A barmaid, or bartender, is someone who works in an establishment that serves alcoholic beverages, such as a bar, a pub, a nightclub, or sometimes a restaurant. It is the barmaid's job to greet patrons and take their drink orders. They may have to answer questions about the drinks, the menu, or sometimes even about the establishment itself. Barmaids work as part of a team to help business flow as smoothly as possible.
The main duties of a barmaid are to mix and serve drinks and to collect money for drinks they've served. In addition to the obvious duties, the barmaid has to check identification to verify the age of customers, balance cash receipts, clean bars, tables and work areas, order liquors and supplies for the establishment, slice and pit fruit for the drinks, plan the bar menu, create drink recipes, calm down the patrons who get a little rowdy, serve snacks or other food to patrons at the bar, and serve wine and bottled or draft beer. They may also supervise the work of other bar staff, prepare appetizers, and arrange bottles and glasses to create attractive displays.
Some of a barmaid's routine activities include assisting customers with wine selections, setting the limit for patrons who've had too much to drink to limit the liability of the establishment, setting up transportation arrangements for intoxicated patrons, adhering to government health, hotel or food service regulations, adhering to government alcoholic beverage service regulations, washing dishes, glasses and other utensils, and interacting with patrons.
Bartenders must have a vast knowledge of drink recipes and must be able to mix drinks quickly and properly. Bartenders must also be able to stock and prepare garnishes for drinks, keep up with the ice supply, keep the bar area clean and know how to operate a cash register. Barmaids who provide table service must be able to memorise a large number of drink orders and remember which drinks go to which tables. Some establishments use drink-making machines and bartenders should be able to quickly fill orders using a machine like this.
Barmaids should be aware that they will be working on their feet most of their shift. Barmaids must have good balance and be aware of any spills to avoid slipping and falling. Barmaids often work part-time and most likely evenings, weekends and holidays.
Barmaids usually get paid between £4.10 to £5.80 per hour, plus tips.