How to Find the Best Bartending Jobs
If you are interested in having a career as a bartender, you no doubt have dreams of working at one of the hottest bars where you can hang out with cool people and make big money. It is important to understand that you cannot simply walk into a job like this. Jobs at the best bars are highly sought after. In order to get one of these choice jobs, there are several factors that will come into play other than experience.
Know what your strengths are
As in most jobs that are highly coveted, it is important that you have a significant amount of experience under your belt before you start applying for jobs at some of the best bars and nightclubs. However, there are certain situations where the manager of a bar or club is looking for other characteristics besides your bartending skills. For example, let’s say you are applying for a job as a bartender at a venue that has live bands on a regular basis. If you have a great deal of music knowledge, you could prove to be an important asset to the venue. Customers will want to return to a venue where the bartender is able to have a good conversation with them about the hottest bands. Tending bar at a music venue like this is not nearly as difficult as it is in other places. It primarily consists of beer and shots. However, a large amount of musical knowledge is difficult to obtain. Most bar managers would consider your knowledge to be invaluable.
This same idea can be applied to many different situations. If you happen to be a passionate sports fan, you should do yourself a favor and apply for jobs at all of your local sports bars. People at a sports bar want a bartender who is a knowledgeable sports fan that they can celebrate with when their team wins or commiserate with when they lose. If food is your passion, apply for a job in a fine dining establishment. If you happen to have an outgoing personality, you would be better served trying to find a job at a dance club where mingling with customers is often more important than in other bartending jobs.
To put it simply, your best chance of getting hired is to only apply to places where your particular interests and knowledge can quickly make you an integral part of the team. There are many people who can pour drinks, so emphasize your intangible knowledge during the interview.
Make a good impression
Once you have selected a few places that you want to work for, do not simply walk in and ask if they are hiring. Getting a good bartending gig usually requires you to lay a little groundwork first. Start out by going to the bar as a customer. Go there in the afternoon so there will not be many other people there. This will allow the bartender on duty to have more time to talk to you. Make small talk with him or her. Talk about some things that are directly related to the establishment you are in. Basically, you want to put your knowledge and gift of gab on display. When you feel your conversation has gone on long enough, leave and come back a few days later.
When you return, find the same bartender. If that bartender is not working, find out when he or she will be on duty again and come back at that time. When you get a hold of the bartender you spoke to previously, casually inquire if they are looking for any new bartenders. Since you have already talked at length with this bartender, there is a chance he or she will put in a good word for you with the manager if they are hiring. The bartender can fill the manager in about the knowledge you have regarding sports, music, food or whatever your expertise is. There is still no guarantee that you will get hired, but you have just put yourself in a much better position to land the gig than if you had walked in off the street and told the manager directly that you want a job.