How to find the right bartender

Tom Quinn |
Tom (he/him) is a growth marketing manager at Snagajob helping small businesses find hourly workers.

A good bartender is hard to find, and an essential asset to any food and drink service business. Bartenders have to be versatile, flexible and responsible, responding to high pressure and difficult situations on a regular basis. Hire a good one, though, and your business could benefit from a warm, welcoming customer environment and increased profit margins.


Why is a good bartender important?

Bartending might seem simple, but it’s a lot of hard work. A bartender is a salesperson at heart: they know how to make, market and sell products (in this case, drinks) to customers. A talented bartender can help you sell high-profit drinks and increase your bottom line. Bartenders also have a lot of responsibilities beyond making drinks. They are key customer service staff members, interacting regularly with customers and making them feel comfortable. It’s also their job to operate and maintain laws and regulations; everything from enforcing minimum drinking age laws, to handling sensitive situations with customers who’ve had a little too much. All of this means that hiring a professional, competent and proactive bartender could make a huge difference to your business.


Common duties of a bartender

Bartenders can be expected to perform any of the following:

●       Creating a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for customers

●       Making and serving drinks

●       Checking inventory and ordering products and supplies

●       Keeping the bar and surrounding area clean and tidy

●       Handling difficult customers and sensitive situations

●       Understanding and enforcing local, state and federal drinking laws and regulations


Key skills for a bartender

Bartending is often a fast-paced and high-pressure role. It’s important that candidates can demonstrate the following key skills:

●       Customer service and people skills

●       Ability to perform under pressure

●       Ability to work at pace

●       Sales skills

●       Multitasking

●       Team working

●       Organisation


Interview questions to ask bartenders

Interviews are an important part of the hiring process, but an interview is only as good as its questions. Here are a few ideas on what questions to ask in a bartender interview:

How do you handle a busy bar?

Knowing how to perform under pressure is a key trait for a bartender. Asking this will also let you know if the candidate has had experience working in a busy environment before.

How do you deal with a customer who has had too much to drink?

This is always a sensitive moment for any bartender. It’s important to be professional and firm with an intoxicated customer, but it’s also their responsibility to keep the bar environment welcoming to other customers.

What would you do if you had a problem with one of your colleagues?

Dealing with customers is only part of the bartending job. Working with other staff members, either behind the bar or in the broader business, is an essential part of professional and orderly operations. If there was ever a conflict between staff members, you want to know that it would be handled well by all involved.


Where can I hire a bartender?

As customers return to businesses in person, bartenders are back in business in a major way, and many are looking for jobs right now. Register now to post your job and start hiring!