What to Consider Before Taking a Job Serving or Bartending
If you’re considering getting your TABC certification to start serving alcohol, then you have to consider the pros and cons of the job. Whether as a bartender or as a server, there are a lot of perks, but also a couple of things you have to be careful of. For example, most people have friends who might expect preferential treatment when they come over, while you can’t offer that treatment, you do have to find a way to tactfully deal with it. What are some of the other things you might have to watch out for when taking a job serving alcohol?
You Have to Be Nice
You probably know that you have to be nice to customers, but sometimes they won’t always make it easy. Everyone is different and people don’t always get along, especially when drinking. Your job is to make the customer feel happy and welcome, which means being nice to them no matter what. Usually this requires a little bit of tolerance for stupidity and human error on your part.
Steady Pay Isn’t Guaranteed
Most bartenders make pretty good money with their TABC certification, but it isn’t guaranteed. You might have weeks where you don’t know what to do with all of your tips, but then again you might have months where you barely pay the rent. The unfortunate part of working for tips is that if no one has any money, you don’t make any money.
No Work Perks
Most bartenders and servers don’t actually get paid insurance or dental or even healthcare. This means you will have to pay for these things out of your own pocket, even if your last employer covered your insurance. This is definitely a downside to any sort of job as a server, but if you get good shifts, and you work in a busy area, you can definitely make up the difference.
You Have to Learn to Keep Your Distance
Whether you’re a server or a bartender, male or female, you’re going to have to learn to keep your distance. Many of the customers in a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol are on their own, and might be overly affectionate when drunk, especially if you’re being nice to them. Learning to gently dissuade this sort of affection is important for keeping your job as well as your sanity.
Long and Late Hours
The most successful bartenders work at night, although it is also possible to work in golf clubs, casinos, and pretty much anywhere else that serves alcohol during the day. You are most likely to get more tips if you are working in either a place with wealthy patrons, or working after standard work hours when more people are likely to be out and having fun. This usually means 6-10 or even 6-2, which is a long shift for standing on your feet.
Serving Alcohol is a Responsibility
If you’ve gotten your TABC certification then you know the responsibilities inherent with serving alcohol. You are legally required to not serve alcohol to minors or to those who are intoxicated, and if you do, it could be your fault. It is your responsibility to check IDs, and pay attention to people before serving them alcohol.
It’s Hard Work
Last but not least, bartending and serving are hard work. While it might sound easy to serve people drinks, you will have to stand on your feet for 5-10 hours depending on the shift, you might not make any money if no one is tipping, and there is a lot of work involved. For example, you will have to memorize any number of drinks, mix them properly each time, make every customer happy, and do it all with a smile. While no one ever said bartending was easy, most don’t consider that it is actual work either.
Think you have what it takes to be a bartender? If so, consider getting your TABC certification online where you can print it out as soon as you are done.