In Oklahoma, bartenders can be 18 years old and are not required to have server certification. Many people are attracted to bartending because they get to interact with lots of people and can make a lot of money in tips. However, bartenders must be able to deal with angry customers, make drinks during the busiest hours of the day and keep people coming back to purchase more drinks and food.
Obtain a Oklahoma Server Certification. Though certification isn't required in Oklahoma, it can teach you valuable information and make your resume stand out, giving you an edge over the competition, especially if you are new to the service industry or have never been a bartender. The Oklahoma Server Certification course teaches alcohol servers useful skills, such as knowing how to properly check IDs and to deal with people who have been drinking too much. Anyone interested in become server certified should contact the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement at 405-521-3484.
Attend an Oklahoma bartending school. If you're a beginner to bartending, a bartending school will teach you the basics. Many Oklahoma bartending schools, such as the Oklahoma City School of Bartending or Tulsa Bartending School, set up their schools to resemble a real bar so that students can get a training experience as close to reality as possible. The Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement also offers courses in responsible service and wine and liquor knowledge.
Obtain a job as a server, host or barback in a restaurant or club. Rarely are bartenders hired with no previous service industry experience. Oftentimes bartenders have to work their way up after being a server for a period of time. Working as a server, host or barback can give you the necessary experience you need to know how to interact with customers, work a cash register and deal with the pressure of working during busy hours. Also, many restaurants and clubs will not hire outside bartenders, but promote someone from within their business.
Practice bartending in your spare time. Whenever possible, read books about bartending and alcoholic drinks. Offer to serve the drinks at families' and friends' parties. Buy some liquor bottles and practice mixing drinks at home. Learn how to garnish different drinks with oranges and lemons. The more you know about being a bartender, mixing drinks and interacting with customers the better prepared you will be when applying for bartender positions.
Always check for ID before serving alcohol. Never serve alcoholic drinks to minors, as you can lose your job if you do. In recent years, bartending schools have acquired a bad reputation and so many employers will not consider people for employment as bartenders if bartending school is their only experience or education. Still, bartending school can be a good place to learn the basics of serving alcohol and mixing drinks. Just be sure to gain some real world experience as well.