Bar Staff Duties

Updated February 21, 2017

Some bars operate as independent businesses or nightclubs; others function as part of a restaurant or hotel. No matter the type of bar, it must employ bartenders, wait staff and sometimes bouncers. Each member of the bar staff performs specific duties to provide customer service, conform to the state's laws concerning alcohol and keep the environment safe for all patrons.


Bartenders perform duties beyond pouring drinks. The bartender must know the standard recipes for alcoholic drinks, such as the ingredients in a cosmopolitan, whiskey sour and tequila sunrise. He mixes these drinks quickly and serves them to the customers in the bar area. If a customer asks for a drink to be prepared in a specific way, the bartender provides good customer service by following the customer's directions, so long as the customer's request is within reason. He upholds state laws by checking the identifications of patrons to ensure they meet the minimum drinking age before he serves them. Bartenders operate the cash register and collect money for the drinks. He also fills drink orders for waiters and waitresses, washes glasses, cleans the bar area and restocks the bar.

Wait Staff

Waiters and waitresses work outside the bar area. They perform several customer service duties such as welcoming customers, taking their orders and serving drinks and food (if the bar offers food). They also use the cash register to process customers' checks and make change. Before serving alcohol, waiters and waitresses check identification to ensure the customer meets the legal drinking age. Some bars require the serving staff to memorise and promote drink special, which may change daily. If a customer is unsure of what to order, the server must provide recommendations, requiring her to be familiar with drink ingredients. Servers also multi-task --- refilling drinks, replenishing beer nuts and cleaning plates --- while performing their other job duties. Waiters and waitress perform custodial duties as well. Before the bar opens and after it closes, they sweep, mop, polish and refill condiment containers.


Bouncers perform security duties for bars to make sure employees and patrons remain safe and uphold the establishment's rules. Bouncers work both at the bar's entrance and within the bar. When manning the door, they collect cover fees and uphold fire codes for capacity by only allowing the appropriate number of people inside. If a bouncer is working the floor, he monitors the floor, breaks up bar fights and ejects verbally and physically abusive customers from the premises as well as disorderly patrons. Sometimes bouncers escort female employees to vehicles late at night to ensure safety.

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About the Author

Kristen Marquette has been a professional writer since 2009 when FireLight Books published her debut novel, "The Vampiric Housewife." Since 2000 she has helped students hone their written and verbal skills in English as a tutor. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University.