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What Is Bar Management?

If you not only enjoy the nightlife and a high paced career, but also have management skills, you might be interested in a career in bar management. Read below for more information about careers in bar management.

Bar Management Defined

Bar management involves operating and running an establishment that serves alcoholic beverages. If you're in charge of managing a bar, you'll need to oversee a variety of staff members, such as bouncers, bartenders and servers. Entertainment is an important part of bar management as well. Potential entertainment options include televised sports games and live events featuring bands and comedians. If a bar serves food, a bar manager also might have to make menu selections and supervise the bar's kitchen.

Important Facts About Food Service Careers

Work Environment Restaurants; social organizations; recreation industries
Key Skills Interpersonal; physical stamina; customer service; decision-making
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 9% (for food service managers)
On-the-Job Training Short-term training

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Opportunities in Bar Management

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) groups bar managers into the same category as food service managers. If you want to be a bar manager, you can work your way up from other roles in a food service establishment. You might start out as a server who takes and delivers orders, a chef who cooks food, a bartender who serves drinks or even a bouncer who helps keep the bar orderly and safe. Once you have been promoted to the position of bar manager, you oversee the general operations of the bar. You must handle customer complaints, take inventory for the bar and ensure that staff members properly fulfill their job duties.

Education Requirements

Bar and food service managers are most typically required to have a high school degree and experience in the field. You can gain experience in lower-level serving or bartending positions.

Many employers are willing to train workers in the necessary job duties of an occupation after hiring them. Bartenders might want to attend a bartending certificate program at a vocational or technical school. According to the BLS, some states set specific age requirements for bartenders and waiters who serve alcohol and might require you to review state laws regarding alcohol distribution.

If you're interested in a managerial position, you can also pursue an associate's or bachelor's degree in hospitality management with a specialization in beverage management. These degree programs teach you about safety regulations, the legal aspects of running a bar and successful marketing strategies. In addition, many bar management certificate programs are available.

Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that as of May 2018, bartenders made a median hourly wage of $10.84 and a median annual wage of $22,550 (www.bls.gov). This occupation can also receive tips depending on the business and clientele. Food service managers, on the other hand, earned a median hourly wage of $26.08 as of May 2018, which amounted to a median annual salary of $54,240.