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Bar Manager

Education and Training: High school graduates preferred
Average Salary: $49,000
Job Outlook: Excellent

It’s a bar manager’s job to keep a bar operating smoothly, and this includes overseeing all operations concerned with the bar. This means the bar manager must schedule employees’ hours, make sure there are adequate staff on each shift, and they may also be required to plan functions and events.

A bar manager also has to regularly review the inventory and ensure that there are sufficient supplies, re-order where necessary, and must manage the money and make sure there is an adequate supply of cash. It’s their responsibility to make sure the bar meets all health and safety requirements, and is kept clean and neat. A bar manager must know the local, state, and federal regulations concerning the sale and distribution of alcohol.

Additional duties can include interviewing potential staff, and conducting regular performance reviews on current staff. It may be necessary to train staff working at the bar, and this may include security staff and waiting staff as well as bartenders.

Anyone wishing to become a bar manager must have extremely strong communication skills and definitely has to be a team player. It’s necessary to have a neat and clean appearance as the job is customer facing, and bar managers need to be at least 21 years of age. It’s definitely a job to aspire to in the food/drink industry, as bar managers need to have gained prior experience in food and beverage establishments such as bars, hotels or clubs.

Education and Training Requirements

There are no formal education requirements for this position, although the majority of employers will require their bar manager to have at least completed their high school education. However people can choose to obtain a certificate in food and beverage management or bar tending, or can progress to gain an associate degree in hospitality and beverage management. Some will go on to gain a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management, although none of this is strictly necessary to become a bar manager. Training is very much ‘on the job,’ and is definitely something that can only be acquired through experience.

Getting the Job

Anyone wishing to apply for a job as bar manager needs to have sufficient prior experience in this industry. It is a responsible position as bar managers are in charge of staff, and potential employers will be looking for proof that you have the necessary personnel skills to deal with people on a daily basis. It’s essential to have a neat and tidy appearance as you will be dealing with drink and potentially food.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

The prospects for bar managers are excellent, as this industry is expected to keep on expanding. The prospects for career development are reasonable as there is scope to go on to become the maitre d’ or assistant manager or general manager of restaurants. Some bar managers choose to open their own establishments. Those working for larger chains are sometimes invited to join the company’s formal management training program.

Working Conditions and Environment

This can be quite a tough job, as you are likely to be on your feet for much of the day, and may need to carry heavy trays of glasses or drinks. However the work is relatively safe and the environment is likely to be pretty nice as you will be working in the leisure industry. Another important consideration is that you are likely to be required to work antisocial hours and weekends, although it’s an excellent job for anyone who loves to meet people.

Salary and Benefits

Benefits may include a share of any tips, and some of employers provide free meals, depending on the establishment. The average salary for a bar manager is $49,000, but this can vary greatly according to experience, location, and the size of the bar. In general it can be anywhere between $30,000 and $60,000 annually.

Where to Go for More Information

The Art Institute of Washington
1820 North Fort Myer Dr.
Arlington, VA 22209-1802
(703) 358-9550

International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education
2810 North Parham Rd., Ste. 230
Richmond, Virginia, 23294
(804) 346-4800

New York Bartending School Inc.
68 W 39th St.,
New York, NY 10018
(212) 768-8460

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesHospitality and Recreation