What does a Bar Attendant do?

Cassie L. Damewood

A bar attendant serves customers food and beverages in a restaurant environment. She may be responsible for the patrons seated at a counter or bar, at tables in the establishment or both. Depending on the volume of customers, she may work alone or with a team of servers, cooks and managers.

Some bartending positions are part-time.
Some bartending positions are part-time.

Customer service is generally a high priority for a bar attendant. She is commonly required to frequently survey the customers in her area of responsibility to make sure they have everything they ordered and are satisfied with the items they have received. If additional services or items are needed, the attendant is expected to provide them with efficiency and friendliness.

A high school diploma is typically the minimum educational requirement to become a bar attendant.
A high school diploma is typically the minimum educational requirement to become a bar attendant.

When her customers’ service needs have been met, a bar attendant is normally expected to prepare food and beverage orders for other customers. She is frequently called upon to alter ingredients or presentations to accommodate customer requests. If items are returned for any reason, she is typically expected to correct the infractions and serve the accurate order to the customer.

Bartenders may pour shots for customers.
Bartenders may pour shots for customers.

The cleanliness and maintenance of the bar are customarily part of her job. Wiping down counters and tables and removing dishes and debris from eating areas are general requirements of for this position. Restocking counter items available for customer selection, such as chips and snacks, is usually part of her job, as is refilling condiment containers provided at the bar and on tables.

Bar attendants try to make sure customers are having a good time.
Bar attendants try to make sure customers are having a good time.

If food preparation areas need to be stocked prior to opening the bar, the attendant is typically responsible for this task. This frequently requires slicing vegetables and meat, the preparation of soups and salads and arranging utensils and pots for easy access during service. Keeping these areas stocked throughout her shift is commonly part of her job.

As her customers prepare to exit the premises, the bar attendant is ordinarily required to process payments from them. Acuity in cash handling procedures and the ability to efficiently deal with credit and debit card transactions are generally required for this position. Accuracy in charging customers is important to be a successful bar attendant.

Friendliness and organizational skills are general requirements to be a successful bar attendant. Good math aptitude is highly preferred. Legible handwriting is normally required to prepare customer checks that are readable by both staff members and customers.

A high school diploma or equivalent is normally a requirement for this job. Background in food preparation or customer relations is desirable. Bar attendants who demonstrate exceptional food service and customer service talents are frequently promoted to management positions.

Bar attendants may serve customers food.
Bar attendants may serve customers food.

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Discussion Comments


A bar attendant job can be great when you are young but it gets to be hard, weird work when you get past 35 or so. You feel immature and most of the jobs that you get are in rowdy old man bars where people just want to grab you as you guy by and then leave a 25 cent tip.

I worked in bars from the time I was 21 until I was 37. Then I got sick of it and I knew my time in the industry would not last much longer. I went back to school and became a nurse. Sometimes I miss the excitement of the bar but I like my life much better now.


I have been trying to get a bar attendant job for about two months now but I am not having any luck. Who would have thought it would be so hard for a reasonable attractive young girl to get a job in bar?

Does anyone have any advice? What should I put on my resume? What should I wear to the interview and what should I say? I obviously need to do more to stand out from the crowd but I am not having much luck.


Anyone that has worked in a bar before, man or woman, will tell you that a big smile and a little flirtation can go a long way. In fact, if you are friendly and a little flirty you might make double or triple what some of the other bar attendants make.

I used to work with this girl that was amazing at working the crowd. She knew how to get people ordering, keep them ordering and tipping big. She used to walk out the door every night with a couple of hundred dollars in cash. Not bad for serving beers.

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