How To Land A Bartending Job With No Experience

have yet to meet a busser who didn't want to bartend... I have yet to speak with a busser who is satisfied with their job, every one of them wants to move into bartending! 

That's why they're doing what they're doing. I mean, who wants to break their back lifting kegs? Who wants to weasel and nudge their way through a packed nightclub with a bin full of glasses night after night while the bartender takes home all the cash tips? 

Why would someone want to subject themselves to that sort of pain without a greater purpose? 

The Brilliant Strategy 

It's much easier to get a job as a busser than it is as a bartender, this is obvious. A busser's job is an entry level position where a bartender's job is generally not. 

Something to remember is, there are a lot of bars out there that only hire bussers, while recruiting all bartenders within. 

With that said, if you're wanting to bartend it's not a bad idea to look at those kinds of places for work. Getting a job as busser, with the intention and ambition to work your way up to bartending is an excellent strategy. 

The Absurd Strategy 

Realize that getting hired as a busser is the easy part, as I'm sure you know. The hard part comes when trying to make the next step to bartending. 

I know some bartenders out there that bussed for years before stepping behind the wood. That, my friend, is not a brilliant strategy at all, that is absurd! 

You know what else is absurd? Spending months and months handing out resumes with no results. While my intention is not to discourage you from doing that, in fact, if you're looking for a job and have not given up, congratulations! All I'm saying is, why not continue doing that, while increasing your chances of getting a bartending job by working as a busser on the side? 

The Benefit 

I'm not saying in this lesson to get a job as a busser and then passively settle for that position, without any ambition of becoming a bartender. I want you to go in with the full intention that you'll be behind that bar! 

A benefit of this strategy is that you can eliminate all those bars you apply for out of desperation, those bars you really don't want to work at, but would anyway just to get the experience. 

Since getting a job as a busser is much easier, go for the top spots only! Again, you can continue applying wherever you like, but being inside the hottest bar in town, just inches away from being a bartender should be your main objective. 

Don't you want to land your dream job as fast as possible? Why settle for less? 

Always keep your eyes and ears open for other job offers as well. If the place you're bussing at is not giving you an opportunity to move up, look elsewhere while you keep your current job. Being in the industry as a busser increases your likelihood of becoming a bartender much more than being jobless or not in the industry at all. 

Be Willing 

You must be ready and willing to bust your hump, you must be willing to prove you can handle the intense pressure of keeping the whole bar clean while supporting the bartender's needs as well, all while keeping a positive attitude. 

Why? Because while a bartender's job is quite physical, it's not as physically enduring as a busser's job. 

A bartender's job is more mentally enduring. If you buckle and collapse under the pressure of bussing, the bar manager will never consider moving you behind the bar. You need to show them that you're at your best during the heat of the night and that you're able to handle the pressure and stress with calmness and character, without getting overwhelmed and flustered. 

Watch the movie 'Cocktail' and see Tom Cruise's first night behind the bar. That's exactly why a bar manager is reluctant to hire a rookie bartender off the street. Getting inside the top spots as a busser can be viewed as your opportunity to shine and prove to the bar manager you've got what it takes to concoct drinks at light speed while charismatically schmoozing customers. 

"No" Is Not Personal 

Once you're 'inside' and pushing for the opportunity bartend, please, do not take "no" from the manager personally! Realize the manager is busy and has got other things on their mind more important to them than your individual goals. If they have a perfect system in place, with you as the busser, they're not going to be quick at promoting you. 

Keep asking, keep asking, keep asking, and you will be given a shot. Become a pest about it, make the manager say "yes" just to get you off their back. Make them think "I'll let him humiliate himself and that'll shut him up." Little does the manager know you've been scheming and planning and waiting for this opportunity. You'll jump behind the bar and make the manager wonder why he took so long to let you bartend. 

Miracles Will Happen 

This is when a miracle will happen for you too. A bartender may call in sick, and as a busser you'll be the only one there and ready to jump in. As a last resort, a bar manager would much rather have someone, anyone, behind the bar than no one at all. 

I've seen this happen with my own eyes where I work. Most bartenders I know got their big break under circumstances like these! 

Although when you step up to the plate, it's up to you to perform. Your level of performance will depend on preparation, planning, and application of the bartending tips, secrets and strategies revealed to you in Bartending Secrets Exposed. 

The Magic Question 

Ask yourself this question, 

"If I was given the opportunity to bartend tonight, what would I have to do? What would I have to prepare? What would I have to know?" 

The answers you get, you must act on. The answers that pop up in your mind are signals, you need to take them seriously. Everyone will have different answers, because everyone is unique and is a different position. 

I cannot stress this enough. Any answer you seek already lies within you. Questions like the one above help you tap into those answers. Acting on them will bring extraordinary success! 

Keep An Open Mind 

Now if you're anything like me, you may want to skip the busser part of the process completely. That's a typical response, and while becoming a bartender without bussing has certainly been done before and is definitely possible, don't count on it. Don't wait for the miracle job opportunity to fall out of the sky. That's not an opportunity at all, that's a fantasy. 

Do something! Make an effort! Otherwise, you'll be waiting a long, long time. 

Get your foot into the door of this industry. Swallow your pride if you have to, but believe me, it will pay off in a huge way! 

Thomas Edison said it best... 

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

About the Author
By Jeremy B. Sherk