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Four Skills Needed to Be a Bartender

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Skilled bartenders can make the hard work behind a busy nightclub bar seem effortless and even enjoyable. The truth is that tending bar is a physically demanding job that requires the ability to maintain order, deliver quality service and work at a frantic pace while keeping a smile on your face. Those that seek a career in tending bar must have the skills to interact with customers and servers, mix an inventory of drinks and ensure the bar has adequate supplies to deliver a drink quickly to a waiting customer.


The number of customers in a bar can change dramatically between days or even shifts in some establishments. The bartender must have the skills to adapt his pace and activities to the level of business in the bar. Making the change from a leisurely day with a few customers sitting at the bar to a crowd of people clamoring for attention requires flexibility. A bartender must have the skills to work in either situation and change from one to the other without hesitation.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are a necessity for a successful bartender. A bartender interacts with customers and other servers in the establishment. His interpersonal skills must include the ability to listen effectively and communicate in a clear manner to both customers and other servers. A bartender often earns a bulk of his pay from customer tips, which requires the individual to provide the customer with an experience, quality service and attention.


A strong memory is a skill all bartenders must have to mix and serve the large number of drinks that are available. An experienced bartender can immediately begin mixing a drink without referencing a guide or asking another server for the recipe. Quality bartenders can also recognize regular customers and remember their favorite drinks, which requires a memory for faces and previous interactions. In addition to a good memory, the bartender should stay up to date on the latest trends in mixed drinks.

Drink Mixing

A skilled bartender can effortlessly mix and pour a number of drinks at the same time. A new bartender must practice his mixing skills before he acquires the fluid movements of an experienced bartender. Good drink-mixing skills include the ability to measure by eye, rather than using a shot glass or other method of measuring.