Bartending Basics – A Complete Guide
Bartending has been called by many a ‘recession proof’ career, as bars are usually busy regardless of the season with people visiting for an after work drink, celebrating a special occasion and various other reasons. It is a good atmosphere when cerebrating and will definitely help to lift spirits in the hard times. Also with many companies down-sizing and it is getting harder for most people to find jobs these days learning this trade would be a step in the right direction. Fortunately, there is a school in practically every state in America so it is easy for beginners to learn bartending basics to get started in this field.
At bartending schools students would be provided with beginners guide books that will teach them everything there is in the knowledge of fine wines, liqueurs, spirits, beers, cocktails and even get the chance to participate in seminars held by different drink companies.
Even though the different locations will offer specialized lessons you can find schools which offer hands-on training in real bar environment. This allows students to get a first hand view of some of the duties that a bartender has to carry out on a daily basis. By doing this, they can understand the layout of a bar; learn about the equipments and apparatus, keg system, beer tap, inventory, measurements, garnish preparation, up selling and free pouring; how to work the cash register and manage cash.
In addition, a bartender in training would be given customer service education as well as identifying different types of glasses and the usages, wine service and the proper pronunciation of wines. There is also training programs that will show how to mix all the classic, popular and trendy drinks being served in today’s top bars. They even teach you alcohol awareness so that you could see signs of someone going over the edge before they do.
Most of the schools have highly experienced instructors who have years of bartending and/or mixology experience. Copyrighted textbooks are offered at some of these schools so it is possible for students to continue their practice of making drinks at home.
A lot of the schools even offer flexible class times that would fit into your busy schedule. They offer morning, afternoon and weekend classes. There are those who also offer programs to their graduates to assist them with job placements without any additional fees.
If considering attending a bartending school you owe it to yourself to check the different locations in your area and find the one that suits your pocket and lifestyle. The following information will highlight some of the areas with reputable schools:
Atlanta, Birmingham, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and many more.
Now, there are many advantages in attending any of these schools since the courses are short and inexpensive.
Learn About Mixologist School Training
Mixology is the term given to a sophisticated bartender. After completing the training to become a bartender if a person wants to specialize in mixing drinks they would do this additional course at a mixologist school. Mixologist is a person who is skilled in mixing or inventing cocktail drinks, the individual should also know how to consistently blend drinks that looks and taste good. If you are interested in pursuing this as a career, you can find a lot of schools offering these classes, both online and offline.
Thanks to our technological age we can now attend classes online. However, while there are many benefits of taking these classes online such as staying at home, avoiding driving daily and saving on gas expenses, there are also benefits of doing the classes in person. Considering that bartending requires persons to get hands on training, if you want to be a good mixologist you would need to make the drinks. You would also get the chance to learn other things at a mixologist school that you would not see online. When it comes to fully grasping the art of mixing drinks and benefiting from the best learning experience you need to be in the classroom with instructors, asking questions and pouring drinks. You definitely have to be careful because you might feel as if you have early onset alzheimers disease.
When you are just getting started in this career it is a must that you get hands on training in basic bar techniques, alcohol awareness, bar equipment and utensils, the general layout of a facility, customer service, art of preparing garnish, identifying different types of glasses to serve wine and cocktails and more. In addition to blending and serving drinks, a bartender also learn how manage cash, stock inventory and other related task.
Once you have the basic understanding of the arrangements at a bar, how to mix drinks or make cocktails and serve customers, then you would be on your way to become a professional bartender. Most of the schools will provide textbooks along with the practical training, so you can garner your skills even outside of the classroom. Some schools will even give examinations after class each day depending on the course you are taking, while others will have different times which can be 1 day, 1 week, 2 weeks or longer.
While studying at a mixologist school the drinks are made with colored water from alcohol bottles, so this will give the impression that you are using the real thing and the garnishes are also cut from some kind of colored foam. No real alcohol is ever used, so this eliminates the possibility of anyone getting drunk during training.
Bartending Colleges – The Degree And Certificate Programs
Bartending colleges have degree and certificates programs that are offered all over the country. These programs last between one and two years. They also have affordable tuition and flexible payment options which most schools tend to offer so that no one is turned away from learning when they actually want to. The program prepares the individuals for a fast paced career in the mixing of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages and other related drinks and also to become a certified bartender.
In the bartending program training includes bar and lounge management; bar service operation in the hospitality industry; the mixing of various drinks; accounting and cash management, customer service, employment and labor regulations and most importantly the laws, rules and regulation pertaining to alcohol in whichever state the school is located.
Some bartending schools located in the United States offer casino training as gambling is really a popular activity in most states and having this training will not only allow you to get a better job, but also a better pay. In bartending colleges, the students are taught how to identify when someone has a little too much to drink; how to spot underage drinkers and when to intervene in certain situations like calling the local authorities if a bar fight develops. There are also some courses providing education in extreme bartending, which involves all the fancy tricks and flips in order to entertain the guests and make colorful and tasty drinks.
Extreme bartending are usually seen on cruise ships, certain bars and clubs and various hotels on specialized nights. Generally, this is a form of promotion for business to attract more customers or just fulfilling the request of a very important guest. Various colleges and schools offer job placement after their students have successfully graduated their courses. These institutions also teach people skills like how to deal with the screaming customer; how to deal with an annoying customer who finishes his or her drink in five minutes and also how to deal with hundreds of customers.
While it is impossible to learn everything at bartending colleges, you are able to learn some important skills that will help you on the job. For instance, one can learn basic time management skills that will help in situations which involve counseling a customer on a slow night at the bar and also how to avoid talking to customers without being rude on busy nights. They teach the importance of being polite to persons, because mixing a tasty cocktail is not always enough to get you a big tip, you also have to be courteous to your guests and execute orders in a timely and professional manner.
Ways To Earn A Good Bartender Salary
A bartender salary will be established by their place of employment and this amount will be different in every location. Nowadays, these people are employed in different establishments such as large restaurants, hotels, bars, cocktail lounges, private clubs, cruise ships and trains. As a result, there are many variables to examine when it comes to earning a very good salary if you are considering this career.
Normally, a bartender earns a low hourly salary which ranges from approximately $5.00 to $8.00 plus tips. Tips are where a bartender earns most of their income, so naturally you could expect to get larger amounts at high end hotels and popular restaurants. It has been documented that the tips can usually double or quadruple their hourly salary. In an average bar a person can earn between $15.00 and $18.00 an hour between salary and tips.
By Law it is mandatory for bartenders to claim their tips as salary. Generally, a manager or an organization will withhold taxes on tips just like normal income in anticipation that they would not have any money owing at the end of the year.
The secret to make more money when working in a busy bar setting is to try and serve as much drinks as possible while providing very good service. By being sincere, respectful, proficient and consistent you will also get the best shifts. You also have to be friendly with the customers but know where to draw the line. Bartenders can also be promoted to managerial jobs, but this would be based on their expertise and skill.
Some bartenders working in big restaurant establishments are given the chance to go into the company’s formal training program for management positions. Also many bartenders make most of their money outside of their normal bar setting by working at parties, special functions, weddings and other places. They also compete in bartending competitions which usually offer cash prizes to winners. Even if you attend these competitions and you are not the winner, this will be a great way to get exposure and increase your bartender salary as there is always the prospect of being recruited to do jobs on cruise ships and other places.
Finally, a good way to boost your bartender salary is to teach classes to individuals who want to improve their skills. In addition, you could create your own specials and serve customers with innovative styles in order to earn some extra cash. All in all, there are many opportunities for you to excel if this is your chosen career field and become one of the top bartenders in your state.