How To Become a Bar Manager

17 Jan 2020

17 Jan 2020

If you have natural leadership skills, you are responsible and love to be in a fun and busy atmosphere – then a bar manager position could be the career for you.

Becoming a bar manager requires little or no formal education. Learn about the education, training and job duties as well as information on licensing and certification to see if this is the right career for you.

Bar managers perform many duties including supervising staff and maintaining inventory. There are several associate's and bachelor's degree programs that will help prepare you for this career such as through food service or hospitality management programs. Depending on jurisdiction, a special food-related designation should be earned.

The best bar managers become one by truly knowing how to do it all.

Many bar manager Career Paths Start at the Entry Level.

Depending on whether you start out in the front of the house or back of the house, you’ll either start in a host or server position, or a prep cook or dishwasher position. In these positions, you’ll gain perspective into how the establishment works. Serving, for example, gives deep insight into the guest experience, while dishwashing allows you to be present in the kitchen and a part of the food preparation process.

Also, these positions lay the groundwork for understanding one of the most critical elements in a restaurant: team dynamics. Starting out at these entry-level positions is where managers get their first chance to learn how the establishments work.

A bar manager position might seem like all fun and games from the outside, but there’s more to it than meets the eye.

The Next Step: Bar Manager

Once you have mastered the relevant skills and know-how in the foundational elements of a restaurant/bar, you could reach for goal as a bar manager! The responsibility increases here as you’re tasked with managing small teams, organising schedules, and opening and closing the establishment. In this position you will still be in touch with the lower levels of the establishment, but begin to learn how to orchestrate the higher up requirements at the same time.

Bar Manager Responsibilities:

  • Manage the business aspects of the bar, such as keeping a current liquor license, negotiating supplier contracts, taking inventory and reordering supplies, managing budgets, and setting goals.
  • Hiring and training staff to provide excellent service to patrons.
  • Creating effective schedules and quickly resolving conflicts to ensure that bar is well staffed during peak hours.
  • Setting and enforcing quality and safety controls.
  • Ensuring licenses are updated and in line with current legislation.
  • Working with diverse personalities both on the staff and patrons.
  • Planning and taking part in promotional events.
  • Maintaining a fun, safe atmosphere for patrons.

Here are 2 top tips for becoming a great Bar Manager in such a competitive industry:

  1. Understand the business. Part of being an effective bar manager is having a full understanding of the business. Knowing what it takes for a bar to be successful will help you best direct your staff, menu, bar function, and focus your efforts overall. Even though you are technically a manager you should be ready to understand how everything in the bar business comes together.
  • Understand each role that your staff plays.
  • Be ready to work late or long hours.
  • Learning more about the theme or direction of the bar can help.
  • Have an active hand in creating and maintaining any menus.
  • Learn what your customers want and try to meet those needs.
  • Knowing business functions such as ordering, inventory, cash register operation, bookkeeping and marketing will be essential to your success as a bar manager.
  1. Know your market. If you don't understand your potential customers, there is a good chance they will never visit your bar. You will also need to learn more about your local competition and how best to pull in customers that would otherwise go elsewhere. Spend some time learning more about your local market in order to increase the number of customers and better meet their needs.
  • Visit other bars in the area to see what they are doing. Try to offer things they don't.
  • Understand which part of the public you are catering too. Decorate and price your bar to meet the needs of that demographic.
  • Always think about things that can make your bar stand out to customers.

So, are you up for the challenge? Have you got what it takes to be a bar manager? If so, check out the fantastic opportunities on Hospitality Jobs UK!