Bartending seems a lot of fun and adventure. It is a sure way to meet new and exciting people every day, especially two sides of every person when they have one too many and become a little tipsy. In essence, it is about positioning yourself in a place where you can watch, learn, assist, and smile all the way through. From learning at rundown places, you can carve a career for you in the hospitality industry if you stick to it long enough.
Since, joining a bartending school seems the perfect first step towards the goal, there are other things that you need to keep in mind.
Here are some of the tips on how to become a bartender with zero experience:
9 Tips to Become a Bartender in USA with Zero Experience
Table of Contents
- 9 Tips to Become a Bartender in USA with Zero Experience
1. Start with A Bartending School
A bartending school is the first place to start your training as a bartender. This way, you can learn the ropes of the business in the most efficient way. The teachers there have real-world experience in all the aspects of being a host. The cherry on top will be if you get a gig as a part-time bartender at a bar.
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2. Get A Bartending License
There are some states that have exempted individuals from getting a license for the job. Still, if there are too many candidates for the job, this can give you a leverage if you have one. Places like nightclubs of Raleigh, NC hold certifications in high esteem.
To obtain a license, you must have
- Appropriate Age
- Knowledge about laws and penalties regarding minors
- How to handle disturbances and ruckus
- Identifying stages of intoxication in customers
The good news about bartending licenses is that you can get one online with no hassle at all.
3. Look for Barback Positions
One of the commonest advices an experienced bartender gives is to start as a barback. It does not require any prior knowledge, just a willingness to do hard work. Barback is the initial phase in the way to become a bartender. As a barback, you will be entrusted with:
- Heavy Lifting
& other manual work
This is the surest way to learn the art of hospitality at a grass-root level and earning a treasure of knowledge that is hard to come by otherwise. For instance:
- Try to learn brand names while refilling or restocking
- Make note of the most popular drinks
- Get comfortable and make yourself available for patron’s requests and queries
- Memorize slang and common terms of drinks and bartending
- Learn about busy hours and how to manage business accordingly
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4. Start at A Restaurant Bar
A bar or a pub is not the only place to get a start in the industry. There are restaurants with bars that have vacancies of bartenders and hosts. This way, you can learn the work in a less aggressive environment first and then graduate to the next level.
Bars in restaurants are not crowded like those of taprooms, nightclubs, lounges, etc. In this gentler environment, you can easily hone your skills and become adapt in your trade. There are also differences in the timing and schedule of these joints.
5. Find A Mentor
While you are looking for a bartending position, make sure you look for a professional who is ready to take you under his wing. If you are starting out as a barback, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Treat your mentor with respect and kindness
- Anticipate the needs before the needs are needed
- Keep the bar well-stocked all the times
- Don’t poke them during rush hours
- Strike a conversation in free times
- Most importantly, look for a mentor who is willing to share knowledge.
6. Learn How to Pour
This is the primary function of a bartender. If you minus it from the equation, there is nothing left. There are people who can mix rum and coke and call it a cocktail. A good bartender in a place like one of the nightclubs in Raleigh, NC should know how to strike the balance between mixers and the liquor.
If you have followed the prior steps, you have some idea about the functions of a jigger. It is a measuring tool that bartenders use to gauge the amount for different liquids to make a cocktail. Once you are adept in the trade, you may get rid of the jigger and get the “free pour” going.
Keep in mind that:
- The perfect amount of both mixers and liquor will yield in a great taste
- Overpouring ruins the taste of the drink and cost the bar money
- A good pouring technique will save you time and sweat
7. Practice the Science of Mixology
Once you are adept in pouring a drink, it is time to experiment on your own and come up with new cocktails. You can start by tinkering with well drink recipes like gin, tonics, screwdrivers, and others. Once you are comfortable with mixing new blends, give a try to ingredients like bitters and syrups and how they affect the tastes of the drinks.
It is alright if you are not into mixology but having a basic knowledge helps you in specifying the field of bartending you want to master such as mixing drinks or serving the customers.
8. Patience & Availability
All great things aside, you need to keep in mind that the skills are not developing overnight. The mastery will come after spending countless hours and hundreds of shifts. Also, make sure you are available for whatever they want you to do. As a barback in one of the nightclubs in Raleigh, NC, you know you are onto something when the bartender can take a five with you being the in-charge of pouring and mixing.
9. A Bartending School Is Not Everything
In addition to the bartending school, you need real-world experience to make a great bartender. No doubt, you can learn a lot at a bartending school such as how to pour, how to practice mixology, and so on. So, try to get a balance between school and work to learn it all.