People often ask what the best bar to start working in would be. However, I don’t provide a simple answer to that question. There are certainly almost as many different kinds of pubs to get hired at as there are breeds of bartenders. And my answer is everyone of them would be a good starting position. Even if I would prefer to get a job at a cartain environment certainly does not mean other bartenders would and vice versa. Take some time to consider what type of bar you can see yourself succeeding in, since all bars require working hard and a excellent quality bartending education.
As I first began bartending, I didn’t want to bartend in a restaurant. I was convinced I was too good to mix real drinks and not concern myself with serving entrees or have to memorize the silly menu. But nevertheless, this is from where I launched my profession. In my head, I was a bartender for goodness sakes, not some server. In hindsight looking, back to my first bartending job, it’s worth stating that I had the wrong attitude regarding getting a job in a restaurant for my first bartending job.
There are many benefits to bartending in a restaurant. First of all, the more you sell, the higher your tabs will be and the bigger tip you will (hopefully) receive. I can sell specialty cocktails all night long and make pretty decent money, but when I sell specialty cocktails, full dinner service and maybe a couple after-dinner cocktails, I’m going to go home with a lot more money in my pocket. Nowadays, I look at serving food at the bar as a pay raise, not a burden.
Another benefit to bartending in a restaurant? The hours. Sure, I might start earlier than the nightclub bartenders, but I am also out of work before midnight and can still either get a good night’s sleep like the rest of the population or go out with my friends after work on the weekends. The whole sleep the day away thing used to work for me when I was younger, but now that I am older, I enjoy being up among the living. I feel somewhat like a normal person, but who has a cool job.
I can’t cook. Even though I tell people I know how to cook, I only know how to cook three or four recipes really well, without burning my kitchen down. On the nights that I am bartending, I know that I am going to eat like a queen thanks to staff meals or generous staff discounts on menu items. This is only a benefit if you enjoy the food on the menu. Luckily, I do.
Let’s not forget, there is plenty of money to be made bartending in a restaurant. Not only are you being tipped out by the patrons who drink and dine at your bar, but your servers are tipping you out at the end of the night as well.
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