What are Bartending Schools?

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  • Written By: Shannon Kietzman
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2019
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Bartending schools are institutions that train individuals interested in becoming a bartender, also referred to as a barkeep. The role of a bartender is to serve beverages from behind a bar, which may be located in a tavern, a bar, a pub, a nightclub, a casino, a restaurant, or any other establishment that serves alcoholic beverages. These beverages may include cocktails, wine, and beer. Bartending schools teach students how to properly make a variety of mixed alcoholic drinks. In addition, bartending schools teach their students how to properly serve and care for drinks in order to maintain the highest quality and taste.

Since bartenders may be called upon to serve drinks in a variety of different settings, bartending schools also teach their students how to behave and interact with their customers within these different settings. At many bartending schools, students have the opportunity to visit some of these settings and to serve drinks within them. This hands-on experience is meant to help better prepare them for the job market once they complete their training at the school.

Often, bartenders are also expected to maintain the glassware and garnishes used to serve beverages. Therefore, bartending schools also provide training in how to maintain these items in a fast and efficient manner. Since a bartender may also work in an establishment that serves food, bartending schools generally touch on the basics of food service and handling customer payments as well.


Bartending schools are located in most major cities. For those who do not live near established bartending schools, some courses are available online or through other distance learning methods. For example, bartending schools may send videotaped recordings of their classroom lessons to those who are taking the course from home, or the information and the coursework may be available completely over the Internet. Since distance learning bartending schools are not able to provide the hands-on experience provided by brick and mortar institutions, some bartending schools collaborate with establishments near the student’s home in order to provide him or her with the same experience. In other cases, it may be up to the student to set up this type of arrangement without the help of the school.


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