How It Works

What does a Bartender do?

A bartender will typically do the following:

  • Greet customers, inform them about daily specials, and give them menus
  • Take drink orders
  • Pour wine and serve draft or bottled beer and other alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks
  • Mix drinks according to recipes
  • Check identification of customers to ensure they are of legal drinking age
  • Clean bars, tables, and work areas
  • Operate cash registers, collect payments from customers, and return change
  • Manage bar operation and order and maintain liquor and bar supplies

Some establishments, especially busy establishments with many customers, use equipment that automatically measures, pours, and mixes drinks at the push of a button. Bartenders who use this equipment, however, still must work quickly to handle a large quantity of drink orders and be familiar with the ingredients for special drink requests. In some establishments they may also use carbonated beverage dispensers, cocktail shakers or accessories, commercial strainers, mist or trigger sprayers, and ice shaver machines.

In addition to mixing and serving drinks, bartenders stock and prepare garnishes for drinks and maintain an adequate supply of ice and other bar supplies. They also may wash glassware and utensils, and serve food to customers who eat at the bar. They are typically responsible for ordering and maintaining an inventory of liquor, mixers, and other bar supplies.