Cocktail Bartender

Bar Staff Duties and Responsibilities: Key Tasks for Your Team

Danielle Collard
24 Mar 2023

So, you’re looking to hire a new staff member for your bar. If you have experience running a bar or pub or are considering opening one, you likely are already aware of the need to get professional services to deliver your food and drinks service. But knowing exactly what a bar staff job description should look like isn't always straightforward. After all, most bars have something special about them that makes working there a little bit different.

From planning what bartender duties will look like in your bar to figuring out which skills can be learnt with on-the-job training, we’ve got you covered in this article.

We've compiled a bartender job description template to help you figure out what important tasks you can include in your job descriptions, plus how you can create business processes to keep your team and bar running like a well-kept machine. Use this guide to help pick the relevant bar staff duties you want to include in your next job description, and you’ll be onto a winner.

Bartender job descriptions

Job descriptions should outline the essential duties your staff will perform at your bar.

It is up to you to decide how much experience (and/or relevant skills) your new hire will need to qualify for the role. But being clear in what is expected in the job will help potential candidates know how to hit the ground running in your bar or pub.

We’ve split these duties into:

  • The three basic bartender responsibilities (that nearly every bar team member needs!)
  • The four most desirable skills a bartender may need
  • Other tasks for bar staff

And also included a section on how you can decide whether to trust your new bar staff for handling customer complaints or handling cash.

The 3 basic bartender responsibilities

Let’s start at the beginning. When you make a new hire, the first tasks you'll want them to undertake are the basic tasks that every bar team completes. These responsibilities are essential to the business and revolve around the bar area and customer service, which is why you’ve got to include them in your job descriptions and role duties (even if they seem obvious!). Here’s a breakdown of what the essentials are:

1. Serving drinks and serving snacks

Serving customers is the primary task a bar person needs to carry out - from snacks to drinks. To do this well, your staff need to:

  • Know the art of mixing drinks 
  • Knows the range of alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic beverages on offer. 
  • Excellent customer service skills, which match your bar’s personality.
  • Ability to upsell. 

These abilities should therefore be a central part of your job description.


2. Maintaining bar inventory

Finding time to fetch bar supplies during busy times can be difficult, but keeping the bar stocked is a must. Full fridges catch the eye, and an empty keg at the wrong moment can prove costly. Knowing how and when to restock is a key skill for your bar staff and is usually delegated to the bar team.

3. Keeping your bar organized and clean

Maintaining a clean bar while drinks are spilt and orders come flying in takes a keen eye, a dedicated mind, and a cool head. Every bartender will break glasses and will need to tidy any spillages. But a tidy bar is a key part of your business image. If guests start thinking your bar is dirty, they soon start finding other bars to visit.

These three roles comprise the most essential duties for a typical hospitality industry role. Training new hires to prepare drinks, stock fridges, and keep the place tidy are a few simple steps to begin integrating them into your team.

But there are lots more responsibilities that your bar team can take off your hands to keep the bar running smoothly.

Bar Sports

The 4 desirable skills to add to a bartender job description

Most sales your business makes will come through the bar. This makes it a crucial point of sale spot where sales are won and lost minute by minute. A good bartender will therefore help ensure more of those sales are made and that your customers spend more and come back soon to spend again. So what qualities do they need to win customers on every shift?

  1. Menu knowledge

A bartender that knows your prices and what qualities your drinks and dishes have is well-placed to give your customers recommendations and extra sales. 

For instance, if you run out of the house cider, a customer used to that drink may be hesitant to try something else. But when a bartender can make your alternatives sound appealing, they can talk customers into trying something new.

  1. Customer relationship management

Your bar team will spend more time with your customers than you will as a manager or owner. So their engaging personality will play a key role in creating personal bonds with both new and regular guests. Talking to customers while preparing drinks, making jokes, and remembering past orders are key bar staff skills that improve customer loyalty significantly.

However, bars also bear a lot of responsibility for the behavior of their customers. Bar staff need the courage to cut off drinkers that have over-indulged, which can be difficult to handle. It's also essential to spot customers that may be below the legal drinking age.

  1. A calm demeanor

Any successful bar will have busy periods when every hand on deck is pouring and selling drinks, dashing to get food orders out to tables, taking sales, and desperately trying to keep queues short. Bar managers know the importance of staying calm while under pressure. Glasses will break. Drinks will spill. Nevertheless, the right person will run a smooth operation no matter what goes on around them.

  1. Attention to detail

One further quality only the best bar staff have is a persistent attention to detail. Team members with this quality continually find work that needs doing and ensure the work they do is of the highest quality. They express it not only in their work but in maintaining a professional appearance whenever on shift.

Other tasks to add to a bar staff job description

The gift of a bar team who have mastered the basic responsibilities and have the most desirable skills is that they will not need management to check their work or run around after them correcting mistakes. 

But even so, listing out the duties and responsibilities of the team can help prevent less regular tasks from being neglected. It can be a good idea to typify these tasks depending on busy or quiet periods. Here’s a good example:

Quiet/evening period bar duties

Bar cleaning:

  • Polish beer taps
  • Clean brass
  • Clean glass (mirrors and windows)
  • Wash glasses
  • Wash beer mats
  • Wash soda guns
  • Clean floors (carpets and/or other floor surfaces)
  • Clean furniture (occasionally check underside of tables)
  • Wipe up any spillages on walls and sideboards
  • Check and maintain facilities

Bar maintenance:

  • Complete stock checks
  • Rotate perishable stock to reduce wastage
  • Tidy till areas
  • Replenish straw, napkins and restock ice levels
  • Replace menus and cutlery on tables

End-of-day processes:

  • Empty beer trays
  • Empty trash and glass bins
  • Close tills and restore floats
  • Clean the coffee machine
  • Switch off lights and electronics
  • Close windows and secure the building

Deciding what to trust to bar staff

Managers and owners of businesses often have to decide when to accept help and entrust important parts of their operations to staff. In many cases, this can be resolved by promoting members of the team to more responsible positions once they have gained trust.

Some businesses do this on more of an ad hoc, especially when individuals demonstrate the necessary skills or trustworthiness through their work.

Handling customer complaints

When things go wrong during a customer's visit, there are a number of ways the bar can resolve the issue and hopefully retain the customer. Some mistakes need free meals or drink orders to put right, and others a sincere apology. Sometimes, mistakes can result in a bad review for a business that can cost not only the aggrieved customer but also leads to a loss of reputation.

Given what's at stake, some managers like to handle all complaints themselves. But members of the team with good people skills, good judgment, and a cool head are often able to make similar calls without guidance. For instance, a free round of some drinks has a low cost to the business (like sodas, tea, or coffee) and is often a good gesture, but many customers aren't interested in them.

Ultimately, your team only needs one or two members on hand to take responsibility for these complaints and be authorized to hand out free food and drinks when needed. This is a case where previous experience and a little on-the-job training can save a lot of work.

Cash handling

Trusting your team to handle complaints gives them the responsibility of knowing when to give away free menu items. The responsibility of handling cash adds another layer of responsibility to this and the potential disappointment of internal theft.

The chance of theft can be reduced by letting selected staff members do blind end-of-days, where they input the counted amount without seeing your till system's expected amount.

Many bars do regular lifts from the till to ensure there is never too much cash in the drawer at any one time. Coming up with a system for protecting your earnings is a key task worth making clear and enforcing to reduce instances of lost money.

Help your staff improve with an easy-use point of sale till

Epos Now point of sale till systems offer all the tools a bar could need in one simple solution. Epos Now cash register technology is easy to use, and your new hires can be trained in as little as fifteen minutes and start serving your guests straight away.

Your Epos Now system can integrate with the very best business software providers, including accounting programs and marketing tools, with dozens of options in the Epos Now AppStore.

Epos Now users can:

  • Remove unauthorized functions from some staff to make your sales process easier and more secure with staff roles setup.
  • Make processing payments quicker and smoother by integrating Epos Now Payments with your system, and accept all major payment types, including contactless and customer-not-present options.
  • Take the pressure off the team with sophisticated order printing and kitchen display systems, and cut queues with order at table, online ordering, and delivery orders.
  • Cut wastage and save hours on inventory with smarter stock-tracking technology. Track levels even while selling different amounts with mixers, and never run out of stock again!

To find out more about Epos Now solutions, submit your details below and speak to a member of our expert team.

Know more, see further ahead, and stay in front with the best business software through an Epos Now technological tool-box.

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