Head bartenders generally perform similar duties to other bartenders; however, their jobs differ because the head bartender is in charge of the overall bar area and reports to the bar manager or bar owner. Bartenders generally make minimum wage or slightly higher than minimum wage, plus tips. However, the head bartender may make slightly higher because of her duties, which include some clerical work and some management experience.
Head bartenders are usually in charge of the main bar area in a restaurant or establishment that serves alcohol. They are most commonly found in large establishments that employ several bartenders. Head bartenders report to the manager or the owner, yet are in charge of overseeing the other bartenders' performance and schedules. Head bartenders also must be able to perform the same functions as the other bartenders.
Usually a minimum of one year of bartending experience is required for head bartenders. Since the head bartender is in charge of the overall daily bar functions including managing other bartenders, they must possess problem-solving skills, organizational skills and communication skills. Other management experience or training experience is not required, however, is helpful when applying for the job of head bartender.
The duties of a head bartender include, making drinks, possessing a large knowledge of drink recipes, checking for proper identification, maintaining the appearance and cleanliness of the bar area, replacing kegs, handling employee issues, handling customer complaints and disturbances, scheduling employees, supervising other bartenders, ordering supplies and alcohol and overseeing the workings of the bar area.
Head bartenders are usually required to lift heavy kegs and be able to stand for several hours at a time. Head bartenders are also in charge of dealing with customer complaints, rowdy clients, ensuring all bartenders check for the proper identification for alcohol consumption and make drinks properly. Since the head bartender is also in charge of some administrative duties, some time sitting in front of a computer may be required.
The educational requirements vary for a head bartender position. Some employers require a GED or high school education, while some do not specify any educational requirements. No licenses or certifications are usually required; however, if the candidate has attended bartending school, the additional experience on his resume may help them stand out against other applicants.