tips for being a bartender

How to Take Advantage of Your Time Behind the Stick

Tips For Being A Bartender

Editors Note: This is a guest post from Tom Blake, owner of Crafty Bartending, Tom is going to share with us the tips for being a bartender that he wishes he was told all them years ago when he first started out. 

Over to you Tom...

When I was first starting out as a bartender, I wish someone had sat me down and told me exactly what I needed to do to take advantage of my time behind the stick.

It would have been amazing if someone had said...

Tom, do this, do that. Focus on this, focus on that and your life as a bartender will be incredible!

Instead, I had to figure things out on my own. And even though I got there eventually, it took longer than it needed to.

Well, I don’t want you to spend as much time as I did trying to figure out how to live an amazing life as a bartender. What’s the point?

In my eyes, it makes a lot more sense if I share with you the lessons I’ve learned from 6 years of bartending so you can start taking full advantage of your time behind the stick today.

Sounds good?

Good! ;-)

This is the advice I wish I’d been given when I was starting out so hopefully, you’ll find it useful.


Choose Where You Work Wisely

Of all the things that will determine how enjoyable your time behind the stick will be, where you work is the most important.

The venue you work for will dictate the type of people you work with, the owners & managers you work for, what you’re going to learn, the hours you’ll be working, days-off, clientele, etc.

And as far as bartending jobs go, some can be amazing whilst others will be terrible.

One venue I worked for in particular didn’t pay us properly, the owner hated everyone (including himself), the managers were alcoholics/drug addicts and they treated you like shit, there was no “team-spirit’, and no-one wanted to be there…

It was an extremely depressing work environment and I almost left the industry entirely because of it…

But then you’ve got the good venues and these jobs make you want to be a bartender forever!

The owners are friendly and they treat you with respect, the managers actively encourage you to become the best you can be, you’re given free drinks, cheap food, staff parties, and the entire team goes out for drinks after work because everyone’s up for a good time.

These are the kinds of venues you want to work for and you should go out of your way to find them.

Your time as a bartender depends on it.

Your time as a bartender depends heavily on where you choose to work Click To Tweet

What are You Doing this For?

You also need to take into consideration why you want to be a bartender in the first place. Because that’s going to affect the type of venue you should be working for too.

For example, if you want to learn about craft beer, you enjoy working nights, and you want to work somewhere with a ‘party’ atmosphere, don’t work in a cafe! Work in a craft beer bar/pub instead.

It sounds pretty obvious (and it is), but most people don’t think about it and they take the first job they’re offered… But if you want to take advantage of your time behind the stick, you need to be different!

You need to have a think about what you’re doing this for. Then choose the venues you work for accordingly.

Here are a few questions you could ask yourself to help you figure this out:

  • Why do I want to be a bartender? Fund studies? Eventually open up my own bar? Improve my social skills? etc…

  • What do I want to learn?

  • What kind of venues do I enjoy frequenting? Cafes, restaurants, sports bars, cocktail bars, nightclubs, fine-dining, dive bars, or pubs?

  • Night time or day time? Full time or part time?

  • What’s the management team like? Are the owners good people? Is there room for progression and is there room to grow? Do I like the other staff members that work here?

  • Do the other staff members seem happy? Is this a toxic environment?

You don’t need to know the answers to all of these questions now, but having some idea will give you a better indication of what you might enjoy. Then it’s as simple as experimenting with different jobs until you find something that you love.

Location, Location, Location

Where you live matters…

There’s nothing worse than finishing your shift at 3am and then having to drive home for an hour when you’re tired, hungry, and all of your colleagues have gone out drinking.

Overtime, this becomes frustrating because you’ll find that it’s during these nights out, when everyone’s out drinking together, that you & your colleagues develop strong friendships. If you’re the bartender that never goes out, it can make you feel like an outsider.

I’ve been there before and trust me, it’s not fun!

When you’re at work, your colleagues will laugh about something that happened the night before, you’ll ask them what happened, they’ll stop laughing, stare at you blankly and say “You had to be there…

Then go back to laughing with each other and acting like you don’t exist.

That’s when you know it’s time to move out!

So living close to where you work is important. It means that you’re able to go out with your colleagues after work without having to worry about driving home or finding somewhere to crash.

You’ll simply be able to stumble home whenever you like and you’ll develop closer relationships with your colleagues because of it.

That doesn’t mean you need to live next door, a cheap uber/taxi ride home is close enough.Tips For Being A Bartender

Learn as Much as You Can

In any industry, employers want to hire the best people they can. From their perspective, the better their employees are, the more money their business will make and the happier their customers will be.

However, great employees are hard to come by. Especially in the hospitality industry.

For us bartenders, that’s great news for you. Because it means that the more skilled and knowledgeable you are, the more opportunities you’ll have because most venues will want/need to hire you.

Suddenly, finding great places to work becomes easy and it gives you options. You’ll be able to choose where you work instead of taking whatever you can get. And you’ll be able to make more money too because you can choose to work for the venues that bring in more tips.

This freedom, flexibility, and peace of mind (read higher pay-check) is priceless.

So work on becoming the best bartender you can be and learn as much as you can. It will take time, but it’s worth it.

So work on becoming the best bartender you can be and learn as much as you can Click To Tweet

Here are a few things you should focus on:

Hone your people skills

The most important part of a bartenders job is to make their customers happy. That requires a solid set of people skills and the ability to give outstanding customer service. So this is what you should focus on improving the most.

To start, focus on smiling, maintaining eye contact, welcoming people when they arrive, bidding them goodbye when they leave, listening to their stories, telling them stories, telling jokes, and learning how to sell.

The theory of everything

No, that doesn’t mean you have to become a physicist and figure out the meaning of life. What it means is that you should learn the theory of everything bartending related.

That includes learning about beer, wine, liquor, liqueurs, cocktail ingredients, cocktails in general, service, coffee, and tea.

Develop your senses

Finally, you need to develop your senses. In particular, your senses of taste and smell.

A bartender’s sense of taste and smell is crucial if they’re going to know much of anything they’re serving behind the bar. They need to be able to taste the cocktails they’re making to ensure that they’re balanced. And they need to be able to smell a wine to make sure it’s ok (i.e. Not oxidised or corked).

Not being able to do this will hinder your abilities as a bartender. Here’s a great article to help get you started: How to Taste Wine & Develop your Palate.

How do you learn all of this?

Read books & blogs, take courses, ask questions, listen to experts, find a mentor, visit wineries, visit breweries, watch great bartenders in action and try & emulate them, and/or work in a bunch of different bars.

But the most important thing you can do is PRACTICE. Whenever and wherever you can.

It’s all About the PeopleTips For Being A Bartender

One of the best parts about being a bartender is the people you get to meet and the people you get to work with.

When you work behind the bar, you’re exposed to all sorts of characters from all over the world. Businessmen, teachers, backpackers, students, entrepreneurs, scientists, and other bartenders too.

You’ll find that the more people you get to know, the more enjoyable you’re time behind the stick will be (who doesn’t want more friends?). And it could even help your life & career as well. Whether that’s in the hospitality industry or not.

Look at it like this, let’s say you want to be an engineer but you have no idea how to get a job in this field. One day you’re chatting to a customer who just so happens to be the owner of a Fortune 500 engineering company.

If you become friends with this person and you tell him how badly you want to be an engineer, he might offer you a job.

There’s also the possibility of meeting your future husband/wife (like I did) whilst you’re at work or on a night out with your colleagues.

So take the time and get to know your customers. You never know, it could change your life. But at the very least, you’ll get a bunch of great travel ideas.


My favourite part about being a bartender is the freedom & flexibility it gives you to travel. As far as professions go, there’s no other job like it.

The hospitality industry is unique in the sense that venues don’t mind hiring people temporarily. This makes traveling as a bartender easy because you can fund your travels by picking up work as you go.

Most 9-5s don’t give you this kind of freedom. You’ll only be given 2-4 weeks in holiday time a year (it’s never enough!) and it’s almost impossible to pick up work on the road (no-one will hire you temporarily).

When you’re a bartender, you don’t need to worry about any of this. You can stay overseas for as you like and since traveling is awesome, the longer you can do it for, the better.

You could move overseas and learn a foreign language, do a ski season in the French alps, a summer season in Ibiza, or spend a few months backpacking through South America/South-East Asia.

Whatever form of travel takes your fancy, you should take advantage of it now. Because you never know how long you’ll be a bartender for and you’ll never get to experience this kind of freedom to travel again.

Seize the day!Tips For Being A Bartender

It’s easy to get lost in drunken escapades when you’re a bartender. Your colleagues invite you out, you’ve got friends working in late night bars, and going out is fun!

But when you wake up the following morning feeling hungover & tired, it’s very easy to waste the day by spending it in bed.

Avoid this as much as possible!

Because having your days free to do whatever you want is one of the best parts about being a bartender.

It means you can go to the beach & catch up with friends. You could go surfing, snowboarding, hiking, exploring, take a language class, learn a new skills, or spend the entire day learning as much as you can about bartending (see ‘Learn as much as you can’).

Most people don’t get to do this because they have to spend their days at work.

So take a break from drinking every now and then, wake up early and seize the day! I promise you won’t regret it ;-).

Final tips for being a bartender

To finish, I want to leave you with one final piece of advice. If you’ve read through this article and realised that there are a few things changes you’d like to make, take a minute and think about what change would make the biggest difference in your life right now.

Whether that’s changing jobs, moving house, going traveling, becoming a better bartender, or spending your days more wisely, what change would make the biggest difference to you?

Whatever that answer may be, focus on changing that first! Because if you try and change everything at once, you’ll give up and you’ll end up changing nothing.

Focusing on changing one thing at a time gives you a fighting chance.

Focusing on changing one thing at a time makes you be the best bartender you can be! Click To Tweet

Good luck!

And let me know how you go in the comments below. Also, for the benefit of everyone, is there anything else you’d recommend doing to better take advantage of your time behind the stick or any other tips for being a bartender?

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cure a hangover

How To Cure A Hangover Before It Takes Over You

cure a hangover

You know the feeling – a pounding headache, serious drowsiness and a level of irritability usually reserved for children’s birthday parties. Yep, it's the dreaded hangover, but do we know how to cure a hangover?

In an industry where appreciating an alcoholic beverage after a long evening of entertaining is a standard practice, sometimes the side effects can sneak up on even the most seasoned slingers.

Whether you’ve had one beer or four, a hangover can strike when you least expect it. Prevention is possible, but when that doesn’t work – there are cures from around the world that can change the game and get you back on your feet.

Our friends at have compiled a guide with everything you need to know in order to avoid a hangover. Cheers!

If you want to read the full, and potentially pain saving, article from the guys then you can check it out on their blog  and fully delve into how to cure a hangover.

Right! - How to cure a Hangover 101


Source: Blog


What's your favourite hangover cure?

What stories have you heard about others trying to cure a hangover?

We will leave you with a quote from 'A Beautiful Mind'

'Did you know that having a hangover is not having enough water in your body to run your Krebs cycles? Which is exactly what happens to you when you're dying of thirst. So, dying of thirst would probably feel pretty much like the hangover that finally bloody kills you.'

Just remember, Your hangover isn't as bad as it could be...


bar training

Why Bar Training Just Isn't Enough Anymore: A Bar Trainers Perspective

Juan Pablo Hinojosa Orlandini tells us why he believes that bar training just isn't enough anymore and what else we as bar tenders should learn to be the best that we can be. This is a Guest Post from Juan about Bar Training. Sit back and relax and drink it all up.

"Tell me and I forget; teach me and I may remember; involve me and I will learn” - the Xunzi Books, by Xun Kuang - Wrongfully attributed to Benjamin Franklin.

Tell me and I forget; teach me and I may remember; involve me and I will learn Click To Tweet

So, what's your first experience with Bar Training?

Bar Training

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Working behind the bar is not easy, you are always exposed and every move you make is seen, which is tiresome and, even if we would like, we are not always up to our 100% mistakes will be made. This is more obvious when we are just starting our bar service life.

I remember my first job in a club at 18, a customer asked me for a capoeira, a well known drink in south america, is a frozen cocktail of 1 oz Vodka 2 oz Coffee liqueur and about 2 oz of condensed milk. I was nervous and i forgot to add the condensed milk to the mix, well the drink came out with a lot more bite than intended, and the customer politely declined to finish the drink, i didn’t realize the mistake until it was too late to be rectified, the customer was gone and I made one of the biggest mistakes a bartender can make, no not serving a wrong drink, but negatively affect the experience of the customer.

I felt really minuscule, and even worse unprepared for the job i had. I know most of you have had this feeling at one time in your job life, and if you haven’t well i can only say it WILL happen.

Hence the name of this article “ Why Bar Training Just Isn't Enough Anymore” I believe that that bartending has gone past the title of trade job onto the title of profession.

It's not like in past times where you would learn about bartending while working behind the bar in an empiric way. Nowadays the subject has become more serious devolving into a debate that excites. “Theory vs. Practice”. Which is has more use at the job?

should you hit the books and training videos or just dive straight into mixing cocktails and taking names.

Bar training programs should prepare you the best way possible for real world bar work (mouthful to say huh?), the reality of it when everything isn’t just pouring well is to engage your customers in an experience they won’t forget.

bar training

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As said Bartending has evolved from a trade to a profession, from a guy with sleeves garters serving ales, cleaning cups and hearing the misfortunes of customers, to a well read man that guides the flavor trends of your local community and also hears the misfortunes of his customers. (somethings just don’t change), we used to look at the bartender as someone who was just doing a job to get by, who eventually would mature and get a proper job.

This happens less and less as bartenders nowadays have broken into the mainstream and can get well paid jobs and respect from the community. So what does it mean that now bartending is a profession?

well basically you are no longer a passive tool that the customer uses to get alcohol, but an active one that can foresee the needs of the customer before hand, also that you have a vast theoretical knowledge that supports what you are doing, such knowledge the customer doesn’t have and pays to be infused from it.

Now that last statement might get me in trouble, i’m basically saying the customer is not always right, even if this statement proves to be correct further down the road. it doesn’t mean that you can be a smug dick thanks to it.

Being a professional also means having a drive to know more or to innovate, it means not just to serve the customers until the shift ends and then go home in early morning, but to stay after shifts or come early to experiment with your service or the vast flavours and sensations different liqueurs and spirits can provide.

This is the primordial curiosity that good bartenders are known for and opened the way for it to became something bigger than a trade. We could say a professional bartender thanks to his innate curiosity values the advantages to be found by focussing in the theory of mixing alcoholic drinks.

This does not suggest that theory triumphs over practice, which lead us to our second point

“Theory vs. Practice”

an interesting debate, which could be an article by itself. Here is where traditional profession and trade clashes, normally trade focusses more on practice and profession on theory

It’s normal to hear bar courses advertising themselves as 60%, 80% or 100% pure practice, but giving practice more time in the course only gives as a result, what i like to call “Robot Bartenders” servers who are great at following orders, doing a fast and clean job, could pour 10 martinis under 5 min.

All the while keeping tabs on different customers,  and when asked about why the stirring of a martini they can only answer “because that’s how you do it” i feel that right there, they are failing in the creation and management of experiences for the customer.

The reasoning behind a cocktail is as important as the taste itself, for example a Gin martini should be stirred because it provides better control of the ice dilution and so you can prevent the Gin from losing its aromatics, that kind of reasoning can only be achieved by a thoroughly understanding of the theory of mixing.

Yes some customers don’t want to be bothered about the subtleties of mixing cocktails, but many are intrigued and in knowing, you create a stronger bond with the customer which results with a new regular.

Now as much as there is “Robot Bartenders” you can get stuck in the theory of mixing you will devolve into a “Mixing Philosopher.”

Do you study infographics like this or do you jump right in and learn whilst making?

Bar Trainng

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This is someone who knows everything there is to know about spirits and liqueurs but can’t serve a proper pint of beer, or takes about 5 min to mix a rum and coke. Clearly you see any extreme of the spectrum creates a bartender under qualified for proper bar work. So do we have to teach new bartenders to be the perfect mix?

More often than not i see whether in the internet or in my city, courses that advertise themselves as a practice focussed course, something like 80% practical 20% theory. I understand our profession is one where our faults are more evident in practice and for the theory you can dance your way around with a persuasive tongue.

But think it as a balancing act if you overload one side you are sure to fall, but if you manage both sides you create a better act.

So i would advise care when you are choosing a bar training course to take, if you are to take one, i know that you might only find the practice driven ones, but if you do you should enter with a mindset that you will have to learn you theory through other means.

The Theory/Practice relationship is not the kind where one of them must prevail over the other, it is a symbiotic one where they both feed from the other creating better service and experience for the customer.

So bartending is more than a trade, it requires a balance of theory and practice, But Bar Training programs must have a full experience (Beyond Theory and Practice) that prepares you to deal with actual bar work.

Bar Training programs must have a full experience (Beyond Theory and Practice) that prepares you to deal with actual bar work. Click To Tweet

Even if your course is a well thought out one with an equal focus in theory and practice. I can assure you it will not prepare you 100% for your actual shift behind the bar, like we say in my country...

“otra cosa es, con guitarra” meaning “Is a whole different thing with the actual guitar”

What i mean is that the moment you are behind the bar in your first shift, you will get anxious and nervous, probably will forget even the most basic cocktails guides, like putting the condensed milk in your Capoeira. Just like i did all those years ago

So what else does a bartender need in their Bar Training?


Bar Training

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So my hypothesis is that we should add a subtle third aspect to a bar training course: “Charm”.

You know bar work is not just making a good cocktail, teach your audience about the world of alcohol, getting to know your customers or getting the numbers of hot girls or guys. You have to asses the more tricky situations like how to deal with drunkards, obnoxious clients, disrespectful clients or people that think you because you are a server you are below them, that’s where charm enters normally you pick this up with sweat and tears after years of regular work.

But what if your bar training course prepares you at least a bit for that, now the question is how?

Well this shouldn’t be a subject you have to pass, charm is not easily taught, like i said it is a subtle aspect you must feed it seamlessly through group activities, small somewhat irrelevant dissertations and even yet some improvisation classes where people will relax and open themselves in a secure environment.


So to finish, Bartending is no longer a trade for it has developed into a well thought and complex matter where you must understand the making of the cocktail as much as the reasoning behind it.

A proper bar training course understands this

And so it prepares you in a balance of theory and practice, so you are able to perform with all the tools you need behind the bar.

But yet bar courses should go the extra mile and subtlety try to infuse you with that third elusive aspect that is charm, that way you will be truly prepared to face the vast types of people you will find seated opposite you at the bar top

A great place to start is The 20 Commandments Of Being A Bartender

So let me know: do you take Bartending as a proper profession, are you more theory or practice driven? And do you have that charm?


Hello! I'm Juan Pablo Hinojosa Orlandini - Professional Bartender with 10 years of experience, Internationally trained, started working in bars at 17 made head bartender at 18, started my own bar at 19 and currently teaching at my own Academy. All my years of experience have taught me that Bartending is not about cocktails per se but the art of making your guest's experience an unforgivable one, as such i'm happy to be the E to your Vincent Chase. Cheers!


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Bartender Salary

Bartender Salary : Are You Getting Paid Enough? Find Out Now

Are You Getting The Right Amount Of Pay?

Probably not, Let's take a look at the issue of Bartender Salary.

Let's face it, sometimes its hard work and sometimes it's easy work. When it is hard work though, having the best bartender salary available to you makes everything that little bit more worthwhile.

You know the moment that you are cleaning up something that you shouldn't be cleaning up unless you have a newborn. And the slightly intoxicated guy asks you if you "get paid enough money for doing that?" Well now you can finally answer them.

There are probably questions that you have all the time about your pay such as;

How much does my bartender salary compare to everyone else's?

Should I really be putting this insane amount of effort in for these guys?

Am I getting paid what I deserve?

So, how much SHOULD you be earning?

What we are going to do for you is to take a look at Australia, USA and The UK and the current bartender salary stats that will give you a better understanding of where you are at financially at the moment, why do some of us do this job if it isn't for the money? And, perhaps most importantly, how to increase your bartender salary if you need to.

Bartender Salary: Australia

Australia with its big cities and long beaches really does have a treasure trove of cocktail bars and pubs that are not only incredibly cool but are expertly run in most cases. With Melbourne just been voted once again the most liveable city in the world and Adelaide taking the number 5 spot there is no reason for a bartender not to settle here and have the time of their lives. Lets take a look at what Australia pays it's bartenders.

Bartender Salary - Australia

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Now as we can see above. Australian bartender salary on a whole sits at an average wage of around $19ph. It doesn't matter how experienced you are as a bartender, if you take the bartender position you will be earning around the same amount as the newcomer.

Bummer we know, but there as to be a reason for us to want to do it when the average wage of a full time Australian earner in any profession stands at a little over $75k a year as you can see in the image below.

Bartender Salary

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Okay so we know that the average wage of a bartender on a whole here is grossly less than the national average but what happens to that bartender salary when you get the promotion and become a bar manager?

We both know that because you are following this site you will all hopefully get a promotion at one point and step closer to a pay that matches your talents and commitment.

Bartender Salary

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Australian Bar Managers have an average national salary of $49K AUS still short of the overall national average.

Remember that this amount is spread out across the whole country so lets take a look at which regions have a higher pay difference from the $49K AUS.

bar salary


So as you can see here being a Bar Manager in Perth is going to reward you with 7% more overall than the national average which equates to around $52.5K AUS. Sydney at around $50K AUS. And Brisbane $49.5K AUD

Whilst Melbourne sits on the national average

So if Melbourne hits the national average bar manager salary how does it sit on the average bartender salary? Well let's take a look below.


Bartender salary Melbourne

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Even though we would argue that Melbourne's bar scene is one of the best in the world we can see from the stats that the average bartender salary is less that that of the national average bartender salary of $19.28ph AUD

Does the average #Melbourne #bartender really only get $18 p/h? Click To Tweet

Bartender Salary: USA

Bartending in USA is for many the holy grail, a chance to earn a great wage from tips and move up very quickly within the industry.

There was a time when being a bartender was considered a stepping-stone career. “I was behind the bar, and people would ask me, ‘So what do you want to do eventually?’” - “Now, we’ve come to a place where bartending is respected and a chosen profession.”  

This is all according to Julie Reiner who is the beverage director and co-owner of the Clover Club in Brooklyn, New York, and founder of the consulting firm Mixtress Consulting.

So it seems that the USA is a great place to learn the trade and become the bartender you want to be. But how does the bartender salary stack up across the board?

Bartender Salary

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We can see here that the hourly rates differ so much throughout the country dependent on your geographical location. But one constant stays the same no matter where about you choose to work and ply your trade, that is that your wage will be heavily supplemented by tips.

In fact more than half of the average American bartender salary is made up by Tips alone.

But what does this equate to when we look at it as a yearly salary?

bartender salary

That's an average of around $25,000 USD for a bartender per year. But the difference between bottom and top learners is so large compared to that of the Australian and UK Bartender.

It comes down to two major aspects that effect a bartenders salary in the USA - The aspects are Location and Experience and it heavily changes how much you get paid. But in what way? First lets take a look at experience and how that can effect your bartender salary.


Bartender Salary

Bartender Salary


But why are we seeing this trend in America but not elsewhere?

We believe it to be based on the attitude that others have towards bartenders in general. As Steven Poland says on, the difference between British bartending and American bartending is "Being able to tell people you are a bartender".

He argues that outside of America working 60 - 70 hours a week 5 days a week as a bar manager or bartender isn't seen as a valid profession.

Whereas within the American system bartenders have an opportunity the reach there full potential through experience and further training.

It's this great attitude towards the profession in The USA that allows bartenders to flourish therefore making experienced ones more valuable to a company or independent bar and in turn they are paid more for their services.

However in other countries where this attitude towards the profession isn't shared you will see a lot less make it to this level of experience and pay before dropping out of the profession.

Bartender Salary

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So a bartender salary changes from state to state, but why? Rob Doherty believes there are a few giant reasons for this to be the case.

Minimum wages: The laws differ from state to state. Some employers in some states have to offer a fixed wage next to the tips that the bartender already earns whereas some states the bartenders can work just for tips.

bartender salary

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Whereas in the traditional conservative regions bartenders can earn considerably less than the more liberal states.

Lower minimum wages: Most employers in areas compared to the big cities pay less because they make less

Lower population density: This ultimately leads to lower tips due to less custom

This image below shows the average wage of a bartender throughout the USA. Put simply, the darker the blue the more the average bartender salary is.

bartender salary

We can take a look at this in another way here below. Let's take a look at the Top paying Metropolitan and NonMetropolitan areas within the USA. Are you working in one of these areas? If so are you earning at least the average?

bartender salary

bartender salary

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Comparison to national average:

Fox Business took a look at some of the average salaries in the USA that you can see in the image below. We know already that the average bartender salary (the whole of the USA) is around $25,000 USD. So where does this fit in on the scale? Well we can see that a bartender with limited experience can make more than an experienced cashier, as well as keeping up with all the other professions in terms of a competitive salary when you take into account that you do not need a university degree to bartend and so you can spend that time building experience to ultimately make you same amount of money as a fresh graduate who as taken a course in Business Administration.

Bartender Salary


Interestingly enough as well we found some differences in how much different companies actually pay on average for their bartenders. Take a look at the graph below to see where your employers sit on the generosity scale when it comes to your salary.

Bartender Salary

Bartender Salary: UK

Let's jump straight in with a look at how much the average wage is.

Bartender Salary

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And as a yearly Bartender Salary:

Bartender Salary

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Now as we can see above. The UK bartender salary on a whole sits at an average wage of around 6.35GBP per hour or around 14k per year with the median hitting nearer the 14.5k per year mark.  

Experience doesn't play a huge part in determining how much you get as we can see here on this image below;

Bartender Salary

In fact it has an opposite correlation between experience and pay to what everyone would expect. A mid career bartender actually earns more than the experienced bartender.

But what does play a huge part is;

  • Age (not to be confused with experience when it comes to the UK)
  • Location 


The age of the employee plays a huge role in a bartenders starting salary in the UK. We also know that experience doesn't change the wage structure by very much so we can presume that a lot of the bartenders working today in the UK are in there first jobs or at least in the first stages of their working lives. Lets see below exactly what is the minimum wages based on age alone for any industry

Bartender Salary

And when we take a look at the levels of experience on average in the bartending industry we can see that it is true that most bartenders, in fact a whopping 78% of all of them are in the first stages of their working lives.

Which means that the Minimum Wage will play a large part in how much people are being paid.

bartender salary

If the minimum wage for 21 and over is 6.70 GBP and over 18 - 20 is 5.30 GBP

and you have to be over 18 to be a bartender in the UK.

Then the average wage for a 50/50 mix of these two ages is  6.00 GBP per hour. The average wage for the UK as we know is 6.35 GBP per hour (though these figures are pushed higher with the average London wage). And we know that most employees are in there first jobs where minimum wage is most likely the pay they receive.

How is it possible for you guys to push for more pay if you are earning more than the national average?

Is this the reason why people feel as though this isn't a feasible career option? employers can't 'reward' their staff with monetary incentives like they can in other countries because the wage they recieve will periodically go up over time with their age

Does the minimum wage mean that employers are only employing inexperienced 18 year olds? just so they can save money?

As the minimum wage actually made it harder to move up further within the industry? or at least removed the intensity? 


As you would expect the average wage of a bartender in the capital is higher than elsewhere. In fact the average bartender salary in London is largely responsible for pushing up the national average. But are you getting paid enough if you live there? Let's take a look

Bartender Salary

Okay so you should expect to earn 7% more than the national average. Better illustrated in the image below;

Bartender Salary

Bartender Salary

Image Sources

But does this average actually mean you are earning less than other bartenders in other cities? This is a question of the average living costs and London falls pretty highly on that ladder.

London's living wage is a incredible 9.40 GPB per hour on average which leaves the average bartender salary falling very short of making a comfortable wage.

The Secret Bartender as gone even further and argued that the Bartending wage is actually a lot lower than what it seems on the face of it.Bartender Salary

When you look at it that way, are you really happy with how much you are being paid? If you are interested in what the Secret Bartender's solution is to this problem, then see here .

Where abouts on the monetary level do you sit?

if the average living wage in #London is 9.40 then are we getting paid enough? Click To Tweet


Use the data as a tool in order to be more clued up on pay within your region and ultimately country. Its not all about the money in the end.

But now you know how much statistically you should be getting.

Always remember that you are only worth how good you are and more importantly how hard you try.

So what drives people to work if it isn't the money?

Why every week do millions of bartenders start their jobs when others are starting their nights out? 

We can only speculate - So we held a small poll and these are the top 4 results that came in.

  1. Social aspects
  2. Feeling of no way out / scared of change
  3. Love for the job and a passion for service
  4. At a loss on the job front (transferable skills etc..)


Some of these are quite interesting and also quite surprising in their own way.

Social aspects

There is a very fine line between work life and social life when you are a bartender and in most cases you have the amazing opportunity to work with your friends and your weekend isn't on the weekend so you don't know what it is like to queue at a bar

We have all worked those awkward corporate Christmas parties where a group of non-people get together and excruciatingly engage in small talk for 4 hours.

Be thankful that's not you

Feeling of no way out - Scared of change

We really did not expect this to feature so highly in the poll. But it is a serious issue that we could do a whole post on and shouldn't be taken lightly so in light of that we will link to some further reading;

How to let some one know that you are feeling this way

Some on the job strategies to help you deal with the feelings

Burnout Behind the Bar: Why It Happens and How to Avoid It

Forbes Take on How To Find A Job Whilst You Are Already Employed

Love for the job and a passion for service

We believed that this would rate higher in the poll. It is also worth noting that this passion cannot be taught.

There is a direct correlation between this passion and the bartenders that make it into stars within the industry and also ultimately make the money.

At a loss on the jobs front

These are the people who are actively looking for new jobs or they may be studying and plying the bartending trade just as an in-between job until they have finished their studies.

In short these are the people that don't see it as a career and so are doing it for the money that it is bringing in at the moment.

Nothing wrong with this - Our bars wouldn't run without these people.

In fact there are many transferable skills that you can take into any industry after being a bartender

What we want to know is why you guys go to work?

Do you have any pay horror stories that you wish you could of avoided?

We're also interested in knowing if you are being paid correctly or not, stats are great but they can’t rival real life first hand experience.

This is where you guys come in...


facts about alcohol

7 Amazing Facts About Alcohol That You Don't Know

Hopefully these facts about alcohol are all new to you...

It only takes 6 minutes to feel the effects of alcohol

Facts about alcohol

You know on some days when you have your first beer and it hits you right away? It happens from time to time. Well we all run the risk of being called a lightweight at this point, all your friends are fine but your not. Well they aren't either! Stop worrying. it has been scientifically proven that it only takes 6 minutes for alcohol to effect your brain, so one drink really does go straight to your head.

Scientists have found that 6 minutes after drinking an amount of alcohol equivalent to three beers, or two glasses of wine, changes have already taken place in the brain cells.

#didyouknow? It only takes 6 minutes for alcohol to effect your brain Click To Tweet


If you have blue eyes, you can drink more... yep it's true

facts about alcohol

Now we don't don't know if this harks back to the Vikings but genetics certainly has something to do with it. Scientists have proven that people with lighter eyes and more specifically blue eyes have a higher tolerance to alcohol. They first tested 10,860 Caucasian men, while the second sample set was made up of 1.862 Caucasian women.

The results were that blue eyed people can last longer, drink harder and react better to higher levels of alcohol. On a side note, i have blue eyes. This explains a lot.

I have blue eyes and i can drink more than you #dealwithit Click To Tweet


Alcohol doesn't make you forget anything

facts about alcohol

Right okay bare with us here. It's not that alcohol makes you forget - what it does is it actually makes it impossible for your brain to make memories. This is when you are 'Blackout Drunk'. Let me explain a little more; but firstly, its not like what the Men In Black use.

Blackouts are caused by a neurophysiological chemical disruption in the brain’s memory formation centre – the hippocampus. In simpler terms this means that your brain loses the ability to make a memory. It doesn't mean that you are so drunk you are on the floor. You could be the funniest person in the bar but not remember it the next day. It is almost like your brain is so drunk it forgets to hit record and has fun instead.

But for clarification, You don't forget anything. It's just that your brain couldn't record what you were doing.

Next time you ask yourself what happened last night? check this out Click To Tweet


The Russians didn't consider beer to be an alcoholic beverage until 2013

facts about alcohol

It is unclear as to why, It could be to due to the water content in beer or that it's strength is so far below the national drink of vodka. But one thing is for certain, beer was not sold as a recognised alcoholic beverage until New Years Day 2013.

Since this shift in policy towards beer many Russians feel that it has been counterproductive with lots of people moving over to the stronger harder vodka.

Beer wasn't legally an alcohol until 2013 #ifidofbeenbroughtupthere Click To Tweet


The strongest beer in the world has an ABV of 67.5%

facts about alcohol

Okay, so a show of hands, who's had this? The holy grail of bucket list beers.

It's name is 'Snake Venom'. It started life as a beer called 'Armageddon' and customers complained that it wasn't strong enough... well it was only 65% after all.

It is the creation of Brew Meister a company from Scotland who have made this beer a world record holding beer. Well done guys!

‘Snake Venom’ is now the world’s most potent beer and boasts of a dizzying 67.5% alcohol content. It comes with a warning and you’d be foolish not to pay heed to it. Drinking more than 35 ml, in one sitting, is not advisable.

#didyouknow? That the strongest beer in the world is 67.5% Click To Tweet


In professional shooting alcohol is a performance enhancing drug...

facts about alcohol

Alcohol slows your heart rate and relaxes your body. These are desirable traits for a professional shooter. But use of it is banned by the World Anti Doping Agency

Which sport would #alcohol enhance your performance in? Click To Tweet


There is such a thing as hangover free beer

facts about alcohol

That's it. It's official. We now live in the future!

We need to thank the Aussie scientists who have created a beer which hydrates you and so stops a hangover from happening.

They put electrolytes in the beer and found that it was three times more hydrating. What a great day.

I've just found out about hangover free #beer! Click To Tweet


So there we have it, 7 facts about alcohol that i hope you didn't already know. If you have more you want to share with us then leave a comment below. Now i've got to go, I've got some beer to drink.

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