Bar waiters are employed in wide range of drinking establishments including cocktail lounges, bars, hotels and cruise ships. Their role is to take customer orders for light meals and beverages. They should have excellent customer service skills and have a pleasant and helpful manner. According to CareerPlanner.com, bar waiters may show customers to their tables and request identification from customers who appear to below the legal age to purchase alcohol.
The role demands little in terms of educational requirements. Most establishments offer some form of on-the-job training, and new waitstaff may shadow a more experienced bar waiter. Environments that are more exclusive may demand additional requirements. River Catering, a service provider for the river cruising industry, requests that bar waiters for cruise ship positions have two years waiter experience, be a minimum of 20 years of age and have completed high school.
A bar waiter job is a public-facing role. Those seeking work in the industry should be motivated, punctual and stress-resistant. Bar waiters should have the ability to multitask, prioritize and have a smart personal appearance. Customers at times can be demanding; therefore, bar waiters should have the ability to keep calm under pressure, have a problem-solving attitude and a professional, courteous manner.
Responsibilities of bar waiters vary depending on level of experience and the size of the establishment. However, the Cruise and Ferry Services Group notes that typical day-to-day duties include listening and dealing with customer complaints, serving beverages, ensuring that all work-station areas are clean, and ensuring glasses and crockery are suitable for use. A bar waiter must be aware of any menu changes. A bar waiter also should be active in ensuring that customers are enjoying their meals and rectify problems in order to deliver a good dining experience.
The role of a bar waiter can be physically demanding as much of the day is spent standing up. All bar waiters are usually required to be of legal drinking age as they must ensure alcohol is served responsibly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that employment prospects for waitstaff in general are positive, with employment expected to increase by 10 percent until 2018. Because a high number of people leave the job each year moving to other industries, new vacancies are constantly emerging.
Salary varies considerably between establishments, location and level of experience. According to Salary.com the salary range of a bar waiter varied between $15,879 and $28,495 in June 2010. Tips are often put into a tip pool and divided among staff. The amount of tips a bar waiter earns depends greatly on the type of establishment.
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