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How to Find a Bartender for Hire on Short Notice

A stylish bartender pours an English barley wine into a glass tulip.

When you need to hire a new bartender, it’s important to consider three traits: Personality, attention to detail and passion.

Replacing any employee unexpectedly can be stressful, especially if it’s your star bartender. You don’t want to make a rushed decision, but you also don’t have time for a lengthy hiring and vetting process. So, how can you quickly find a skilled or experienced bartender for hire?

Three qualities of a great bartender to speed up your search:

1. Charming, charismatic and friendly personality
2. Attention to detail and excellent memory
3. Extensive knowledge and passion for mixology

Luckily, all three of these bartender characteristics will be fairly obvious from the beginning. This means you can focus your attention on candidates who are more likely to be a good fit for your restaurant or bar. Want to learn more? Take a scroll with us.

1. Great Bartenders are Charming, Charismatic and Friendly

Your bartender is the heart and soul of your establishment. This is why it’s critical to find someone who embodies the qualities and values you want your restaurant to be known for. As you’re interviewing candidates, put yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask yourself these questions:

  • “Is this someone I want to spend time with?”
  • “Does this person make me feel like I belong here?”

Unlike a server, who checks in with customers a few times throughout the course of a meal, a bartender is always front and center. If you don’t get a positive vibe during the interview, there’s a good chance your customers won’t during their next visit.

2. Great Bartenders are Detail-Oriented

Whether your cocktail program is sophisticated or more traditional, you need to hire a bartender who has an eye for detail and has the memory to recall those little nuances under pressure. What is that regular’s name? How does she like her bourbon—neat or on the rocks? What goes in the featured cocktail this month? To help identify this necessary bartender characteristic, ask your candidates to describe their favorite cocktails and how to make them perfectly.

You aren’t necessarily looking for the most complicated, labor-intensive drinks. You’re listening for the little details your candidate chooses to include—or to omit.

3. Great Bartenders Love What They Do and Do It Well

Even if your establishment only serves craft beer, tending bar is about more than pulling tap handles. It’s about sharing your passion for what goes into the glass with every customer who walks through your doors. Like all great cocktails, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Same goes for the best bartenders. Yes, knowledge and skill are important, but without passion, everything else falls flat.

During the interview, it will be easy to separate candidates who are genuinely excited about this line of work from people just going through the motions.

Need Help Finding a Bartender for Hire?

When a bartender quits unexpectedly or takes a surprise leave of absence, you may not have the time you need to personally interview enough candidates to make an educated hiring decision. That’s where we come in. Labor Systems Job Center specializes in hospitality staffing solutions that match the right people with the right jobs. Fill out a staffing request today, or learn more about our services.