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A bartender’s primary job is to serve drinks in pubs, bars and restaurants. Depending on the venue a bartender will have to know simple drinks and/or hundreds of different combinations and cocktails. Once the drinks are made quickly and neatly the bartender will then take payment.
Bartenders must reflect the atmosphere of the establishment he is working in. If it is an extremely smart bar, restaurant or hotel bar, they must be presentable, calm and modest, efficient and dressed usually in black tie. If it is a lively bar they may be expected to interact with the customers. In all cases bartenders must have excellent people skills and an affable demeanour.
Bartenders have made something of a comeback in recent years. They are now in high demand, particularly those with specialist skills. The two in the greatest demand are: Mixologists – bartenders that specialise in an array of cocktails and make them exactly right whilst adding some of their own flavours to increase the sensation. Flairists – bartenders ‘juggle’ bottles behind a bar for the entertainment of the customer.
Bartenders can supplement their pay from tips, so the more charming they are the greater chance there is that they will be rewarded. Remembering the drinks of individual clients and having them ready for when they return to the bar is a sure fire way to get noticed and appreciated as a bartender.
Maintenance of the bar is almost as important as serving drinks from behind it. Bartenders must keep check on glassware, cleanliness and stocks to ensure they are never unable to serve any drink they advertise as having.