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Top 10 bartender skills every successful bar needs


June 30, 2023



Top 10 bartender skills every successful bar needs

Running a successful bar takes more than just pouring drinks and taking orders. It requires exceptional bartenders with a wide range of skills for bartending and qualities that will set them apart from the competition. In this article, we'll uncover the top bartender skills every successful bar needs.

1. Mixology knowledge and creativity

First on the list is mixology which is the art of creating cocktails. For obvious reasons, a successful bartender should possess a wide range of mixology techniques and recipes to craft not just delicious but also visually appealing drinks. They should have a deep understanding of different spirits, liquors, mixers, and garnishes, allowing them to give recommendations and craft creative, well-balanced drinks that keep customers coming back for more.

Bartender skill - Mixology knowledge and creativity

To equip your workers with this much-needed knowledge, you can have them take SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s Spirits, Beer, and Wine course. This course is just one of the bartending training courses that teaches the differences between the most popular types of alcoholic beverages, including proper serving practices which is a good foundation for bartenders.

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This course is fully editable and customizable using SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s built-in course creator tool. If you need to add more content, you can use any of the 80 microlearning templates.

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2. Communication skills

Communication is at the heart of bartending. Being a bartender isn’t just simply being in charge of creating drinks. They constantly talk to patrons as they take their orders and engage in friendly conversation. This is why having great communication skills is essential as they need to be able to listen attentively and understand and take note of customer preferences.

Bartender skill - Communication skills

Additionally, a great bartender is known to be an excellent listener. They’re able to build rapport with customers and give recommendations based on their preferences. Like how bartenders are portrayed in movies and TV shows, they’re also known for being the center of a social scene, with customers flocking around them to chat and drink.

3. Customer service skills

Bartenders are often the first point of contact for customers which is why excellent customer service is essential in the bartending industry. As someone who interacts with customers frequently, a successful bartender should be able to greet customers warmly, pay attention to their needs, and strive to create a welcoming and enjoyable atmosphere. Aside from creating great drinks, building strong customer relationships leads to increased loyalty and a thriving bar.

Bartender skill - Customer service skills

This is why bartenders should have excellent customer service skills, alongside the ability to communicate well and engage with customers. Having great customer service skills also means handling complaints, and making customers feel comfortable and important.

4. Time management skills

Bartenders work in a very busy environment and have to juggle different tasks simultaneously. This is why having great time management skills is crucial to make sure that efficient and timely service can be offered while maintaining a smooth workflow. Even when service is at its busiest, a professional bartender knows how to prioritize jobs, set up their workspace, and efficiently handle customer orders.

Bartender skill - Time management skills

Have your bartender take the top time management courses available on SC Training (formerly EdApp)! SC Training (formerly EdApp)'s mobile-first platform allows busy bartenders to effortlessly finish their lessons anywhere on the go right at their fingertips.

5. Attention to Detail

Paying close attention to detail is another must-have skill as a bartender. Every drink served should meet the highest quality and standard to make your bar succeed. Having a keen eye for the littlest details typically includes garnishing cocktails with precision and maintaining a clean and organized bar station. Meticulousness is key to delivering an exceptional experience to customers.

Bartender skill - Attention to Detail

To help learn this skill, there are bartender training apps that can help them perfect their craft by giving inspiration, tips, and examples.

6. Multitasking

Bartenders often find themselves dealing with various responsibilities, such as taking orders, mixing drinks, handling payments, and interacting with customers. The ability to multitask is not only a bartending basic but also a valuable skill since simply missing out on a couple of tasks can mess up an efficient workflow. This can lead to slow service, unsatisfied customers, and eventually lost revenue.

Bartender skill - Multitasking

Bartenders should be able to keep their bar organized and stocked. This includes knowing where everything is located, as well as being able to keep track of inventory levels. Having a bartender training manual with all the information that bartenders can refer to can be helpful, especially for new ones.

7. Sales skills

Bartenders are essentially salespeople and a successful bar means a lot of sales. Aside from crafting high-quality drinks, bartenders should be able to upsell, cross-sell, make recommendations to customers, and be comfortable promoting specials or new drinks. Doing so can help them increase their tips, boost the bar's profits, and create a positive experience for customers.

Bartender skill - Sales skills

8. Teamwork

A top bartender should be able to work effectively with other bartenders, servers, and kitchen staff to guarantee smooth operations and customer satisfaction. Bartenders should be able to communicate effectively not just with customers, but with their coworkers and managers. This means being able to understand and follow instructions, as well as being able to communicate clearly and concisely.

Bartender skill - Teamwork

9. Adaptability

Adaptability is essential for a bartender as different situations and demands can arise given the nature of their work which can be unpredictable. Bartenders need to be able to handle surges in customer volume, unexpected requests, stock shortages, and even changes in the bar's menu or atmosphere. This also includes adapting to different customer preferences, adjusting recipes on the fly, and accommodating special requests are all part of creating a personalized and memorable experience.

Bartender skill - Adaptability

10. Physical fitness

Bartending is a physically demanding job that requires standing for long periods of time, lifting heavy objects, and moving quickly and efficiently. Long hours of work can eventually take a toll on one’s body which is why it’s important to have physically fit bartenders who have the strength and stamina to last their entire shift.

Bartender skill - Physical fitness


Gabrielle Rivera

Gabrielle is an eLearning content writer for SC Training (formerly EdApp), a microlearning solution designed for today's digital habits. She creates content about cutting-edge learning technologies and resources to help companies deliver great training experiences. When not absorbed in writing, she spends her time playing video games and reading books.

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