How To Hire Bar Staff
Bar staff are responsible for preparing and serving both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks at restaurants, bars, and any other licenced venue. They must have extensive knowledge about many different types of drinks, and be able to recommend different drinks based on each customers request.
Bar staff must also ensure that they are serving alcoholic beverages in a responsible manner, and are not serving someone who is already overly intoxicated. They must keep the bar area clean and clear of empty glasses to avoid any breaking. They must be able to work well under pressure, and be able to serve people as quickly as possible during busy times, whilst also ensuring payment is finalised.
Bar staff are required to be friendly and have conversations with customers, and also be entertaining to ensure customers have a good experience, and come back to the venue in the future.
Day-to-day tasks of this role:
- Taking customer orders.
- Making drinks.
- Serving drinks to customers.
- Cleaning up the workspace and benches.
- Taking payments.
- Washing dishes.
UNDERSTAND THE ROLE
Skills profile for Bar Staff
Most organisations do not require candidates to have any tertiary education qualifications when applying for a position as bar staff. It is required that bar staff attend and complete a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) course before being employed. Relevant industry is also favourable, as well as there are some common skills required for this position.
It is important that bar staff have excellent customer service skills. They must maintain these skills in high pressure environments, and ensure they have a positive attitude in all interactions with customers. They must prioritise customer service even with customers who may be disgruntled or rude, and if they may need to deny service of alcohol to an overly intoxicated customer, they must do so in a calm and friendly way.
Bar staff must also be skilled in prioritization. They must have the ability to prioritize customers and duties to fulfil requirements, serve customers and maintain stock levels. They must also prioritize stock management and other duties when there is downtime, and understand the importance of these tasks.
Bar staff must also always stay calm when under pressure. They must be confident in handling high workloads with multiple customers requiring service, and be able to ensure payment is finalised with each customer before moving onto the next. They must also be able to provide alternative drink suggestions to customers if ingredients run out, to ensure customers remain satisfied.
Once you’ve determined the skills required for the role, you can write the job description to advertise for your position.
Bar Staff Job Description
- Why is this role being filled?
- How does this role fit into the organization and the team?
- What makes your company unique?
- What would it be like to work for you?
- What technical skills are needed for this role?
- Which soft skills are applicable?
- What are the nice-to-have experiences of your ideal candidate?
- Include availability preferences in this section
- What are the key deliverables for this role?
- What does the day-to-day of this role look like?
- Compensation & bonuses
- Employee benefits & perks
- Ongoing training benefits
PRO TIP #1
Make sure to include the requirements necessary to be employed as part of a bar staff team in the job application. This includes the legal age that employees have to be to be able to serve alcohol, and the certificates the candidates must obtain before beginning work. For example, depending on the country you are working in, organisations will require staff to be over the age of 18, or in some cases over the age of 21 before being employed as bar staff. Some organisations may only require employees to have a RSA certificate, whilst others may also require employees to have a Responsible Service of Gaming (RSG) too, so it is important to outline what you require of candidates in the application.
PRO TIP #2
Ensure that the entire recruitment process from job description to assessment to interview reiterates your company vision and values. This will help you identify the right people for the role, and applicants will know whether your company is the right fit for them.
Sample skills assessment
Question Type: Document
Describe a time where you have suggested an alternative drink to a customer that they have been satisfied with. Please do so in the document below.
Question Type: Text
Imagine you have a customer who has been waiting patiently for a few minutes and a new customer who is very vocal about waiting, who would you serve first?
Calm Under Pressure
Question Type: Video
How would you handle drink requests when a key ingredient has run out?
Interview guide for Bar Staff
Once your Vervoe skills assessment has surfaced the most qualified people for your open role, you can focus on interviewing these candidates. The PDF interview guide contains structured questions against each of the competencies for this role.
This interview guide is intended to be used in conjunction with the Vervoe skills assessment. Where a candidate has scored Low – Medium on a skill, focus on asking more questions from that skill to gain deeper insight into their level of competency.
PDF INTERVIEW GUIDE
Get your copy of the interview guide to complete the hiring process. Includes questions against each of the skill competencies for the role.