Getting hired as a bartender without experience can seem difficult but if you really want to learn the position you can find a way. The first thing you must realize is that experience is absolutely necessary in a busy place. That is why most of the help wanted ads state experience necessary. There are good schools and courses available, and they do help a lot, but even if you scored 100 percent on your tests it still cannot beat hands on experience for this job.
In order to get hired as a bartender without experience you will likely have to start at a very slow place that consists mostly of pouring beer and mixing very basic drinks. Most neighborhoods have their share of these taverns where the bar has only 8-10 stools and maybe a few tables. This may not be your most desirable place of employment but having even a few months on your resume at a place like this will give you a great advantage when applying at an establishment you truly desire to work for.
If you are an experienced waitress, that alone gives you an advantage and will certainly be looked at in a positive way by potential employers. If you have been serving alcohol as a waitress, even better. So if you are waitressing at a family restaurant where no alcohol is served and your true desire is to become a bartender, start looking for a job as a cocktail waitress or find a busy food restaurant that serves alcohol.
You don't have to quit your steady job for now, just look into part time hours at the places serving alcohol. Simply serving the drinks will familiarize you with the different names and brands and will often be enough for a bar owner to hire you for "on the job training" as a bartender at a small tavern if you show enough enthusiasm and desire to learn when interviewed.
Other places you might try are small clubs such as the SOI, Eagles, American Legion, Owls, Moose and such. There is almost certainly at least one of these clubs near your area. (even if you've never noticed it!) You will likely want to find a small one. Some of these larger clubs can be quite busy and you would likely need experience for those.
Some of the small ones are not too busy, low pressure and not too exciting. But still, you need experience! Check your phone book for locations as these places are easily overlooked in your daily travels. Look under clubs, taverns, restaurants and go in person to apply in the daytime. Don't wait for an ad in the paper. Often these places hire without ever running ads.
Bowling alleys are good too! Often a bowling alley will hire you with on the job training for the summer because it's very slow this time of year. But you will be learning and when fall hits you will be making a lot of money in tips because that's when the leagues start and the place goes from being practically dead to non stop action almost overnight! The trick here is to hang in there. You might think there is no future if you get hired in the summer but trust me when October hits you will be glad you stayed! And summer is likely your only chance of being hired with no experience.
When considering these places as potential employment, you should seek them out and apply or talk to someone in charge. Don't wait for an ad. Go in and explain that you are very interested in learning bartending and would love the opportunity to work there. Tell them you are a fast learner and be yourself. Be sure to go in during the day when it's not busy. Generally 2pm-4pm is very slow for most establishments serving food or alcohol and a great time to plan on going. So get going and start earning!
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