Skills Bartender near Cold Lake (AB)

Find out what skills you typically need to work as a bartender in Canada. These skills are applicable to all Bartenders (NOC 6512).

Expertise

People working in this occupation usually apply the following skill set.

  • Organize and set up bar
  • Clean bar area and wash glassware
  • Clean draft beer system
  • Advise on wine selection
  • Inform customers regarding contents of cocktails or other drinks
  • Collect cash, credit/debit cards or other payment for beverages
  • Record and balance beverage sales
  • Store beverage and food products
  • Order bar stock and maintain inventory and control of bar stock
  • Enforce provincial/territorial liquor legislation and regulations
  • Take beverage orders from serving staff or directly from patrons
  • Prepare mixed drinks, wine, draft or bottled beer and non-alcoholic beverages

Skills and knowledge

The following skills and knowledge are usually required in this occupation.

Essential skills

See how the 9 essential skills apply to this occupation.

Reading
  • Read recipes for mixed drinks in a variety of bartenders' guides. (1)
  • May read memos, such as memos from the catering or banquet office about upcoming events or to explain new procedures. (2)
  • May read booklets on topics such as customer service or choosing the right glasses for various drinks. (2)
  • May read brochures about wine quality. (2)
Document use
  • Read drink chits or cash-register slips which list the items ordered. (1)
  • Read inventory forms when setting up at an event and check off items received. (1)
  • Read labels on bottles of beer or liquor. (1)
  • Read and confirm stock counts at the start of a shift, for example, 17 rye, 26 vodka. (1)
  • Read cash-register printouts showing what was sold on that shift. (1)
  • Read menus to inform customers of what they can order. (1)
  • Consult beverage mix books for various types of specialty drinks. (2)
  • Complete forms showing the opening quantities and closing quantities of each product. (2)
  • Complete customers' beverage bills, noting items ordered, method of payment, the server's name and any credit card information. (2)
Writing
  • Write down beverage orders. (1)
  • Complete inventory and sales report forms. (1)
  • Write notes or make entries in a log to record information for those on the next shift. For example, noting that cigarettes were sold after closing the register. (1)
  • Write short reminders about stock that must be ordered. (1)
  • May write purchase orders for liquor, beer and dry goods. (1)
  • May write brief notes to the manager about incidents that occurred or make entries in a complaint book, recording complaints from customers and how they were handled. (1)
NumeracyMoney Math
  • Take payments in the form of cash or credit cards and make change. (1)
  • May count floats and balance cash, credit card and bank withdrawal totals daily, comparing till receipts with the number of drinks sold. (2)
  • Calculate the exchange rate of American to Canadian dollars when paid in US currency. (2)
  • At the end of the shift, count the float and subtract it from the amount of money taken in during the shift, calculating the tips for servers at a specific percent of the total received and calculating the value of revenue lost through breakage. They also verify that the printout from the cash register tallies with the cash on hand minus the float. (3)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • Prepare daily totals of each category of receipts, including beer, wine, liquor and food. (1)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Use jiggers to measure liquor in ounces or push a button which measures and dispenses drinks. (1)
  • May count beer bottles by multiplying the number of rows by the number of bottles in a row and adding the number of bottles in incomplete rows. (2)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate anticipated drink requirements, such as the amount of beer and wine, based on the number and type of people in the bar. (1)
Oral communication
  • Greet customers, take their orders and suggest drinks. (1)
  • Give directions to delivery persons about where to place supplies. (1)
  • Talk with the bar manager to get directions for the shift and inform them of stockroom shortages. (1)
  • Talk with other bartenders on the shift about the division of responsibilities. (1)
  • Talk with waiters and waitresses, taking their drink orders, giving direction, providing information and discussing procedures. (1)
  • Talk to customers, listen to their problems and defuse conflicts that develop between customers. (2)
  • Communicate firmly with customers who are becoming intoxicated. (2)
  • May participate in staff meetings. (2)
ThinkingProblem Solving
  • May encounter problems when staff are late or absent. They call in additional staff for help or close down one of the bars. (1)
  • May have to deal with dissatisfied customers. (2)
  • May have to negotiate or resolve conflicts between customers. (2)
  • May have to deal with customers who are rude, hostile, intoxicated or physically dangerous. (3)
Decision Making
  • Decide whether to give a discount to customers who have had slow service. (1)
  • Decide when to approach customers to take another order. Appropriate timing is important to good service and profits. (1)
  • Decide when to refuse service to customers who are becoming intoxicated. (2)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Bartenders' work contains many elements that are routine, such as preparing floats at the beginning of each shift and counting and balancing at the end of each shift. However, much of their work is in response to customer demand. Personal organization is important when the establishment is busy and many orders must be filled quickly. Bartenders fit in tasks, such as organizing the bar and cleaning up, while serving customers. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember who ordered what drink, to get the right drink to the right customer and to fill additional orders.
  • Remember how to mix a new drink for next time the customer who ordered it comes in.
  • Remember the many ingredients and quantities of ingredients which are used in drink recipes.
  • Remember drink prices and multiples of prices, such as the price of three beers.
Finding Information
  • Find out how to mix a particular drink by looking it up in a mixology manual or by asking a co-worker. (1)
  • Help patrons find restaurants or specialty shops by looking in the Yellow Pages or asking a co-worker. (1)
  • May refer to a winery brochure about serving wine (1)
Digital technology
  • Use other computer applications. For example, they may enter information into, obtain and read printouts from computerized cash registers. (1)
  • They enter inventory control information. (2)
  • They create work schedules (2)
Additional informationOther Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Bartenders usually work independently, co-ordinating their work with that of the manager, servers or kitchen staff. They sometimes work with a partner or helper, such as during times of high volume or for special events, and sometimes as members of a team, such as when they are part of a banquet-serving team.

Continuous Learning

Bartenders continue to learn. This learning focuses on such areas as customer service, knowledge of beverages and inventory control. Some bartenders take hospitality industry courses.

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