HOW TO BE A BARTENDER? Without Any Prior Knowledge

How to become a Bartender
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Even with no prior experience, becoming a bartender in NYC isn’t as difficult as it sounds. The best way to learn how to be a bartender is to observe, learn from, and help an experienced bartender in the field. There are no state rules in NYC that state you must be licensed to become a bartender, but some employers may require bartenders or servers to complete these courses despite state or city laws. However, you can learn how to mix drinks like a pro without any previous bartending experience. even without attending bartending schools. Here is everything you need to know to get a job as a bartender with no experience.

What Does a Bartender Do?

A bartender is a person who works in a bar, restaurant, hotel, club, or other establishments, mixing and serving drinks to customers. They may serve customers from behind the bar or through waiters. Many bartenders also help to keep product inventory and supplies stocked at the bar where they work.

A bartender’s primary duties include: 

  • Blending and serving alcoholic beverages and other drinks to customers.
  • Working behind the bar, greeting and interacting with customers.
  • Taking drink orders and preparing them according to recipes and customer preferences.
  • Make sure that customers are of legal drinking age.
  • Taking payments from customers
  • Following the rules and regulations for food, alcoholic drinks, and other drinks

Is It Hard Being a Bartender?

Bartending is hard on your body. You will work in a high-pressure environment with a lot of demands. You’ll have to work late at night, and your weekends won’t be free. Work can be dull and repetitive.

Does Bartending Make Good Money?

Yes, bartenders make good money. The average wage of a bartender with tips is $60,787.2 per year. This is assuming they earn $12.91/hour in salary and $150/shift in tips.

How to Become a Bartender in NYC

#1. Carry Out a research

Identifying the type of bar you want to work at should be your first step. There are numerous types of bars, including country clubs, banquet halls, hotel bars, taverns, pubs, nightclubs, lounges, and so on, and each has a distinct atmosphere. As a result, you should consider where you would be happy to work.

The next thing you need to decide is how many hours you want to work. Are you looking for a full-time or part-time position? Are you attempting to accommodate a class schedule? Your response will influence the type of establishment you should consider. A nightclub, for example, will only be able to offer you part-time work, whereas a country club, tavern, or pub may be able to offer you something more substantial. Decide on which industry you want to work in and then make a list of local businesses that meet your requirements. You should begin with as long a list as possible. 

As soon as you have a list of places, go out to some of them and order a drink. Don’t forget that you’re not just there to have fun, so bring a notebook and a pen. Take note of the customer service skills and personalities of the various bartenders you encounter. Take note of how they interact with customers, what they say to you when you ask what you want, and when they take your money and return it with your change. When they aren’t busy serving customers, what do they do? Do they restock the supplies? How about polishing the glassware? Make a list of everything you notice about the staff’s actions.

#2.  Approach a Bartender

Bartenders can teach you everything you need to know about the business because they are on the front lines every day. Before you visit the establishments on your list, make a list of questions to ask the bartender. Remember to avoid going to the bar during peak hours. If you want to talk to the bartender, make sure they have the time. So now that you know where to go and when to go, don’t be afraid to poke and prod. If you’ve ever had questions about bartending, now is your chance to ask them. 

#3. Start Learning the Skills You Need to Be a Bartender in NYC.

Now that you know what skills you need to be a bartender in NYC, even with no experience, it’s time to learn them. Bartending has three major components:

  • Customer care
  • Pouring abilities
  • Drinking recipe expertise

Customer care

You can be good at customer care when you know how to present yourself well before your customers, learn the right attitude, and also be fair to people. You can also provide good customer care by learning how to handle complaints. Additionally, keep your bar clean. 

Discover How to Pour

Pouring abilities are essential. You’ll be a complete mess behind the bar if you don’t know how to properly pour beer or cocktails. It will take some practice, but you can practice pouring mixed drinks at home. If you don’t have a kegerator at home, you can quit learning how to pour beer until you start working.

Learning the Drink Recipes

It’s a myth that every bartender needs to know a gazillion drinks to be proficient behind the bar. At most, if you want to know how to become a bartender in NYC, you’ll need to know 30 drink recipes. Out of those 30, about 20 will be standard drinks, and the rest will be local or bar-specific specialties and shooters. 

#4. Create Your Resume and Cover Letter

Bartending resumes and cover letters that aren’t well-written can put you out of a job before the manager finishes reading them. Consider what you’ve learned in your previous workplace and see if you can apply it to the bartending profession. There’s a good chance you’ll have something to work with. 

A good way to start is to say that you don’t have hands-on bartending experience, but that you’ve made drinks for friends and family at parties and know the best recipes. Being truthful from the start fosters a valuable, trusting relationship. You might also mention your willingness to start at the bottom and work your way up. This shows the bartender that you’re in it for the long haul and have the motivation to work hard for what you want, even with no prior experience.

Many bartenders began their careers as barbacks or runners, learning the trade before being promoted from within to a bartending position. Bartenders get tips and can make good money in busy establishments. What’s more, it is an excellent way to gain experience and demonstrate to the bar owner or manager that you are serious about pursuing a career as a bartender in NYC.

If you want to get a job where you want to work, you may want to pay a professional resume writer to create your resume and cover letter. They are aware of all the appropriate catchphrases and how to construct a resume format that is appropriate for your dream job. They get paid to know how to build the perfect resume and sell you on paper, and what makes a manager toss a resume before reading it. 

#5. Go for the Job

Let’s say you’ve sent your resume to the top five employers on your list but it hasn’t been received. It’s a good idea to call the manager or owner after you drop off your resume a few days later to make sure they’ve seen it. Request to speak with the manager directly. If they are not available, inquire about a better time to call and speak with them then.

Call to make sure they got your resume and ask if you can stop by to discuss working there. If the manager says they aren’t hiring, ask if you can meet with them anyway to discuss your qualifications. In this way, if they are looking for new employees, they’ll remember you when they do it. 

Finding work as a bartender with no experience may be difficult at first. It will take time and effort. And you may have to be willing to start at the bottom—say, as a barback—and work your way up to a position as a bartender. If the bar manager or owner sees that you have a strong work ethic, they are more likely to hire you because you are more committed to the company.

These five steps will set you apart from the competition if you have no prior bartending experience. Keep in mind that bartending is a job that many people want, so you’ll probably have to compete with a lot of other people to get the job you want. When you get a bar interview, do your best to stand out from the crowd by dressing appropriately and knowing a little bit about the bar you’re applying to.

What Are the Disadvantages of Being a Bartender?

You usually have to work at night and on the weekends. Some bartenders also have to work on holidays, which might not work for you. Some people who work late at night sleep in later in the morning, which can throw off their sleep schedules and lead to unhealthy habits.

How Long Is a Typical Bartender Shift?

If you remember these tips the next time you go to the bar, your bartender will be much happier to help you have a good time. Bartenders probably work 10–12-hour shifts on average, sometimes without a break.

What Is the Highest Paid Bartender?

ZipRecruiter has seen annual salaries as high as $134,500 and as low as $13,500, but most High End Bartender salaries are between $34,000 (25th percentile) and $75,000 (75th percentile), with the highest earners (90th percentile) in the United States making $106,000 per year.


It’s not easy to become a bartender, even with no experience. You must be humble when first starting. Starting as a barback and learning from a mentor are two things you can do with no prior experience. You’ll see your dream come true faster if you’re willing to learn and work hard. Working behind the bar necessitates the ability to multitask and work well under duress. You might learn how to make the perfect martini even without attending bartending school. Learn to make several different drinks at once, tend to your customers, and keep your bar area clean, all while smiling.

How to Become a Bartender FAQs

How Much Do Bartenders Earn in New York City?

In New York City, the average bartender’s salary is $32,000, with an additional $200 in tips per day. In recent years, the New York City metropolitan region has seen robust job growth that is frequently double the national average.

Is bartending a good career?

Bartending is an exciting career option and one of the most desirable jobs in the hospitality industry. A bartender must know how to make various types of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and personalize them to the customer’s preferences.

Is bartending a stressful job?

Bartending is a stressful occupation. Bartenders work in a high-pressure, high-visibility environment. They must meet management’s expectations while also satisfying customers’ demands. When things get busy, bartenders have a lot more work to do than they have time to do.

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