Job description of a barman

Barmen, or bartenders as they are more commonly known, prepare and serve alcoholic beverages in restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Whatever the type of establishment, a bartender's duties are varied and challenging. Many people choose bartending as a supplementary career while pursuing their education, or as a second job. There are also many career bartenders who work in hotels or in fine-dining restaurants.

Bar Organizer

At the start of a bartending shift, it's important to make sure the bar is clean, wiped down and well-stocked. Most bars require bartenders to cut their own fruit used to garnish drinks. Take stock of the inventory. Make sure liquor, beer, wines and mixers are stocked. A bartender is generally given a bank, or a specific amount of money that allows him to make change when customers pay cash. It's the bartender's duty to make certain they have the proper amount when the shift begins. As the night goes on, the bartender must keep track of each drink ordered and ring it in the register or enter it in a computer. The bartender is responsible for making sure her drawer is balanced.

Drink Provider

The most significant part of a bartender's job is making cocktails and serving drinks for customers. A bartender should make certain that he keeps the bar clean and presentable. If the establishment serves food, the bartender will need to take food orders as well and ensure they are delivered in a timely manner. She will offer condiments and silverware and ensure the customer is enjoying their drinking and dining experience.

Bar Helper

If the bar employs servers or wait staff, the bartender is responsible for preparing their drinks as well. He will need to multitask to serve both bar customers and wait staff. Servers rely on bartenders to make their drinks quickly and correctly so they can ensure they receive good gratuities as well. The servers often give a percentage of their tips to the bartender, so a team effort is very important.

Policy Enforcer

A bartender also must maintain the establishment's reputation while upholding the law. Checking identification is an important duty. If caught serving minors, it could cost the bar its license and the bartender her job. A bartender is also responsible for how much alcohol a person consumes; serving someone until they're drunk or legally over the limit can have deadly consequences. In Texas, for example, under the "Texas Dram Shop Act," individuals or businesses can be prosecuted for overserving if it results in an accident or fatality.


The barman's duties are not complete even when the last drink has been poured. The barman is responsible for restocking alcohol, beer and fruit. In closing out the cash register and counting money, be sure the amount matches the numbers on your computer or cash register printout. Once the money has been counted and either locked in a safe or given to a manager, the day's shift is over.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Hollie Nell began writing in 2005. She has written everything from web content to Internet dating profiles, and most recently worked as a staff writer on the TV show, "Cold Case." She has won several prestigious screenwriting awards. Nell received an Associate Degree in creative writing from Burlington College.