I have a pretty good idea of all the different types of bars one can work in. What I have grown to love over my years of bartending might not work for the next person. But we all want to make money and have fun while doing it. So if you find yourself asking this question, look inside and ask yourself what kind of environment would make you happy and then seek out those type of places.
Bartending isn't rocket science. It's a little bit of who you know, being at the right place at the right time, having a good attitude, being flexible and always having fun no matter where you are. Just remember, your customers are there to have fun and so should you.