Bartending in a Restaurant

Of the many places you can get a bartending job, you are more likely to get your start at a restaurant than anywhere else. Sounds fun right? Don’t judge it yet. Most restaurants nowadays serve at the minimum beer and wine, while most others stock a full bar with almost anything you can imagine. This creates bartending positions that need to be filled by someone who can work days, nights, and weekends to make money from customers who come in to eat and others who just want to catch a big game.

Great place to start

Restaurants are actually a great place to learn the trade because they have multiple entry levels to work your way up from to eventually get behind the bar. If you are having difficulty jumping right into a bartending position, try a couple months as a barback and learn the ropes. Then ask to move into serving drinks. If you have experience and feel confident about your skills, you can likely jump right into the bartending role and expect some great cash too.

Show me your tips

Other than providing a great starting point, restaurants can bring in a solid income for bartenders. There will be customers who eat right at the bar leaving cash tips directly for the bartender, customers who drink at regular tables tipping to their server who then tip out about 10%, and customers who will be there just to grab a couple drinks and chat it up with you. Those who are eating will usually tip based on the cost of the entire bill including drinks, entrees, and even dessert. So at the end of your shift, you’re taking home some exceptional cash on a busy night.

Upscale restaurants offer better tips

Bartending at a restaurant instead of a nightclub or hotel usually means your hours don’t extend past midnight. The days will start earlier and the nights will end earlier. Restaurant bartenders usually don’t start until around lunch, in addition the nights won’t leave you exhausted and staying up until the sun rises. You get to sleep at night and work during the day like the rest of the world.

If you’re considering bartending at a restaurant, try upscale chain restaurants like Hard Rock Café, Rainforest Café, RA Sushi, and Planet Hollywood as a few examples. They are busy 7 days a week and customers tip generously.

Added Perks to Working at a Restaurant

Working at a restaurant usually means you can get discounted or free meals. They usually also offer some benefits like medical, dental, and life insurance for bartenders as well. Ultimately, bartending at a restaurant is one of the best places to start or even grow your career. If you don’t believe it, head over to a nice restaurant nearby and just talk to one of the bartenders yourself!


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