Experience and personality will count for more than academic qualifications when applying for the position of bar person.
There are no specific requirements to becoming a bar person, although you will need to be over 18 years of age to serve drinks behind a bar. There are apprenticeships in the hospitality career available however, and more information on these can be found at www.apprenticeships.org . You will need to be over 16 years of age to start an apprenticeship. Alternatively there are college courses that may help you start a career as a Bar Person, such as the Level 1 Award in Food and Beverage Services.
Any previous experience in the hospitality industry will give you transferable skills that you can use as a bar person; for example communication skills and serving customers with food and drinks. Employers will be looking for a warm and friendly personality, and someone who is efficient.
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As a Bar Person you will typically be serving customers drinks and taking orders for food. You will be selling crisps and nuts to customers, and handling payment for snacks and drinks. You will also be responsible for helping to keep the bar area clean and tidy.
As you progress in your career as a Bar Person, you may want to learn how to make speciality drinks such as cocktails.
The working hours of a Bar Person will vary hugely depending on the opening hours of the establishment and the type of bar or pub it is. Part time positions are widely available. Employers will typically need staff to cover shifts at their busiest times such as the evenings and weekends, and a rota is usually devised to work out staff shift patterns.
For a full time employee, hours can be anything over 35 hours per week with overtime shifts available depending on the establishment.
Skills and Training Development
A Bar Person will receive on the job training when they begin. Employers will look for excellent communication skills, efficiency and the ability to remain calm during busy periods. You will need to be able to remember orders and deal with customers in a friendly and diplomatic manner. A smart appearance will also be essential, and team working skills because it is likely you will be working as part of a busy team.
The salary of an inexperienced Bar Person would typically start at around £11,000 per year, rising to around £17,000 to £22,000 a year with more experience and career progression.
At higher end establishments in the city, the average salary for an experienced Bar Person could be more than this.