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How to become a bartender?

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  • Jul 16th, 2018 9:10 pm
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[OP]
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Feb 16, 2016
363 posts
72 upvotes
Casselman, Ontario

How to become a bartender?

Hey everyone.

Any bartenders here on RFD? If so, how do you become one? Do you have to take a course or is it only an online certification? My knowledge in mixology is very limited...but I would like to learn that job and get a little extra income on the side...

Any tips?

Thank you in advance!
23 replies
Deal Addict
Oct 18, 2014
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Tokyo
I used to on the wknd for fun, my friend was the owner and I did it to help and hang out with her.

Most bartenders come through referral and prior experiences. It also helps to be good-looking (as tacky as it sounds). Do you know anyone that owns a restaurant bar?
[OP]
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Feb 16, 2016
363 posts
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Casselman, Ontario
McKinsey wrote:
Jul 5th, 2018 8:39 pm
I used to on the wknd for fun, my friend was the owner and I did it to help and hang out with her.

Most bartenders come through referral and prior experiences. It also helps to be good-looking (as tacky as it sounds). Do you know anyone that owns a restaurant bar?
Thanks for the reply. I was approached by the owner of a Boston Pizza franchise (as weird as that sounds). He told me I was very good looking and that he was looking for a male bartender. I`m 6`4/6`5, around 185 lbs, fairly athletic and good looking.
Deal Guru
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Mar 31, 2008
10024 posts
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Toronto
Potrice wrote:
Jul 5th, 2018 8:51 pm
Thanks for the reply. I was approached by the owner of a Boston Pizza franchise (as weird as that sounds). He told me I was very good looking and that he was looking for a male bartender. I`m 6`4/6`5, around 185 lbs, fairly athletic and good looking.

Why didn't you take it? Yea, looks do matter vs service today. 10+ years, not so much. Bartenders were expected to chat you up, etc., Today, it's more about friendly servitude type service in a posh cool place while you hang out with a friend at the bar. Before, the scene was more 'chill and drink at the bar, maybe commiserate with the bartender'. Also, nowadays, they've replaced many men with women (for example, back in the day, Jack Astors used to be mostly guys bartending. Now, it's almost exclusively women. Even places like the Firkin. My good bud who's bartended both places throughout this transition period said that's the movement too).

Taking a course would help too. Another way is to start out as a waiter, then express alot of interest. If Management likes you, they might give you a shot.
[OP]
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Feb 16, 2016
363 posts
72 upvotes
Casselman, Ontario
at1212b wrote:
Jul 5th, 2018 9:44 pm
Why didn't you take it? Yea, looks do matter vs service today. 10+ years, not so much. Bartenders were expected to chat you up, etc., Today, it's more about friendly servitude type service in a posh cool place while you hang out with a friend at the bar. Before, the scene was more 'chill and drink at the bar, maybe commiserate with the bartender'. Also, nowadays, they've replaced many men with women (for example, back in the day, Jack Astors used to be mostly guys bartending. Now, it's almost exclusively women. Even places like the Firkin. My good bud who's bartended both places throughout this transition period said that's the movement too).

Taking a course would help too. Another way is to start out as a waiter, then express alot of interest. If Management likes you, they might give you a shot.
Thanks for the reply. The offer still stands. I`m just gathering some information about this job. Do you have any suggestions for courses? Online or in person? I`m near Ottawa...
Deal Guru
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Mar 31, 2008
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Toronto
Definitely in person. Even holding cups, glasses, making mixed drinks will give you confidence to start and improve coordination instead of being shaky. The courses used to be prevalent but maybe not as much today. Maybe Ottawa is different in terms of offering, but from what I recall, they're abundant in Toronto. At the end of the day, it's about practice, and having someone guide you. You tube videos also help too to get familiar with different drinks. Probably would help to find out what's on the bar menu and can youtube it if courses aren't available. Working the till, closing out, inventory, etc, can also only be learned through actual practice.
Newbie
Jun 14, 2018
10 posts
3 upvotes
Potrice wrote:
Jul 5th, 2018 9:48 pm
Thanks for the reply. The offer still stands. I`m just gathering some information about this job. Do you have any suggestions for courses? Online or in person? I`m near Ottawa...
Don't waste your time with courses. You can learn on the job or at worst, start off as a server before making your way up to a bartender. Servers make decent money too.
Newbie
Aug 26, 2013
31 posts
15 upvotes
Oakville
Potrice wrote:
Jul 5th, 2018 9:48 pm
Thanks for the reply. The offer still stands. I`m just gathering some information about this job. Do you have any suggestions for courses? Online or in person? I`m near Ottawa...
Having been in the bar/restaurant/catering industry for decades... At the very least - If not a requirement by most (if not all) establishments - Legal and/or Insurance requirements (etc) - Especially these days and the rules and laws of the road (etc)... I strongly suggest https://www.smartserve.ca or an equivalent... BUT - Best to check with the establishment to see what they require... Many have some sort of requirements... BIG SMILES... /G
Deal Addict
Oct 18, 2014
1505 posts
534 upvotes
Tokyo
Potrice wrote:
Jul 5th, 2018 8:51 pm
Thanks for the reply. I was approached by the owner of a Boston Pizza franchise (as weird as that sounds). He told me I was very good looking and that he was looking for a male bartender. I`m 6`4/6`5, around 185 lbs, fairly athletic and good looking.
In that case, go for it! You will learn on the job, and get your SmartServe on the side.

It's a good side gig to generate extra income while having fun. If you are single, then even better ;)
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
28534 posts
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East Gwillimbury
Potrice wrote:
Jul 5th, 2018 9:48 pm
Do you have any suggestions for courses? Online or in person? I`m near Ottawa...
Ottawa? If you’re willing to spend a week or two in Toronto, there is a bartending school on the Danforth. I took the course several years ago when it was still on Broadview.
Sr. Member
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Dec 9, 2006
893 posts
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Toronto
Sounds like you got the job already, do you know when the owner wants you to start?

Like what other says, sign up for a course
At the very least, go to Boston Pizza website and learn the menu item drinks.
Go to another BP and see how other bartenders do it, or ask them to be your mentor
buy the ingredients and practice at home
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Dec 16, 2015
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Canada
Potrice wrote:
Jul 5th, 2018 6:31 pm
Hey everyone.

Any bartenders here on RFD? If so, how do you become one? Do you have to take a course or is it only an online certification? My knowledge in mixology is very limited...but I would like to learn that job and get a little extra income on the side...

Any tips?

Thank you in advance!
u just need to know how to shake, shake, shake

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Member
Dec 15, 2015
422 posts
227 upvotes
Toronto
All you need is Smart Serve in Ontario. Pick up one of those mixology books and start practicing.

Working in a bar sucks though, the day I left that industry was one the best days of my life. Wayyyy better ways to make money than working the bar. If the manager approached you for your looks tell them to pay you to be in an ad.
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Mar 16, 2010
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Burlington
Potrice wrote:
Jul 5th, 2018 6:31 pm
Hey everyone.

Any bartenders here on RFD? If so, how do you become one? Do you have to take a course or is it only an online certification? My knowledge in mixology is very limited...but I would like to learn that job and get a little extra income on the side...

Any tips?

Thank you in advance!
Just serve the hotties first. That's all there is to it.
[OP]
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Feb 16, 2016
363 posts
72 upvotes
Casselman, Ontario
Dpack22 wrote:
Jul 11th, 2018 2:48 pm
Just serve the hotties first. That's all there is to it.
Haha! I never knew it was that simple Face With Tears Of Joy

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