How to Land a Bartending Job at a Trendy Local Bar

Oct 07, 2023

Bartending is not just about mixing drinks; it’s about charisma, style, knowledge, and finesse. Trendy local bars are typically the places that are in-the-know when it comes to the latest cocktail trends, music, and culture. To work at one means you’re at the forefront of the local social scene. Ready to jump in? Follow this guide to increase your chances of scoring that coveted position.


1. Research the Bar Scene

Know Your Bars:
Before applying, familiarize yourself with the trendy bars in your area. Make a list of the ones you’d like to work at. Visit them, get a feel for their ambiance, clientele, and the drinks they serve.

Understand the Culture:
Every bar has its own culture. Some might have a hipster vibe, while others could be more sophisticated or sporty. Know where you’d fit in best.


2. Brush Up on Your Skills

Take a Bartending Course:
While it’s not always mandatory, having formal training can give you an edge. Look for local courses or workshops that can teach you the basics, or refine what you already know.

Practice Makes Perfect:
Get yourself a cocktail kit and start practicing at home. Familiarize yourself with popular drinks, classic cocktails, and the latest mixology trends.


3. Craft a Stand-Out Resume

Highlight Relevant Experience:
If you’ve worked in bars or restaurants before, that’s a bonus. If not, think of other positions or volunteer work where you’ve handled money, managed customer service, or worked in fast-paced environments.

Showcase Your Personality:
Bartending is as much about personality as it is about skill. Whether you have a flair for storytelling, a unique cocktail mixing style, or a vast knowledge of spirits and wines, make sure it shines through.

Include Certifications:
If you’ve taken a bartending course or have certifications like the Responsible Beverage Service training, be sure to include them.


4. Nail the Interview

Dress the Part:
You don’t need to show up in a three-piece suit, but dressing smart-casual will show you’re serious about the job. Observe the dress code of the bar you’re applying to and try to match their style.

Know the Bar’s Menu:
Do your homework. If you’re familiar with the drinks the bar serves and can suggest a few of your own, it can give you an advantage.

Be Ready to Mix:
Some interviews might require you to make a drink on the spot. Be prepared for this by practicing the classics and a few trendy cocktails.


5. Show Persistence and Passion

Follow Up:
A day or two after your interview, send a thank-you note or email to express your gratitude for the opportunity. This shows eagerness and professionalism.

Stay Updated:
Even after you’ve applied or had an interview, keep up with the bar’s events, specials, and menu changes. This shows genuine interest and can set you apart from other candidates.


6. Start as a Barback or in a Different Role

Willing to Start from the Bottom:
Sometimes, to get your foot in the door, you might need to start in a position that’s not behind the bar. Barbacks, for instance, support bartenders and it’s a great way to learn the ropes.

Show Dedication:
Starting in a support role and working your way up shows dedication. It also gives you an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the bar’s operations, which will only benefit you when you get that bartending position.


In Conclusion

Landing a bartending job at a trendy local bar requires a mix of research, skills, presentation, and passion. It’s not just about knowing how to make a great cocktail, but about being a vital part of the bar’s atmosphere and customer experience. Follow these steps, be persistent, and soon enough, you’ll find yourself mixing drinks at one of the coolest spots in town. Cheers!

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