Career Development

What Does a Bar Manager Do?

Find out what a bar manager does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a bar manager.

Bar managers are the individuals who are ultimately responsible for the success of their bar or restaurant. They oversee all aspects of the business, from customer service to inventory management to financial planning. They also act as a liaison between the bar or restaurant and its employees, ensuring that everyone is working together toward the same goals.

Bar Manager Job Duties

A bar manager typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Managing employees’ schedules, including setting schedules and ensuring that employees are adhering to them
  • Ordering liquor and supplies in accordance with state laws to ensure compliance with all regulations
  • Handling customer complaints or concerns in a timely manner to prevent escalation of issues
  • Coordinating with other staff members to ensure that operations are running smoothly
  • Ensuring that all bartenders and servers are performing their jobs effectively
  • Training new staff members in proper procedures and techniques for serving liquor and food products
  • Maintaining a safe work environment by enforcing company policies regarding safety and security
  • Preparing staff for upcoming events by providing training on new menu items or procedures
  • Assisting with inventory management by tracking sales and ordering new products as needed

Bar Manager Salary & Outlook

Bar managers’ salaries vary depending on their level of experience, the size of the bar or restaurant they are managing, and the geographic location of the job. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of commissions and bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $47,000 ($22.6/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $70,500 ($33.89/hour)

The employment of bar managers is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade.

The need to hire more bartenders and servers will limit employment growth for bar managers. As establishments such as restaurants and hotels continue to offer full bars, they will need fewer bar managers. However, establishments that specialize in craft cocktails or craft beers may need more bar managers to oversee the variety of drinks offered.

Bar Manager Job Requirements

A bar manager typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Bar managers need a minimum of a high school diploma or General Education Diploma (GED). Many employers prefer candidates who have completed some college coursework, and some employers may require a bachelor’s degree in hospitality or a related field.

Those pursuing a bachelor’s degree in hospitality should take courses in accounting, business management and hospitality management. They should also consider taking courses in hospitality law, ethics and wine and beer making.

Training & Experience: Bar managers typically receive on-the-job training from their previous position. They may also receive training from their employer in the form of a new-hire seminar or orientation. This training may include information on the establishment’s policies and procedures, as well as the responsibilities of the bar manager position.

Certifications & Licenses: Bar managers are not required to have any certifications to acquire their position. That said, there are certifications available for bar managers who wish to increase their earning capacity or make themselves more competitive candidates for positions.

Bar Manager Skills

Bar managers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Bar managers often communicate with customers, other staff members and managers. They use verbal and nonverbal communication to relay messages, take orders and answer questions. Bar managers also use communication to train new bartenders and barbacks.

Teamwork: Bar managers often work with a team of other bartenders and barbacks. This is because most bars have multiple bartenders working at the same time. Working with a team can help you learn how to communicate with others, delegate tasks and work together to solve problems.

Inventory management: Bar managers oversee the inventory of their bar, including the liquor, beer and wine. Managing inventory requires attention to detail and the ability to keep track of what’s in stock and what’s not. Bar managers with strong inventory management skills can ensure their bar has the right amount of products to meet customer demand.

Conflict resolution: Bar managers often need to diffuse conflicts between customers and staff. When working as a bar manager, you should be able to listen to both parties and help them come to an agreement. You can also use your conflict resolution skills to help staff members resolve issues with each other.

Leadership: Bar managers often have leadership skills that they use to train and direct their staff. As a bar manager, you might be responsible for assigning tasks, delegating responsibilities and maintaining a schedule. You can use your leadership skills to motivate your team and help them grow professionally.

Bar Manager Work Environment

Bar managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations of a bar, including hiring and training staff, ordering supplies, and ensuring that the bar is clean and well-stocked. They also develop drink menus, set prices, and promote the bar through marketing and advertising campaigns. Bar managers typically work long hours, including evenings and weekends. They may also be required to work on holidays. The work can be stressful, as bar managers must deal with customer complaints, staff issues, and unexpected problems that can arise at any time.

Bar Manager Trends

Here are three trends influencing how bar managers work. Bar managers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

More Women Becoming Bar and Club Managers

There is a growing trend of more women becoming bar and club managers. This trend is due in part to the increasing number of women who are entering the workforce and seeking out management positions.

As more women enter this field, they will bring their own unique perspective to the job. This can help create a more positive and welcoming environment for customers. In addition, women often have better communication skills than men, which can be beneficial for managing a team.

Mixed Drinks are Still Popular

Mixed drinks are still popular among bar patrons, which means that bar managers need to be able to create a wide variety of cocktails.

As bar managers, it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in mixed drinks. This includes experimenting with new flavors and ingredients, as well as learning about different spirits and liqueurs. By doing so, you can create cocktails that are not only delicious, but also unique.

The Need for Restaurant Managers Will Continue to Grow

The need for restaurant managers will continue to grow in the years to come as the restaurant industry continues to grow. Restaurant managers are responsible for overseeing all aspects of the restaurant, from hiring and training staff to ensuring that the restaurant is running smoothly.

As the restaurant industry grows, so too will the demand for restaurant managers. Bar managers who are able to adapt and capitalize on this trend will be in high demand and will be able to find success in the years to come.

The Opening of New Cocktail Lounges

The opening of new cocktail lounges is an emerging trend in the bar industry. This trend is being driven by a number of factors, including the increasing popularity of craft cocktails and the growing demand for unique experiences.

As bar managers, you can capitalize on this trend by focusing on creating a unique atmosphere and offering unique cocktails that can’t be found elsewhere. This will help you to attract new customers and set your bar apart from the competition.

The Popularity of Whiskey

Whiskey is becoming an increasingly popular drink, especially among millennials. This has led to a rise in the number of whiskey-focused bars, which are quickly becoming some of the most popular establishments in the industry.

As bar managers are tasked with creating menus and drinks that appeal to this demographic, they will need to learn about the different types of whiskey and how to mix them into cocktails. In addition, they will need to understand the latest trends in mixology in order to create unique drinks that will set their bar apart from the competition.

The Importance of Happy Hour

The bar industry is constantly evolving, and one of the latest trends is the importance of happy hour. This trend is driven by the fact that customers are increasingly looking for ways to save money on drinks.

As bar managers learn how to create and promote happy hour specials, they will be able to attract more customers and increase sales. In addition, happy hour specials can be a great way to build customer loyalty.

How to Become a Bar Manager

If you want to become a bar manager, you should start by familiarizing yourself with the different types of bars. There are three types of bars: neighborhood bars, cocktail lounges, and upscale wine bars.

Neighborhood bars are the most common type of bar and they usually serve a limited selection of beer and wine, along with some cocktails. Cocktail lounges focus on cocktails and they usually don’t serve food. Upscale wine bars specialize in wine and they usually don’t serve food either.

As a bar manager, you’ll need to be familiar with all three types of bars. You’ll also need to be familiar with the different types of cocktails and the different types of wines. You should also be familiar with the different types of glassware that are used for cocktails and wines.

In addition to being familiar with the different types of bars, you should also be familiar with the different types of liquor. There are five types of liquor: vodka, gin, rum, tequila, and whiskey. You should also be familiar with the different brands of liquor.

Advancement Prospects

Bar managers may advance to become general managers, managing partners, or owners of their own establishments. Some may move into other food and beverage management positions, such as hotel food and beverage director or casino food and beverage director. Others may become consultants to the food and beverage industry.

Many bar managers start out as bartenders. Those who are interested in this career should have good people skills and be able to handle a fast-paced environment. They should also be able to multitask and be organized.

Bar Manager Job Description Example

Are you passionate about people and service? Do you have a knack for creating an inviting atmosphere and ensuring everyone is having a good time? If so, we’d love to have you as our next bar manager!

At [CompanyX], we believe that the bar manager sets the tone for the entire establishment. As such, we are looking for a fun, outgoing, and experienced individual to lead our team. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in the food and beverage industry, with a focus on mixology and wine. They will be responsible for creating seasonal drink menus, training staff on proper drink preparation, and ensuring that the bar is always stocked and organized. Additionally, they will be in charge of managing the bar budget, ordering supplies, and maintaining inventory.

If you have a passion for people and a flair for creating a fun and inviting atmosphere, we want you on our team!

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Maintain a clean, safe, and welcoming environment for staff and guests
  • Adhere to all company policies and procedures, local, state, and federal laws
  • Schedule and oversee regular cleaning and maintenance of the bar area and all equipment
  • Order supplies and liquor as needed, keeping track of inventory and budget
  • Train new bartenders and servers on drink recipes, pouring techniques, and customer service
  • Create weekly schedules for bartenders and servers, taking into account special events and holidays
  • Monitor sales and take action to increase profits, including promotions and upselling
  • Handle customer complaints and feedback in a professional and timely manner
  • Resolve conflict among staff members, mediating between parties as necessary
  • Conduct regular performance reviews for bartenders and servers
  • Participate in monthly management meetings, providing input on bar operations
  • Perform other duties as assigned by upper management

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Proven experience as bar manager or relevant role
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Strong leadership and organizational skills
  • Good knowledge of beer, wine, and spirits
  • Working knowledge of MS Office and POS systems
  • Ability to stay calm under pressure

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration or hospitality management
  • Certification from a bartending school
  • Creativity and ability to come up with new drink recipes
  • Flexibility to work nights and weekends

Similar Jobs


What Does a Service Coordinator Do?

Back to Career Development

What Does a Category Manager Do?