View Full Version : Does anyone here work as a bartender?
If so, how does it pay? I'm considering a career change, and I usually stay up late anyway.
06-13-2001, 10:47 AM
Here's a little coversation we had about bartending in this thread: http://www.gotapex.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=21392
06-13-2001, 10:49 AM
Never tended bar, but I used to bounce a little while down in New Orleans. It really depends on the bar. If you're in some upscale place filled with yuppies and/or tourists, you can make great money, as these places have a lot of clientele who tip well. You'll work your ass off, though. Now, if you want to tend bar at the dive around the corner, you probably won't make very much. You will, however, get to know the regulars and can have an enjoyable time taking your time and talking with the folks. I guess it all depends on what attracts you to bartending in the first place.
06-13-2001, 01:02 PM
I used to tend bar while I was in college, but not at a college bar. You'll make more cash at a "regular" bar or one that's a little more upscale. A restaurant chain like Applebee's or Chili's or something would give you some good spending cash.
Originally posted by topane
A restaurant chain like Applebee's or Chili's or something would give you some good spending cash.
This is kind of what I'm thinking of - bartending in a restaurant rather than a real bar, at least to start. What I'm looking for is a change from the soul-sucking computer industry. I love computers and all, but people are just too GD stupid for me to keep putting up with. At least in a bar I can blame stupidity on the alcohol. :D
I'd still like to know what bartending would pay though, besides "decent". Anyone?
[Edited by overclocked on 06-13-2001 at 07:04 PM]
06-13-2001, 06:36 PM
Well, here's my experience as a bar-goer:
The places up on Sunset (the strip in Los Angeles)'ll charge you in the neighborhood of $8-$15 for a Long Island. You figure, throughout the night, you probably average about a 15% tip. Early on in the evening, the game is to tip well (~50%) to ensure quick service. Some of these people will not order more drinks. So that'll bump the take up. Freebies'll drive it down a bit. Say the tips outweigh the freebies 3-1. So assuming you're dishing what you're serving, that works out to about 25% on the "extraordinary" tips. Figure 3 drinks per person, a third of those are extraordinary...
So it's just a question of volume. If you go to a busy place, you can expect quite a nice income. High drink prices, a percentage of that nicer price, and more drinks. Not too many people get more than one drink at a restaurant.
06-14-2001, 05:52 AM
Originally posted by overclocked
I'd still like to know what bartending would pay though, besides "decent". Anyone?A typical weeknight would get me $60-$80 at the restaurant I worked at (from 6-11pm). Friday night and Saturday were typically around $140-$160, but it was a longer shift (6pm-2am). Plus whatever salary I got (like 3 bucks an hour or something). Summertime there's less of a crowd here (PA) so you could cut 10 bucks off the above averages. This also wasn't an Applebee's type place; someone I know who worked there would usually make more during the week, but less on the weekends than I did. Holidays like Christmas and New Year's were always great because bar regulars would give us extra cash in envelopes for presents, and on New Year's Eve most bar patrons are extremely generous with their cash.
The tips also depends on the crowd. Most of your "regulars" will tend to tip a little more to the guy that's been serving them for years than a newcomer. Just make sure you're on the same shift ;). Also, you'll get some ppl who you'll find are generous (other bartenders, waiters/waitresses) and other folks who think that a buck is good for the night.
[Edited by topane on 06-14-2001 at 05:55 AM]
Thanks pennypinch and topane, that helps.
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