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Break into Bartending

Break into Bartending

Jamie Popp | Monster Contributing Writer

Double-digit job growth is expected in food services and drinking places during the next six years, according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics. That includes restaurants, bars, clubs, pubs and taverns. This is great news for wannabe bartenders and servers. Polishing your act with the right look and skill set will help you mix up a potent career in the restaurant, bar or nightclub scene.

Certification and Training Are Key

If you want to work for a national chain, a bartending certificate is a must, emphasizes Chad Ryan, manager of New York City-based nightclub Therapy.

At Vintage Wine Bar & Restaurant in St. Paul, drink servers and pourers are expected to learn 20 wines served by the glass and mix all of the martinis on its extensive list. Fortunately for servers with limited experience, menus can serve as cheat sheets. And the restaurant provides beverage training to exceptional candidates, according to general manager Dan Nelsen.

Mixing Drinks Just One Part of the Job

Bars and clubs across the country are looking for a key element in potential employees: Talent. Ryan believes only 25 percent of bartending is about making drinks. Other skills he seeks include an ability to handle large amounts of money, confidence with clients, intelligence and wit.

“We also look for candidates who are more willing and flexible [to work when needed] but not desperate, and we consider the size and notoriety of their previous employer,” Ryan says.