Bartender School Online

Learn – Prepare – Interview – Success!

How a Bar Operates

(Section 13 of the Bartending Course)

If you would like to see a complete list of the 20 sections/chapters of the Bartending Course – Go Here

Bar Operations – Behind the Scenes

There’s a lot going on behind the scenes of a busy, thriving bar. For those of you who have never had a job in the Food & Beverage Industry, it can be quite overwhelming the first day you show up for training. Let me lighten the load here.

The hustle and bustle of restaurants and bars has always fascinated me. So much going on – how does the manager keep track of everything? In a word – “systems.” Or, if you prefer, tools to stay organized.

You might be saying to yourself, ” Why are Bar Operations in a Bartending School Course?” Simple. You may get asked some very basic questions in a job interview. In this section of my Bartending Course, I’m going to give you a general idea of how a bar actually operates. Good stuff, it’s basic and common sense (mostly), and it will help you feel more comfortable on your first few days on the job.

I’m not going to go into any great detail here, but all businesses have “systems,” whether they know it or not. If you’d like to learn more about this, a basic definition can be found at BEM (Business Enterprise Mapping).

As I said before, there’s a lot going on in a bar. Vendors in and out. Beer distributors hanging up posters and signs. The bar manager asking me why he’s going through 4 cases of BevNaps every week. Here’s a few more:

  • Why is the Health Inspector behind the bar asking me questions?
  • There’s a case of Banana Liqueur in the liquor room. How are we ever going to get rid of that?
  • Why is that guy from the back office asking me if I have additional health insurance?
  • How often do they clean the beer line?
  • A guy just flashed me his detective badge and asked me about an incident from last night. Oh-oh.

Yep. Lots of stuff going on. It’s called general, every day “Bar Operations.” Some of the information in this section will cross over to the Bar House Policies section they go hand-in-hand. You should have a basic understanding of what’s really going on behind the scenes at a bar. What are the local laws? Why are the managers constantly telling me to be careful using a knife? The beer cooler is currently at 60 degrees. Oh-oh.

Below is a partial list of some of the chapters in the Bar Operations section of the course. Don’t sweat it – a thorough reading should get you to where you want to be.

Bar Operations Chapters

A General Introduction on Bar Operations

Why is the bar actually in business?

Profitability vs. Customer Satisfaction (Free, comps, etc).

Bar Equipment/Bartender Tools (The big stuff)

The Chain of Command

The Law




Health Inspectors

Lots of Changes – COVID



Human Resources


P & L (Profit and Loss)

POS – “Point of Sale”” System

BOH – “Back of House System”

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