5 Skills You Get From A Bar Job

A job in a bar does more than pay the bills: it also teaches you essential skills you can take into the real world. Sure, you might not need to know how to juggle bottles of alcohol or name every German beer in alphabetical order, but the more practical talents can prove useful.

With every wine you uncork, what are you learning? The following is a taste:

How to deal with people

Working with any type of customer can be difficult in and of itself. Working with drunk people? That takes things to a whole new level! Inebriation does make some people easier to please – the “I love you, man” crowd won’t usually care if you swap out grain whiskey for malt whiskey. But the drinkers who get belligerent? When they order a long island, you better not forget the cherry! It may test your patience, sure, but it’ll also teach you how to have patience in the first place. 

How to compromise

Compromise is a necessary part of customer service. However, it often grows more important when alcohol is involved. You may be expected to make an obscure drink you’ve never heard of (and are pretty certain doesn’t exist), pour a vintage wine you don’t have in stock, or provide free refills of top shelf brandy. It’s enough to make you rethink the “customer is always right” rhetoric. You’ll get to practice keeping calm, even if your sanity suffers. 

How to mix drinks

Okay, knowing how to mix drinks might not come in handy everywhere – at a party it’s great; in church, not so much. Still, it’s a nice skill to have under your belt. Not only does it come in handy when you’re playing host, but it also comes in handy if you – yourself – enjoy the occasional libation. 

The art of small talk

There’s a reason bartenders often feel like therapists – they learn all about their customers’ problems. Troubles at work, troubles in a marriage, a neighbor whose dog keeps peeing on the prized petunias – when people drink, people talk. You might not be qualified (or interested) in doling out sage advice, but your customers will expect you to at least participate in the conversation. Think of it as training for when you have in-laws. 

Time management

It’s tempting to spend your shift catering to the heavy tipper from Charleston, but ignoring your other patrons isn’t doable. What’s scarier than an angry mob? An angry mob that wants merlot! Knowing how to balance your time is key to keeping all customers satisfied. And this, of course, is a trait you can use in various aspects of your life. 

Working in a bar means working with people. It provides practice in patience and compromise (just to name a few). And it better prepares you for whatever awaits in the outside world. 

A Take My Shift attendance policy helps prepare your staff for their everyday life. And speaking of preparation, don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list. We’ll keep you up-to-date on how to keep your staff content on and off the clock. And download our app for tips and tricks on the go. You can get it at iTunes or the Google Play Store