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What does a bar-back do?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I want to apply at a bar but can obviously not bartend due to lack of experience. Someone said bar-back first. What exactly does it entail? I have to basic idea I just want to know what I am talking about when I go apply.
post #2 of 12
Basically, a bar back:
~ restocks bar
~ washes glasses
~ replenishes the garnishes (cuts lime wedges, etc.)
~ cleans up empties
~ empties trash
~ refills ice

. . . that is all I can think of right now!
post #3 of 12
Yep, basically you are the bartenders slave. You will work your booty off.
post #4 of 12
haha yup..they pretty much covered it. but if its a good bar you can make good tips even as a barback and that experience will lead you to bartender and you can make even more
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by heathervieno View Post
Yep, basically you are the bartenders slave. You will work your booty off.
you may feel like a slave, but that does not mean people will treat you or think of you as one... at my bar, we hold our Barbacks in high regards and I wouldn't be surprised if other bars do the same.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cebseb View Post
you may feel like a slave, but that does not mean people will treat you or think of you as one... at my bar, we hold our Barbacks in high regards and I wouldn't be surprised if other bars do the same.
I wasn't trying to imply that they are treated like sh*t. I just wanted to empasize that its HARD work and you do everything the bartender needs you to do. Its a very good way to get experience bartending. I did it.
post #7 of 12
bartender's bitch - my ex was one
post #8 of 12
at one point, i was considering between at least a year's worth of bar-backing or plopping down 300 bones for a month's worth of bartending school to start bartending. take your choosing!
post #9 of 12
Cebseb, what bar do you work at? Unless its a secret.
post #10 of 12
I tip my barback out extra everynight cause he is AWESOME!!!!!!! If you do a good job you reap the rewards. I did have one barback poison me once and i had to go to the emergency room.... he's no longer allowed to barback for me now!
post #11 of 12

depends where you work at, ive been a barback for 5 years at 4 different places, basic duties are wash glasses, change kegs, keep bar stocked and iced, keep bar counters clean, some places will have you change nitrogen and co2 tanks, prep garnishes, take bus tubs back to kitchen(sometimes wash) some places(slow business) would have me deliver food, put chairs up, sweep and mop, change soda, cranberry,etc. even pour beer or make cocktails if needed. I live in Cleveland Ohio where ive worked at Flannerys Pub, Metropolis Nightclub, Johnny Malloy's Cleveland, Johnny Malloys Lakewood and Thirsty Parrot.

post #12 of 12
I'm a bar back at a bar in Atlanta similar to the bar Cheers on TV. Here is what I do:

Wash glasses

Collect empty glasses off the bar and the tables and wipe the tables down for customers

Restock beer, garnishes, and juices as needed

Make sure that liquor bottles are spouted and ready to go when the bartender needs them

Clean up messes that customers make- broken glasses, spilled drinks, unclog toilets, even clean up vomit.

Make sure the signs are turned off and the door is shut as last call is announced

Restock other supplies as needed-toilet paper, napkins, straws, and paper for the register.

Go check out the competing bar two doors down in the shopping center to see who is doing better (usually we are doing better with more customers in our bar!)

After the bar closes:

Finish washing glasses and put them back on the shelf

Sweep the floors in the bar and the bathrooms

Pull the floor mats behind the bar and sweep behind the bar

Restock beer

Take out the trash

Help the bartender count out the tips and verify the cash drawer balances out after the bartender has counted it down. This is unusual for bar backs, but the bartender I work with is also someone I have a close relationship with, and he is also the bar manager, so he trusts me.

Pull the liquor mats off the bar and wash them.

Drain the sinks of water

I also have to remember what day it is and do the extra work- one night the wells are drained of all ice and cleaned, another night, the floor mats behind the bar are taken out back and scrubbed.

I also hang out at the bar when I am off, and am willing to help out when the bartender who is working gets swamped. I work weekends at the bar, and the nights I am there as a customer, the bartender on duty appreciates me offering the extra help. They will even pick up my tab for the evening and tip me out for the extra help.
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