It’s the bar owner’s job to make people aware of the bar. To get them in the front door. To provide a safe, comfortable environment with great food and drink. In other words – to have a great experience.

The owner hires bartenders, and other employees, who understand his priorities – and do whatever it takes to help him achieve his goals.

What Is The Bartenders Job Description?

It is the bartender’s job to provide a great customer experience so that customers will return time and again. That is the bartender’s job – to work hand-in-hand with the bar owner to provide a great customer experience. Period.

Notice that I didn’t say “provide great customer service.” I want you to pay particular attention to this: Great customer service is a simply a tool to help provide an awesome customer experience. A tool that is just as important as the proper lighting, reasonably priced food and drink, and a winning attitude.

Your ultimate goal as a bartender is to have a brand-new, first-time customer return to your bar, and address you by your first name while calling out his drink order. And then continuing to come into the bar on a regular basis – and spend his hard-earned money. That’s it. You’re doing exactly what you’re paid to do.

As a  bartender, you are an asset. A resource. This is capitalism, baby! The bar owner leverages your labor to make himself more money. In other words, “I’ll pay you $100 per shift, and you ring up $1000 in sales.” Make no mistake – the bar owner is in this business to make a profit. You are there, working behind the bar, to make the bar owner money. Lots of it. It’s that simple.

Premium Vodka With Salami And Bread

As I mentioned before, the bar owner contributes to the customer experience by providing a clean, comfortable, and safe place to eat and drink. He provides the music, hires the employees, buys the décor, and purchases products. He pays the bills.

He strives to create his idea of the perfect atmosphere – and then hires a bartender, and other employees, to work within that atmosphere and help provide a great experience for his customers.

So, then, what is the bartender’s role in all of this? Of course there is a job description – many bars will have this spelled out, and in writing, upon hiring you. However, it took me a few years to realize what I was really doing behind the bar during a shift:

I was simply hanging out with people. Blending in. Talking with them. Anticipating their needs, and providing suggestions and solutions to their requests. Being nice! I just happened to be making drinks and maybe serving some food while all of this was going on.

Knowing a drink recipe is 10% of the job. If that. My real job was to make sure the customer was enjoying himself. Enjoying the food and drink. Enjoying the atmosphere – just taking some time out from his busy day to relax a bit. Enjoying a great experience!

Bar Couple Sharing A Cocktail
Young beautiful couple with cocktails in bar or club having fun

Of course, you might say, “But that’s not possible in an extremely busy bar.” And you would be correct – somewhat. Remember, every bar is different! Every bar owner is different. Priorities and policy can be different in every bar. There are busy times. There are slow times. Adjust accordingly!


If you, as a bartender, can consistently help provide a great customer experience – you are exactly what a bar manager is looking for. You’re hired!

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