For other uses, see Bartender (disambiguation).
"Barman" redirects here. For other uses, see Barman (disambiguation).
A bartender pouring some vodka in to the metal cup of a cocktail shaker
Ada Coleman bartending at the Savoy Hotel in London, circa 1920
A bartender making a classic cocktail

A bartender (also known as a barkeep, barman, barmaid, bar chef, tapster, mixologist, alcohol server, or a alcohol chef) is a person who formulates and serves alcoholic beverages behind the bar, usually in a licensed establishment. Bartenders also usually maintain the supplies and inventory for the bar. A bartender can generally mix classic cocktails such as a Cosmopolitan, Manhattan, Old Fashioned, and Mojito. The bartending profession was generally a second occupation, used as transitional work for students to gain customer experience or to save money for university fees.[1] This however is changing around the world and bartending has become a profession by choice rather than necessity. Cocktail competitions such as World Class and Bacardi Legacy have recognised talented bartenders in the past decade and these bartenders, and others, spread the love of cocktails and hospitality throughout the world.[2]

In America, where tipping is a local custom, bartenders depend on tips for most of their income.[3] Bartenders are also usually responsible for confirming that customers meet the legal drinking age requirements before serving them alcoholic beverages. In certain countries, such as the United Kingdom and Sweden, bartenders are legally required to refuse more alcohol to drunk customers.[4]

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, bar work is often not regarded as a long-term profession (except if you are also a landlord), but more often as a second occupation, or transitional work for students to gain customer experience or to save money for university fees. As such, it lacks traditional employment protections and therefore has a high turnover. The high turnover of staff due to low wages and poor employee benefits results in a shortage of skilled bartenders. Whereas a career bartender would know drink recipes, serving techniques, alcohol contents, correct gas mixes, licensing law and would often have cordial relations with regular customers, short-term staff may lack these skills. Some pubs prefer experienced staff, although pub chains tend to accept inexperienced staff and provide training.

Tipping bartenders in the United Kingdom is not considered mandatory but is greatly appreciated by the bartender. The appropriate way to tip a bartender in the UK is to say 'have one for yourself', encouraging the bartender to buy themselves a drink with one's money, where a bartender may instead opt to add a modest amount to a bill to take in cash at the end of their shift.

United States

The Bureau of Labor's data on occupations in the United States, including that of bartender, publishes a detailed description of the bartender's typical duties[5] and employment and earning statistics by those so employed, with 55% of a bartender's take-home pay coming in the form of tips.[6][7] Bartenders may attend special schools or learn while on the job.

Bartenders in the United States may work in a large variety of bars. These include hotel bars, restaurant bars, sports bars, gay bars, piano bars, and dive bars.[8][9] Also growing in popularity is the portable bar, which allows a bar to be moved and set up in events and other venues. Bartending is quickly broadening from the traditional notion, a single location, to one which is versatile and mobile.


Bar in Black Hawk, Colorado
Bartender and two patrons at the Toll Gate Saloon, Black Hawk, Colorado, c. 1897 
Toronto bartenders
Hotel bartenders in Toronto, 1911 
British student working as a barmaid 

See also


  1. Lucas, Rosemary (2004). Employment relations in the hospitality and tourism industries. Routledge. pp. 27–42. ISBN 978-0-415-29712-7. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  2. "Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition announces The Top 25 |". 2013-10-16. Retrieved 2015-12-12.
  3. "Guide to Tipping Etiquette in New York City". Retrieved 2015-12-12.
  4. "OLGR > Information and training for students and staff >". Retrieved 2015-12-12.
  5. U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (January 2010). "Food and Beverage Serving and Related Workers". Occupational Outlook Handbook. Bulletin 2800 (2010–11 Library ed.). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 492. ISBN 978-0-16-084318-1. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  6. U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 4, 2009). "35-3011 Bartenders". Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2008. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  7. "How to Become a Bartender". Break Into Bartending. Retrieved 2015-12-12.
  8. "Cocktail lounge - definition of cocktail lounge by The Free Dictionary". 2012-06-12. Retrieved 2015-12-12.
  9. "Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus". Retrieved 2015-12-12.

External links

Look up bartender, barkeep, barmaid, or mixologist in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
The Wikibook Bartending has a page on the topic of: Cocktails
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/7/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.