Barback Job Description
A barback is a bartender’s assistant. They stock the bar with liquor, ice, glassware, beer, garnishes, and so on, and usually receive a portion of the bartender’s tips, often around 10% to 20%. – Wikipedia, Barback
As a barback or runner, you’re in charge of all the grunt work behind the bar. This gives you a great chance to work with the bartenders while picking up what they do. However, if you think that being a barback is a simple job, you’ll quickly find out that is not at all the case. Often you’ll be so busy doing your own barback duties that you won’t have much of an opportunity to learn all the skills needed to be a bartender.. The best way to solve this is to learn from home through bartending books or online bartending schools (which are usually much cheaper than normal bartending schools.)
You’re who people call on for EVERYTHING; stocking, cleaning, answering phones, moping up spills, helping intoxicated customers, driving to the store to get supplies, changing kegs, assisting with delivering food, ect. ect.. These are just some of the “hidden” tasks that you’ll be responsible for in a real working environment. For a general list of your barback duties:
- Emptying trash cans.
- Collecting dirty glasses.
- Wiping down the bar counter.
- Fetching clean towels.
- Stocking ice for all the wells.
- Bringing out clean glassware.
- Cutting fruit and garnishes for drinks.
- Stocking juice, liquor, beer, and wine.
- Changing out kegs.
If you’re good at what you do, you can make a massive difference in the pace of a bar. The problem is that you’re goal isn’t to be a barback, but a bartender. Between the the quick turnover rate of bar managers and lack of available job openings, you can be stuck in that position for years before being promoted. So while the common rumor says that being a barback is a great way to get your foot in the door – that door rarely opens. This is why so many people end up turning to bartending schools and other options.
So how do you break out of this rut and get to where you want to be without attending an expensive bartending school? By being an AMAZING barback and learning the bartending skills on your own. If you can work hard at your position while also learning from online options (we suggest the Bartending College Online Training Program), you have a strong chance to get promoted. You will essentially have both a working knowledge of the bar, as well as an understanding of the skills needed for the job. You may have to get hired at another bar in order to become a bartender.
We offer help with your barback resume or bartender resume (Coming soon..)