Head Bartender

Last Updated:
April 27, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Head Bartender is a crucial part of the Hospitality industry's team, responsible for overseeing the bar operations and managing the staff. The role involves greeting customers, making recommendations, and serving drinks, but it also requires leadership and organizational skills to ensure the smooth running of the bar. The Head Bartender job description often includes inventory management, ordering supplies, and creating cocktail menus. Besides running the bar, this role also involves training new staff, setting schedules, and ensuring compliance with health and safety regulations. The Head Bartender must have exceptional communication skills to provide excellent customer service and resolve any conflicts. They should also have an in-depth knowledge of spirits, wines, and beers to guide customers on their drink choices. In summary, the Head Bartender job is a combination of customer service, management, and mixology that requires a passion for the industry and leadership skills to succeed.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Manage and train the bartending staff
  • Create and design specialty cocktail menu
  • Maintain inventory and order supplies
  • Monitor and ensure compliance with alcohol service laws and regulations
  • Keep the bar clean and organized
  • Provide excellent customer service and greet guests warmly
  • Set up bar stations for events and banquets
  • Work with other departments to plan and execute events
  • Use sales techniques to increase bar revenue

Experience and Education Requirements

To be hired as a Head Bartender, most employers look for a mix of education and work experience. A high school diploma or GED is usually required, but many employers may prefer or require a post-secondary education in hospitality or a related field. In terms of work experience, a Head Bartender typically needs at least 2-3 years of relevant experience, including experience creating and overseeing beverage menus, managing inventory, supervising staff, and providing excellent customer service. Additionally, certifications in responsible alcohol service, mixology, or bartending can be beneficial. Ultimately, a combination of education and experience can help you become a successful Head Bartender in the hospitality industry.

Salary Range

The expected salary range for a Head Bartender in the hospitality industry in the United States can vary depending on the city, restaurant or hotel, and years of experience. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a Head Bartender in the US is around $48,000 per year, with a range between $30,000-$75,000.

In big cities like New York or Los Angeles, the salary range can be higher, reaching up to $85,000 per year. In comparison, a Head Bartender in the UK can expect an average salary of £24,000-£30,000 per year.

Factors such as education, certification, and management skills can also impact the salary range. Head Bartenders with additional certifications, like Cicerone or Sommelier, may earn a higher salary.


  • Glassdoor: https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/head-bartender-salary-SRCH_KO0,14.htm
  • Indeed: https://www.indeed.com/salaries/head-bartender-Salaries
  • Payscale: https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Head_Bartender/Salary

Career Outlook

The career outlook for a Head Bartender in the Hospitality industry looks promising over the next 5 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the food and beverage industry is expected to grow by 10% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. As bars and restaurants continue to open in different locations, this will lead to a demand for Head Bartenders. Many establishments now require bartenders to earn certification as a way of demonstrating their skills to prospective employers. The increased emphasis on responsible alcohol-serving policies will also lead to job growth. As customers seek unique experiences, bartenders will be required to stay involved in continuing education and enhance their expertise in the field.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a Head Bartender, and what does their job entail? 

A: A Head Bartender is a senior member of the bartending team responsible for overseeing the bar operations, managing other bartenders, and ensuring excellent customer service. Their job entails creating beverages, ordering supplies and maintaining inventory, training new bartenders, and collaborating with management on promotions and events.

Q: What skills do I need to become a Head Bartender? 

A: To become a Head Bartender, you need a combination of technical and people skills. Technical skills include knowledge of mixology, creative drink making, and familiarity with bartending software. People skills include excellent communication, good customer service, and conflict management.

Q: Could you tell me about the daily tasks of a Head Bartender? 

A: The daily tasks of a Head Bartender include creating beverage menus, ordering supplies, and restocking bar inventory. They also supervise and train bartenders, monitor cleanliness and safety, and ensure bar profits through monitoring pour costs.

Q: What kind of experience do I need to become a Head Bartender? 

A: You usually need at least several years of bartending experience, with a demonstrated familiarity with popular cocktail techniques, ingredients, and trends. You should also have experience managing other bartenders or leading a team.

Q: What are some common challenges faced by Head Bartenders? 

A: Common challenges include managing customer complaints, coping with high-volume service during peak hours, and dealing with difficult or intoxicated customers. Head Bartenders may also have to manage staff disputes, navigate regulatory requirements related to alcohol service, and maintain hygiene and safety standards.

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