Bartending/nightlife: Can you do it while having a full time career?

Altair

Space Monkey
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I have long wanted to get my feet wet and it seems like my time is almost running out as I am hitting my mid 20s soon.

I've wanted to bartend at a nightclub or a party bar type of setting but wonder if I can do it as someone working full time at a career.

Do most people bartend as a career itself or what?
 

Inbocca

Tool-Bearing Hominid
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Most people do it while in college or to supplement their income. Other people like it and make decent money so they'll keep it as a career.

Most places won't hire you unless you've got connections or experience. If you really want to try it out, start as a barback and see if it's a good fit. Most barbacks who do a good job get promoted within a few months.
 

Altair

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Inbocca said:
Most people do it while in college or to supplement their income. Other people like it and make decent money so they'll keep it as a career.

Most places won't hire you unless you've got connections or experience. If you really want to try it out, start as a barback and see if it's a good fit. Most barbacks who do a good job get promoted within a few months.
Horrible years of my life.

I wonder how I even get a shot as a barback tbh and what is expected.

How old is too old to give it a go anyways?
 

Inbocca

Tool-Bearing Hominid
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I wonder how I even get a shot as a barback tbh and what is expected.
Bartender's assistant. Clean glasses, bus the bar, deliver drinks, clean up messes, occasionally if they're backed up and you're not inept they'll have you pour a couple beers or make some two-part cocktails. A lot of volume bars are looking to hire barbacks but they're usually planning to promote the good ones after a while, so if being a bartender is your goal they're going to want to know what makes you a good fit.

How old is too old to give it a go anyways?
Totally depends on the bar. First one I worked at was a hotel bar, the bartender there was a loud, eccentric dude in his 40s but he could make a good drink. Usually you see the bartenders and the customers tend to be from the same age group. College bars have a lot of younger guys working behind the bar (in their 20s), dive bars tend to get older customers so the bartenders tend to be older too, chain restaurants almost always promote their best servers to work the bar, so you see a few late 20s to early 30s over there.

I wrote about it in this word wall of a post, if you'd like some more specific tips on how to go about doing it. Mid 20s is definitely not too old, but there are a lot more important things than age. If you really want it, you'll find a way.
 

Altair

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I want the bar to be the party atmosphere most 20 somethings gather in so I guess over 30 is old.

How will they go about hiring someone who has a full time job for the weekdays?
 

Fuck This

Cro-Magnon Man
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Altair said:
I want the bar to be the party atmosphere most 20 somethings gather in so I guess over 30 is old.

How will they go about hiring someone who has a full time job for the weekdays?
When the HELL do you think Peak time is for Bars? After work during the week. Friday and Saturday nights.

Start with a Chain restaurant /steakhouse with a bar. Usually these have a fair bit of turnover. Another option is to develop a relationship with a manager of a place you frequent.

Basically you say "I'm looking to get some experience in the Hospitality business, and I like the way this place is run. Could I get some hours during the week here in the evenings?"

Seach online for openings like this
 

Altair

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TwoRocky said:
Altair said:
I want the bar to be the party atmosphere most 20 somethings gather in so I guess over 30 is old.

How will they go about hiring someone who has a full time job for the weekdays?
When the HELL do you think Peak time is for Bars? After work during the week. Friday and Saturday nights.

Start with a Chain restaurant /steakhouse with a bar. Usually these have a fair bit of turnover. Another option is to develop a relationship with a manager of a place you frequent.

Basically you say "I'm looking to get some experience in the Hospitality business, and I like the way this place is run. Could I get some hours during the week here in the evenings?"

Seach online for openings like this
I will look to doing that, thanks TwoRocky, I really do want to take up bartending in my 20s to get experience in the service industry.
 

Altair

Space Monkey
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Still looking to do this but ideally at a nightclub or more younger bar type of place.
 

Inbocca

Tool-Bearing Hominid
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Just curious, why do you want to get in now and what are you hoping to get out of it?
 

Altair

Space Monkey
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Inbocca said:
Just curious, why do you want to get in now and what are you hoping to get out of it?
1. The access to the party scene I was denied in college.

2. The validation of being a bartender and it being an awesome thing I did in my 20s.

3. I love the loud music and those kinds of places but always go there alone since I cannot find friends to go with.

4. I just want to be in that sort of an area and make money being there instead of spend money being there.

5. I hope you are reasonable in understanding my desires.
 

Toby

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Inbocca said:
Most people do it while in college or to supplement their income. Other people like it and make decent money so they'll keep it as a career.

Most places won't hire you unless you've got connections or experience. If you really want to try it out, start as a barback and see if it's a good fit. Most barbacks who do a good job get promoted within a few months.
Not the case over here in NYC, most bartenders here are career bartenders.
 
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