Begin typing your search above and press return to search.

Bartending as a Career Option

Bartending as a Career Option

Sentinel Digital Desk

Ranjan K Baruah

With the growth in the F&B industry, new restaurants and bars are being opened in different parts of Assam and other north-eastern States. We can see new pubs and bars, apart from many restaurants, mushrooming all over Assam. With the increase in the number of eating-out joints in the State, there has been an increase in the number of bars and pubs too. Some people may not like it but the fact is that there are bars and pubs which are easily accessible. Well, I am not trying to speak in favour ofbars but I am interested to write about an option which is related to bars and pubs. I am talking about bartending as a career option in today's edition.

One of the most eclectic and interesting careers in the hospitality industry is 'Bartending'. It is a part of the food and beverage department of the hospitality industry. A bartender (also known as a barkeep, barman, barmaid, bar chef, tapster, mixologist, alcohol server, flairman or an alcohol chef) is a person who formulates and serves alcoholic or soft drink beverages behind the bar, usually in a licensed establishment. Bartenders also usually maintain the supplies and inventory list for the bar.

Bartenders are also usually responsible for confirming that customers meet the legal drinking age requirements before serving them alcoholic beverages. In certain countries, such as Canada, the United Kingdom and Sweden, bartenders are legally required to refuse more alcohol to drunken customers.Historically, bartending was a profession with a low reputation. It was perceived through the lens of ethical issues and various legal constraints related to the serving of alcohol.

The pioneers of bartending as a serious profession appeared in the 19th century. "Professor" Jerry Thomas established the image of the bartender as a creative professional. Harry Johnson wrote a bartending manual and established the first bar management consulting agency.At the turn of the 20th century, slightly less than half of the bartenders in London were women, such as Ada Coleman. "Barmaids", as they were called, were usually the daughters of tradesmen or mechanics or, occasionally, young women from the "better-born" classes who had been "thrown upon their own resources" and needed an income.

The bartending profession was generally a second occupation, used as transitional work for students to gain customer experience or to save money for university fees in few countries. The reason for this is because bartenders in tipping countries such as Canada and the United States, can make significant money from their tips. This view of bartending as a career is changing around the world, however, and bartending has become a profession by choice rather than necessity.

A bartender is someone who serves beverages behind a licensed bar to paying customers. The bartender mixes and serves drinks, and the majority of drinks a bartender is making contain alcohol, such as beer, wine, liquor, liqueur, coolers and cocktails. They also serve water, juice, pop and other non-alcoholic beverages for customers who do not wish to drink alcohol such as a designated driver or a non-drinker.

In some establishments, the bartender might participate in flair bartending, which contributes to the entertainment in the bar. Bartenders are expected to be able to mix hundreds of types of drinks to please any paying customer in a quick, accurate and un-wasteful fashion. Bartenders with professional experience and graduated from bartending schools gets better employment opportunities due to their ability to handle customers and possession of other required skills.

The best part is there is no specific formal degree or qualification required for this career. However, some of them enter this career after completing a course in Hotel management or a certification course in Bartending. Now due to increasing demand in this field. those students who are in the hotel management and hospitality field are taking short term courses in bartending as an add-on to their skills.

Job prospects for this career is now much better than earlier in India with the mushrooming of hotels, resorts and night clubs. Bartending jobs are available both as part-time and full-time occupations. In fact, bartending is one of the best part-time jobs available to college students. Strong competition prevails for bartending jobs in popular restaurants and fine-dining establishments. Those who have graduated from bartending schools and those with previous work experience and excellent customer-service skills will have the best job prospects.

Students from hotel management have more scope to join this profession although anyone may try and become a successful bartender. Earnings vary greatly, depending on the type of establishment where one is working. Further, wages vary from country to country.However, in most cases,a bartender's tips are higher than their wages. A good bartender with experience is always in demand. Bartending has always been a male-oriented business. This is a fact not only in India but abroad as well, though the percentage of female bartenders definitely is much more in the West.

Some students might not like this as they might be against bars and pub culture but the fact is different and it brings opportunities for many young people. With the 'pub culture' becoming widely popular across the country, bartending as a career is also gaining wide popularity in India. There are courses like Mixology & Flair Bartending, Professional Bartending Course, Advance Bartending Course, Craftsmanship Course in Bartending, Certification Course in Wines & Spirits, Molecular Mixology Course, Basic Flair Bartending, Certification Course in Blair Flair, Exclusive Bartending Course, etc.

Most of the institutes offer direct admissions to the certificate and diploma courses in Bartending. The minimum eligibility criterion for bartending certificate and diploma courses is 10+2 in any stream. Success depends on motivation, training and required skills. This is something new in the region but as the demand has increased, so there would be more demand for individuals who have experience in this area.

(Ranjan K Baruah is a career mentor, skill trainer, academic consultant and strategic planner who has conducted career awareness programme and trainings in different parts of Assam and Northeast India and can be reached at or 8473943734 for any career related queries.)

Next Story