Many people, especially those who are planning to take their chances in bartending would ask if it is necessary for them to attend a bartending school to become a bartender. Actually the process of having a license and diploma on bartending may depend on the state policies as well as the preferences of the employers, of course. So to address the question, it is pretty impossible to fully determine if there is indeed a necessity to attend a bartending school, perhaps on a case-to-case basis only.
Why There’s No Need to Attend a Bartending School?
Typically, a bartending school usually teaches its students on the basics of liquors ñ the popular brands, how to mix them and how to serve them. However, though a background such as this can be an edge amongst others, employers would always prefer to hire a person who has years of experience than a newbie with bartending education with no experience. One of the common misconceptions about bartending is that any person can easily walk-in at a random restaurant or a bar and apply for the position. This age-old misconception is definitely not true. Any employer would always prefer people who have experience in the field. A random applicant who by chance tries his/her luck to become a bartender without any experience may hamper the operations of the restaurant/bar. Why? Because it takes time to know the different liquors, the mixes as well as the time to serve the drinks and if bar owners will take a non-experienced aspiring bartender chances are it will cause delay on services and wrong mixing drinks might happen. Itís a risk these owners will take if they hire a person with no-knowledge at all in bartending. But for people, who really want to succeed in this industry, they may do so by trying their luck in applying to small towns or small bars because there is little bulk of bartending work there which can be a good training ground.
Another thing about bartending schools is that some are billing their students more than what they learn from them. You can’t categorize them as scams because they really do provide their students with the knowledge needed for basic bartending, only that they overprice their fees. Overpriced fees may be justified if there’s a guaranteed work after, but if there’s none then that leaves the students paying for nothing but a common knowledge anyone will eventually know just by reading a book or two.
This may sound a bit contrary to the first few paragraphs but it’s worth the discussion anyway. Any person can really be a bartender. It just only takes much more perseverance to learn the ways of bartending. What aspiring bartenders must do is to have them educated through various education mediums like the internet. The internet is a vast area of knowledge and it is next to impossible to not find any information about bartending and how it is done. After knowledge has been gained, learn from the pros. Visiting a bar regularly or at a fixed interval and observed professional bartenders do their thing. They’d be more willing to share their techniques and experiences about bartending if they find out that you are interested to become one. You can also extend that interest to the bar owner as well. Who knows, maybe someday if you have gained the enough knowledge and did a lot of practice, he will allow you to try out small bartending jobs for you to practice on a real-based setting.
A person’s way of learning may vary. Others prefer to learn new things all by themselves, research on a certain topic, watch videos, read articles and books and then practice while there are also those who prefer to learn new things in a classroom setting. The latter group of learners finds it easy for them to understand things if they have a teacher, who will explain the lessons, have someone who will watch carefully the execution to see if there’s a need for improvement, etc. In this case, there is a necessity to attend in a bartending school especially for those who are more than motivated to have bartending as their careers.
Another reason why there’s a need to attend a bartending school is because there are states that require certifications from aspiring bartenders. They need to have sufficient amount of educational background and then take a specific exam intended for bartenders and pass it for them to receive their certification. In these areas where certification is necessary, a person who has had educational background in bartending has more edge than others.
Although there are different types of learning, one of the best ways to gain knowledge on new things is by having insights from the experts themselves, who by many years of experience have already gained a whole lot of related stories to tell. Moreover, a bartending school also gives aspiring bartenders a milieu to meet other people to which they can share each other’s experience during the entire course.
As earlier mentioned in the introduction, attending a bartending school may depend on the situation and how the aspiring bartender wants to learn about bartending. The only key thing here is that regardless of educational background and experience, a bartender must have the attitude of a professional bartender. Not merely a person who is good in mixing drinks and serving them to customers fast but also a person who has the art of listening despite busyness, easy-going personality and patience.
Being a bartender requires you as well to be a confidant since some of your possible customers go to the bars because they have problems. If they tell you something, you should be able to keep it no matter what. You should be a therapist as well, which must go hand-in-hand with you being a confidant. Included as well for a top quality bartender is that you should be able to handle inappropriate behavior. You are the one serving your customers with liquors and it is your moral responsibility to safeguard your customer should there be any signs of trouble.