Bartending is a fun and rewarding career path to follow. Just like any other career, there are qualifications and courses you can take that will give you the skills needed to be successful. Here are some of the most popular bartending qualifications and the skills you’ll develop along the way.
A bartending qualification isn’t essential. Many successful bartenders have learnt everything they need to know while working, rather than in the classroom. Although work experience is a great way of improving your skills, there are courses available that will teach you everything you need to know.
1. International Bartender Course
This four-week course from the European Bartending School gives you the skills and knowledge needed to progress as a bartender. You’ll learn how to create amazing cocktails, become an expert in a range of spirits and learn from experienced instructors who’ve worked in bars all over the world.
The course can be taken in six different languages in cities like Berlin, London, New York, Rome, Paris, Amsterdam and many more. Around 7,000 students graduate from this course each year, taking the skills they’ve developed to find top bar jobs across the globe.
2. Global Bartenders Certificate
If you don’t have any experience working in a bar but you think it might be the career for you, then this qualification is perfect. It covers the basics you’ll need to know to successfully find a bartending job.
You’ll learn how to use different measures, the basics of cocktail making and the legal information about alcohol that’s required. The course takes place over five days and is run by industry experts in England.
3. Mixology Course
Mixologists and bartenders are two different occupations but if you can master both sets of skills, then you’ll be a crucial part of any bartending team.
A key part of bartending is being able to create unique and delicious drinks for customers to enjoy. The more drinks you can make perfectly, the more popular you’ll be as a bartender. This online course will give you the knowledge you need to make a wide variety of drinks effectively.
You’ll learn about all of the different fruits, spices and herbs included in cocktails that make them delicious. If you’re looking to take the next steps as a bartender, then this course is ideal for you.
Skills All Good Bartenders Need
To be a successful bartender, you need to develop certain skills whether you’ve completed bartending qualifications or not. These skills will ensure that you leave a fantastic impression on your guests so they come back in the future.
1. Be Cool Under Pressure
If you’re working in a popular bar, then you’re going to have busy periods to deal with. It’s important you aren’t overwhelmed and you keep calm - even when others around you might begin to struggle.
There’s no need to panic when the bar is busy. Work through each order quickly and effectively, help other bartenders if needed and do all of this with a smile on your face.
2. Have a Good Memory
Two Mojitos, one Manhattan, a whiskey neat and two Long Island Iced Teas. Not only will you have to remember all of those drinks after the customer has ordered, but you’ll also need to recall how to make them and whether the bar has those ingredients stocked.
A good memory is vital as a bartender. Make a slight mistake and you might have unhappy customers who didn’t get the drink they ordered. If you’re ever unsure about an order, take the time to just check with them. It’s a great way of showing good customer service and ensures they get the exact drink they wanted.
3. Add a Little Bit of Flair
Go the extra mile and really put a smile on the faces of your customers by practising your moves with cocktail shakers. The very best bartenders can throw, spin, catch and even juggle their shakers to delight customers.
It’s a great way of making sure your bar stands out from the competition. Because it’s so exciting, customers are likely to film you and post videos on social media. This is great publicity for the bar, boosting awareness and you might even find customers asking for you specifically in the future.
4. Be Proactive
A good skill to have is being proactive. There will be quiet periods too and these offer great opportunities to see what you’re running out of and make sure all of the ingredients have been restocked.
It also gives you the chance to give the bar a good clean so it’s looking its absolute best before the evening rush. Polish glasses, wipe tables and organise the bar so that everything is easy to find during busy shifts.
5. Good Stamina
Bartenders often work long hours and spend a lot of time on their feet. Even at the end of a busy night, you’ll need to greet each customer with the same outstanding service and make them feel special.
Make sure you’re ready for this by preparing for each shift in the right way. This can be getting a good night’s sleep, a healthy breakfast and making sure you’re wearing appropriate clothing. Specially designed bartending shoes will keep you safe and protected no matter how busy you are.
Get the Most From Your Bartending Career
Staying safe and comfortable is just one of the tips featured in our free guide to getting the most from your bartending career. Download your free copy now and receive tips on communicating with customers, working as a team and being productive behind the bar.