'Our main role is to prepare, mix and serve drinks. Aside from this, an important part of bartending is having a friendly chat with clients', says a local bar attendant.
Ensuring fridges are stocked with drinks is another of their duties. If you start running low during rush hour, you may not have time to slip out the back to re-stock. And there's nothing worse than a warm drink! Bar attendants also have to prepare garnishes, such as sliced lemon and strawberries, used to decorate drinks. In addition to bar skills, the ability to communicate is very important for someone in this position. 'You will meet people from all walks of life. Clients may be on their first date or meeting for business. You have to pitch your conversation accordingly', says another local bartender, who has worked in the industry for many years.
'You also get to be creative and imaginative. When making cocktails, you can mix together the most amazing concoctions as long as the flavours blend well'. Working behind the bar is not all fun and games. A lot of hard work is involved in preparing the bar and cleaning up. Most of the day is spent on your feet and when it's busy you still have to work quickly and efficiently, even if you're tired. The work environment tends to get noisy and smoky and if it's very busy, hot and stuffy.
Confidence is a useful attribute behind the bar, particularly when dealing with people who have had too much to drink. By law, bar attendants must not serve patrons who are intoxicated and occasionally, customers can be rude when refused service.
Australian Hotels Association (National Office)
Phone: (02) 6273 4007
Consumer and Business Services (SA)
Phone: 13 18 82