Bartender duties & responsibilities

Updated July 20, 2017

Bartenders work in a variety of settings, such as hotel and resort restaurants, chain restaurants, and sports bars.

A bartender has various duties and responsibilities. A lot of people think that all it consists of is serving beer, wine and mixed drinks, but there is more to the job.

Preparing drinks

The main duty of a bartender, of course, is to prepare and serve drinks to customers. They must know a large quantity of drink recipes and be able to mix drinks in a fast and efficient manner. Even though there are resorts and restaurants that have machines that mix the drinks for the bartender, the bartender must know the ingredients that go into the drink and how to mix it by hand in case the machine malfunctions. They must also be sure to check identification of customers to make sure that they are of legal drinking age. And they must ensure that customers don't drink too much and get out of control.

Serving food

Bartenders also can act as waiters for the bar, taking food orders from customers sitting at the bar, and serving their food when it is ready. They also collect payment for drinks and food at the bar, and they operate the cash register.


Bartenders must clean up after customers and keep their work area clean and tidy.

Wiping down the bar, washing cups and utensils used for mixing drinks, sweeping and mopping, cleaning up spilt drinks and glass from customer accidents, and helping clean the rest of the restaurant/bar before closing time are some of their cleaning duties.


Bartenders must keep track of their liquor, beer, and other bar supplies, such as drink garnishes, glasses, ice, and order more when needed.

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About the Author

Based in Hardwick, Vt., Blake Ryan has been writing for eight years. She began as the editor in chief for her school newspaper, where she wrote reviews and how-to articles, and edited other's works. She enjoys writing poetry, short stories, and informational pieces. Blake attended Peoples Academy High School in Morrisville, Vt. and is currently a student at the Community College of Vermont.