Bar managers are responsible for ensuring that all aspects of a bar operate smoothly. Their work settings range from standalone bars to restaurants to larger venues such as hotels and stadiums. They perform a mixture of physical and analytical tasks as they accomplish their job responsibilities. Work tasks are typically divided into two distinct areas: personnel management and financial management. Because of the variety of skills required of a successful bar manager, a college degree focusing on food service or restaurant management is often required. Extensive familiarity with the food and beverage industry through appropriate prior work experience is also commonly needed.
Personnel management is a major portion of a bar manager's work, and involves overseeing the staff that work at the bar. Typical bars will have bartenders, and some establishments will also employ "bar backs" or preparation assistants to help the bartenders serve guests efficiently. Key personnel-related responsibilities for a bar manager include interviewing potential employees, making decisions regarding whether to hire interviewees, and ensuring that new hires are trained properly. Sometimes a bar manager will appoint a head bartender with extensive experience to train other employees, while other times the bar manager may train new employees directly. Other related tasks involving people include overseeing employee schedules. Evaluating, disciplining, and terminating employees are also important duties.
Financial management is the other key area of responsibility for bar managers. Bar managers need to ensure that liquors, mixers, and other necessary ingredients for making drinks are kept well stocked. They will order these items from appropriate vendors and distributing companies, and ensure that alternative suppliers are available when any problems with availability arise. Any special events that might be hosted by the bar such as college football bowl game parties will require additional planning and oversight. Those who manage a bar also need to monitor the bar's profitability through regular analysis of costs and revenues. They may need to implement loyalty programs or promotions such as happy hour discount prices to encourage increased patronage. Much of the financial work done by a bar manager will be performed in collaboration with other management staff, including the establishment's owner or general manager.
Bar Manager Tasks
- Review and manage inventory and finances.
- Interview, hire, and train staff.
- Supervise daily bar operations and special event planning.