Fancy a job in a pub?

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  1. While your exact duties will vary depending on where you work, you will mainly be working as part of a team serving customers drinks.
  2. Other duties are likely to include keeping the bar area, and possibly other parts of the establishment, including the toilets, clean and tidy.
  3. There are no academic requirements for working in a pub. In fact, many bar workers go into the job straight after school or college.
  4. You do, however, need to be over the age of 18 to serve behind a bar, though under-18s may collect glasses in pubs and bars.
  5. If you start at the bottom rung of the ladder, you can expect to be paid minimum wage, though you may be able to top up your earnings with tips.
  6. A willingness to be flexible and take on shifts at the last minute will always endear you to an employer.
  7. Use our job search at the top of the page.
  8. For basic pub and bar jobs, the best way of finding work is often visiting establishments in person and handing a copy of your CV to the manager.

What Do Pub Workers Do?

Pub work can be physically demanding yet also immensely enjoyable, giving you the chance to interact with new people and work as part of a close team in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. Above all, as Wetherspoon (one of the biggest employers in the UK hospitality industry notes), as a bar worker, your job will be to “deliver friendly, efficient customer service and to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, with the aim of retaining and attracting new customers”. While your exact duties will vary depending on where you work, you may be expected to:

  • Serve and present alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and food in a friendly, professional manner.
  • Have a good knowledge of all of the products available, as well as an up-to-date knowledge of any deals or offers.
  • Work as part of a team that includes fellow bar servers as well as chefs and management.
  • Keep the bar area, and possibly other parts of the establishment, including the toilets, clean and tidy.

Qualifications and Experience

There are no academic requirements for working in a pub. In fact, many bar workers go into the job straight after school or college, while in major cities, many positions are filled by either young people trying to earn money alongside their studies or by foreign workers with limited qualifications and English language skills.

You do, however, need to be over the age of 18 to serve behind a bar, though under-18s may collect glasses in pubs and bars.

  • A willingness to work hard; shifts may be long, physically-demanding and require you to work into the early hours of the morning.
  • Excellent people skills. Pub and bar work requires interacting with customers all the time, so good communication skills and a cheerful, professional manner are essential.
  • A willingness to be flexible; many shifts are filled at the last-minute, so employers will always favour staff who can step in and help when needed.

Pay and Benefits

The rate of pay for pub and bar staff tends to be low. If you start at the bottom rung of the ladder, you can expect to be paid minimum wage (or a little more if you find work in London), though you may be able to top up your earnings with tips from happy customers. Also, some large pub chains, including Wetherspoon, pay bar staff bonuses for good performance.

Given the high turnover of staff in the pub industry, if you commit to the job, and if you show willing, you should be able to take advantage of excellent opportunities for career progression. Many chains, as well as individual pubs, take pride in training bar staff up to become management.

 As well as showing willing and putting the hours in, you can also improve your career prospects – as well as your salary and benefits – by undertaking further training. Some possible training options could include:

  • Mixicology: Shaker (http://www.shaker-uk.com/) runs mixicology masterclasses all over the world, including in London.  Skilled, experienced and flamboyant cocktail-makers are always in demand and specialist positions can pay far better than standard bar jobs.
  • Hospitality: If you want to move into management, or even take a sidestep into the hotel or restaurant trade, then look into hospitality management courses. The University of Brighton, for example, offers full and part-time degree-level courses, complete with paid work placements.

Finding Work

For basic pub and bar jobs, the best way of finding work is often visiting establishments in person and handing a copy of your CV to the manager. Even if a pub doesn’t have a sign up advertising for new staff, most places will stockpile application forms and CVs and the contact applicants as and when they need new workers.

Alternatively, go online and make use of the wide range of resources available to you, start by using our job search above. As well as generic online jobs sites, specialist online recruitment agencies such as Barzone.co.uk and Caterer.com are excellent places to find both temporary and permanent work.

If you’re after a career in the pub industry rather than just a part-time job, then check out the opportunities available with the big-name chains. Fullers (http://www.fullers.co.uk/rte.asp?id=10)    Wetherspooon (http://www.wetherspoonjobs.co.uk/) and Mitchells & Butlers (http://www.mbcareersandjobs.com/management-jobs/) all have their own careers websites and offer full training and development for prospective managers.

Your local Job Centre may also list local jobs advertised by local pubs and bars.


 
 
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