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Bartending School?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from cosmogirl. Show cosmogirl's posts

    Bartending School?

    Need some advice from my LL friends who are/were bartenders.  I need a second job (because I don't have a first one right now) and bartending appeals to me for a lot of reasons.

    Do I need to take a bartending course to get TIPS certified or whatever else the state requires?  Any recommendations on which bartending school is good?

    I realize that there's more to bartending than making an excellent cosmo, so whatever advice you can give will be greatly appreciated! 
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from reindeergirl. Show reindeergirl's posts

    Re: Bartending School?

    The Harvard Bartending Course is excellent, probably the best, if you care to attend bartending school:

    I attended New England Bartending School:

    It had really thorough placement - the faculty knows everyone in the hospitality business. At the time I attended (early 1980s), you could return years later for free, if you'd been out of the field for a while and wanted a course review.

    I didn't go the non-school route, so I can't address that. But I can recommend the two schools, above. They run about the same tuition. TIPS certified wasn't required then; if I returned to bartending, I would return to school for certification.

    Have fun! I loved doing it; I worked at a gay mens' leather bar in the Fenway, which also attracted a lot of cab drivers from the local garages. Great tips, nice people, all.
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Sarah B. Show Sarah B's posts

    Re: Bartending School?

    You do not need to go to school to get certified. $20 will get you certified in MA online. I would recommend getting it before you apply anywhere. Some bars will hire you without and send you when they send a group, but their insurance requires everyone serving to be certified. 

    I did not go to school, but I knew the owners of the bar I worked at in MA. And if you are starting from scratch, in other words, 0 experience with alcohol, the school could be a good start, but I wouldn't bother. I never worked with anyone that went to school. You will most likely start off as barkeep anyway before they let you serve. That is to get you familarized with the staff and how they operate, their signature drinks if they have some, etc. Depending on how quick you catch on and their needs, that could last from a few weeks to three months. Of course, low-cut shirt is required. Really they want someone with personality, that can handle customers and the occasional rowdy alcoholic without being offended.

  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Harbormistress. Show Harbormistress's posts

    Re: Bartending School?

    I didnt go to school either, learned it on the fly.  It is in fact more about personality and being able to handle a rush or a belligerent/drunk customers.  Buy a bartenders' guide and familiarize yourself with the standards (which can vary depending on the type of establishment you work in-we catered to older professionals so i made more manhattans and gimlets than someone at TGIFs would) and then as stated above different places have different specialty drinks you'll have to learn.  the most important trait to have is the ability to not get flustered under pressure.  also depending on where you work, you may need physical strength - i carried 2 cases of wine or 3 or 4 cases of beer at a time up a flight of stairs routinely.  bartending can be great money but it is exhausting.

    Good luck!
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from MoVa. Show MoVa's posts

    Re: Bartending School?

    It seems that a lot of bars these days have computer programs that tell the bartender how to make a more exotic drink. There may not be that much alchemy to it in the future. This would make me kind of sad, though.
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from BeenThereImSure. Show BeenThereImSure's posts

    Re: Bartending School?

    Last year, I took a course at Drinkmasters, and then afterwards got TIPS certified online.  I have never worked in a bar, just took the class for fun.  The class was a lot of fun, but I think it did teach me things about working in a bar I never would have thought of. 

    Granted, you would probably learn these things on the job too (but it could help build your confidence faster).  They offer a weeklong, or two weekend programs for not a lot of money (check their website - if they aren't offering a sale for $200-$300, wait until they do).  And you can go back for free refresher courses forever. 

    They do try to tell you that once you finish the course, bars will see you as an experienced bartender, and based on bartenders I've spoken to, this is not the case.  However, it could help you get your foot in the door faster (or before the person who has no experience and didn't take a course).

    Good luck!!
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  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from cosmogirl. Show cosmogirl's posts

    Re: Bartending School?

    You're confirming what I thought.  Thanks for the advice.