Bar Staff: How to Hire the Right People for Your Bar

A bar is only good if there are smiling faces behind it.

This also means that a cranky employee can have a huge impact.

Hiring the right people is crucial if you are opening or managing a bar. This will increase your business’ efficiency, sales, traffic, and ultimately, bar profitability. It is the magic bullet.

You can take advantage of this by understanding the roles you will be hiring for, the number of staff you will need, and choosing the best.

Bar staff: A list of bar jobs

Bar staff is not all the same. Your bar operations manual will likely list the positions that will be used at your bar.

Bar Manager

A bar manager is someone who can take over the management of your bar. Bar managers have many responsibilities. All aspects of purchasing, inventory management and marketing. To keep shrinkage down, you should make sure that they can spot bartenders who steal.

Beverage Director

A beverage director is a person who manages high-volume or high-end beverage programs. The beverage director is responsible for overseeing the beverage program. They make sure that menus are appropriate for clients and that pour costs are kept low. This is a highly-skilled role that requires extensive research and sourcing.

A beverage director is similar to a bar manager. He orders, manage bar inventory and manage the consumables.

Bar Manager vs. Beverage Director

Beverage directors are not like bar managers. They don’t spend much of their time in the restaurant or bar operations. Or marketing and human resources. Bar managers are people managers. Bar managers oversee the operation of the bar and manage the staff. A beverage director, however, is responsible for the beverages.

A hospitality company usually has one beverage director. They are responsible for setting the general beverage strategy at all locations. Bar managers are present at every location of the hospitality company.


Are you curious about how to become a bartender? Bartender responsibilities can be almost endless, so buckle up!

Here’s why:

They mix and serve drinks, as well as wine and beer, to guests. They are responsible for keeping the bar clean and organized. They also ensure that all necessary cleaning supplies for the bar and restaurant are readily available.

Sometimes they are responsible for stocking the bar. They are often responsible for taking inventory of the bar and placing orders to vendors. They are familiar with the drinks and drinking habits of their clients. They are often involved in the design and development of drink menus. It would help if you offered a competitive salary for bartenders.

Check out this checklist to make your life easier.

Cocktail Server

They are usually called cocktail servers if they are working near a bar with high-tops and servers. They will serve drinks and food to guests. They will also clean up the tables if there is no busser.

If there aren’t enough tables to serve, hiring a server to help you makes sense on nights with a lot of traffic.


What does a barback do? The bartender can’t do everything that the barback does to keep the bar afloat. They are the oil that keeps FOH running (see FOH meaning in slang). This includes stocking the bar with dishes, plates, and utensils. You can also get any bottles of wine, liquor, or beer that the bartender requires.

They will also empty kegs and restock ice.


Bartenders will check for illegal activity and ensure that no one is getting out of hand. They’ll take out any patrons who are deemed unsafe. If necessary, they will contact law enforcement. How many of these fine people should you hire?

How many bar staff do I need?

If your customers order shots and simple drinks mostly, 50 customers should be the goal for each bartender. If you make complex craft cocktails or blended drinks, it will be lower than 50.

There are also volume bartenders that can serve up to 300 clients. These bartenders are very rare and are often not required by venues to handle large volumes. If people drink one hour per hour, the bartender will make 5 drinks per minute.

It’s still useful as it shows the absolute top end. There is an average barback for every 4-6 bartenders. If there are multiple bars in the area, this could increase. A bar on an upper level, on the roof or the patio.

How to staff your bar with the right people

Attract and hire the right people.

Make sure you know what positions you will be filling and that you have a training manual for bar staff. Next, create and publish job descriptions. Hire for your personality and cultural fit. You might also need to be certified as an alcohol server.

How to write job descriptions for bar staff

These are some guidelines to follow when creating job descriptions for bar positions that you are hiring:

Avoid Superlatives

Avoid phrases such as rockstar or expertWorld Class is a good example. Many people find it difficult to relate to those words. If your job description contains extreme language, you may lose great candidates.

Avoid using cliché words and phrases.

Because applicants don’t communicate well, they cannot connect with phrases such as “fast-paced environment” and “excellent communication skills”. Restaurants are fast-paced, so good communication is essential. What makes your business unique? It is important that applicants are excited to read the description.

Concentrate on the Growth Potential

The responsibilities and duties should be linked to the company’s growth. This will demonstrate to applicants that there are opportunities for advancement. It could be something like, “We anticipate hiring 20% more staff over the next few quarters.” We are looking for early hires to lead!

For Personality and Culture Fit

For decades, it has been a standard to hire for skill and experience. It is sensible to concentrate on the ability of the candidate to perform the job. However, this overlooks something vital that has become more obvious as psychology develops. People are naturally curious. They can be learning machines if they are given the right environment.

These are some of the things you should be thinking about:

  • People who are happy to come to work bring new ideas. A willingness to contribute to the improvement of the business.
  • Negative energy can be noticed and felt by guests. Unwelcoming employees are the worst thing for a business.
  • Teams are stronger when they have dedicated and happy people. This is because communication and collaboration are more effective.

Even with the toughest bartender interview questions, it can be difficult to understand all of this in a job interview. To get a better understanding of the candidate, you might consider administering a personality assessment. Popular is the DISC personality test.

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