Should I go to bartending school?

It’s $150 for a week of classes with a Groupon. They have live instructors, no videos, and say you will be comfortable mixing 100 drinks by the end of it. I’ve always thought the idea of being a bartender would be interesting. I’ve been a cocktail waitress and enjoyed working in the bar scene.

Anyone have any experience/tips?

I looked into this in my undergrad days, and the general consensus was no. Restaurant managers don’t care if you’ve been to bartending school; they’d much rather see that you’ve had experience. I talked to people who had been to the one I wanted to go to, and they said the classes were about 60% basic stuff that anyone who wants to go to bartending school would know, 30% lists of drinks that no one will ever order, and 10% useful information. They also said that the promised “job placement services” involved someone helping you go through the classifieds. Everyone said I’d be better off just reading a few bartending books and doing a few shifts as a barback, or bartending somewhere that isn’t busy.

Of course, that was a long time ago, it was one particular school, and it was WAY more expensive. For $150 I’d probably go for it.

(Best bartending advice I ever got: bartending is mostly cleaning.)

If you want to have fun and show off a bit when making drinks for your friends, go for it.

But I don’t think it’s at all relavent to getting a job as a bartender. The only way to do that is to make friends with a bar owner or work for a bit as a barback.

I was a bartender from 2002 - 2008, and friends with most of the other bartenders in the area. Not a single one of us ever took a bartending class.

Overheard in my classroom a guy asking the same question just last week.
Several students who work/worked in bars said the same thing - nobody cares.
One guy said, “I have worked as a bartender for 10 years and have only met three people who went to bartending schools and were working.”

$150 is the cheapest bartending school I’ve ever heard of.

Correct. Bartending school is asinine.

$150 might be worth it just for the fun.

At that price and length, it sounds like a class aimed at a home bartender not a vocational school.

The only bartender I know personally did go to a bartending schoool near me, and he seems to be pretty good at his job. I don’t believe he needed the school, though - the fellow’s a huge booze nerd.

A friend of mine has a bar, so I asked him this question. He has never hired a graduate of bartending school. He says that, “how their tits look in a tight shirt, or how their cleavage looks in a plunging neckline” is the most important factor.

Thinking about his bar, I realize he was being honest.

And that you’re hot.

Seriously, one of the most important hiring criteria for a bartender (especially female bartenders) is being attractive and personable. Anyone can learn to mix a drink.

I went back in the day. $450 as I recall. 4 weeks.
You want a sloe comfortable screw, up against the wall, doggie style, with a twist, I was your guy.

I started at a place called Houston’s, a mid-scale yuppie hang-out where they loved off the wall drinks. Then a TGI Friday’s. More fun, more action:D, and I didn’t have to have a starched Polo shirt every shift.

Best place? A dump of a strip club in Midtown Atlanta.
Handed out beer, and the occasional gin & tonic.

Best perks of any job, evar.

It’s a Groupon–70% off.

I look pretty good in a plunging neckline too, I think. I have worked as a cocktail waitress at a strip club (and a dancer, back in the day [topless only]).

I think even if I never get a job bartending that it would be fun to know how to make more drinks.

The only time I ever saw people get jobs because they went to bartender school was at the corporate type places - chains like Fridays or hotels. I would rather have gouged my eyes out with a lemon zester than work at one of those.

The people I know who have graduated from them know how to mix a drink but don’t know how to bartend. And you can always teach someone who knows how to bartend to mix a drink, but you often can’t teach a drinks mixer how to be a bartender.

I was thinking the same thing. There’s a place near where I live that charges $700 for a two week course.
Anyway I’d think the hardest thing about being a bartender would be knowing how to manage a big crowd ordering mixed drinks on a Friday night. As some other people here have mentioned, mixing drinks really isn’t that difficult so long as you have a knack for measuring proportions. And while having a good head for drink recipes is important, from my own personal observations it seems that 90 percent of bar patrons who get mixed drinks are ordering one of only about a dozen or so tried and true concoctions - screwdrivers, white Russians, gin and tonics, etc. with an occasional trendy drink like a mojito thrown in.

Geez, why don’t we get good Groupons here? All I ever see are ads with things that look like white, purple and green hamburgers.

For that cheap, I’d go for it. I considered Bar School way back in the past,and sometimes wish I had gone, just because.

I hang out at bars a lot. Good looking young women get the best bartending jobs once they can keep up with the pace. Until then they have what are traditionally slow shifts. Remember that the prep work involves shape knives and you can get cut, and there will be broken glass.