Is a hotel bartending job right for you?

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When you think of hotel jobs, concierges, bellhops and valets probably come to mind. If these are a little too tame for your preferences, consider this position: hotel bartender.

What better way is there to meet new and interesting people? You'll be dealing directly with guests while working a one-of-a-kind job. There's no doubt that people will want to converse with you – and you can help set the tone. You can lend a sympathetic ear, be the life of the party or just be sociable. Either way, you can rest assured knowing that every day will bring something new.

Know what to expect
Where a bar is located determines the type of atmosphere that it'll have. While a club would be loud and distracting, a hotel bar will be quieter and calmer. It's where friends catch up with one another and businesspeople gather for unofficial meetings. 

Being a bartender requires a certain personality and work ethic. You'll be on your feet most of the time, so it's a good idea to invest in comfortable, slip-resistant shoes. Here are some aspects of bartending that are essential.

  • Sociability: Working any guest-facing job requires a friendly demeanor. However, this can be especially true for hotel bartenders. Though the concierges are their primary points of contact, bartenders are often viewed as more laid-back individuals who people can easily get along with. If a guest is waiting for a friend to join him or her for drinks, you can safely bet that he or she will want to make small talk. Mastering this art takes practice, but you'll soon get the hang of it. On the other hand, if you're serving a larger party, test the waters with small talk to see how engaging they'd like you to be. You can quickly detect whether they're looking to befriend a stranger or simply want to talk among themselves.
  • Great memory: Having to look at a cheat sheet is a quick way to come off as unprofessional when you're a bartender. If you've ever been to a bar, you realize how many cocktails exist. The possibilities are endless, and your hotel may offer signature drinks. Needless to say, you need to have a good memory in order to work at the bar. Not only do you have to remember what goes into each drink, but you also have to remember how much. You'll likely be supervised during your first few days or weeks, but you'll be expected to handle everything on your own at some point, so study up.
  • Professionalism: Don't get too caught up in the relaxed atmosphere. You'll still be at work, so it's absolutely essential that you behave professionally. This isn't to say that you can't have fun and joke around with guests, but know where to draw the line and, if you have any concerns, never hesitate to speak to your supervisor.
  • Attention to detail: When guests arrive, they want to know what type of liquors your bar carries. Always turn bottle labels to face the front. It's a quick way to give a good first impression. Make sure that your workspace is always clean and tidy. Nobody wants to sit at a sticky counter that's surrounded by wads of napkins. This applies to the area behind the bar as well. Everyone can see your work habits, so keep them neat. Even with slip-resistant mats behind the counter, continue your tidy habits on the floor, mopping up spills as soon as they happen. But even with that practice, you'll encounter slippery spots regularly. Invest in your safety with nonslip shoes.

There will be plenty of training involved, so if you feel that you fit the mold and want to give it a try, start looking for open positions and remember to enjoy your job.

Brought to you by Shoes For Crews, the trusted leader in safety footwear to hospitality employees for more than 30 years.

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