Bar Manager Job Description

The Alternative Bar Manager Job Description

What a journey its been! Well over ten years in the Bar & Hospitality Industry and I am still learning every day as to what makes a really concise and accurate Bar Manager Job Description. In my time I have worked in all the positions going…Bar Back, Bartender, Supervisor, Assistant Manager, Bar Manager, General Manager, Operations Manager…you name it, I’ve done it.

What I wasn’t told at the beginning of the journey were the true importance of the things that I’m about to tell you that would have gotten me where I am today sooner!

What I’ve noticed over the years however (and I’m sure it will come to no shock to any person reading this article) is that every place of business is different. Every bar is different to every other bar just as every nightclub is different to every other nightclub. I’m talking specifically as to how they are operated, how the owner through to the bartenders and bar backs are trained, supervised and managed. I’m talking about the range of duties and expectations that a person may have at one place of business to another even though they have the same job title.

One time for me sticks out like a sore thumb…Years ago, I’d been working at a high profile music venue in London for some time in varying lower positions before I got a crack at becoming a duty manager. As is my character, I took the new role extremely seriously and began to make an impact on the place and started to become valued by the General Manager as a key member of the  wider management team.

Long story short, after less than three months the company went through some personal changes at the higher management level and I was left waiting for my new bosses to come in to operate the venue with me still in my duty management role.

New management came in and I was noticed and offered a full time position as the Bar Manager…funny thing was however, as I had all the past experience of working at the venue I was pretty much left in charge. Talk about a steep learning curve! I had to convey that I knew everything that I needed to know (even though I didn’t) and operate a famous music venue seven days a week on what was only less than three months of managerial experience…

It didn’t matter what was on the bar manager job description that was given to me I just wasn’t fully prepared. The new management didn’t seem to want to get stuck in and I had too much personal attachment to the place to let it go down now so I did what I have done each and every day since then, I learned to be the best at what I was doing each and every day! But I still wasn’t aware of what went in to running a truly spectacular bar!

A lot of the times however the expectations do not always match the Bar Manager Job Description

As mentioned earlier, Bar Manager Job Descriptions don’t always communicate exactly what is expected of a person when they are applying for a position. I know for a fact that I have never read ‘Must be competent at unblocking toilets’ on any job description that I have ever written or found online but I know for a fact that I spent quite a few dark hours doing just that in order to keep a bar running on a busy night.

But in all honesty, that sort of toilet task isn’t the sort of item that I am considering when thinking of things that are left off of a bar manager job description. What goes through my mind when I think about what really goes into being a fantastic bar manager are the alternative tasks and skills that don’t really make up the content of your typical bar manager job description.

Too often the skills and talents needed to run a successful business just aren’t there within the organisation and they are left to other positions to fill the void as best as they can. In the industry of bars and hospitality these skills often fall into the world of marketing and promotion where the bar management team may take on such tasks in order to try and promote sales through necessity rather than through a genuine interest into that world.

I’m a strong believer in people being given the opportunities to learn and develop their skills in the areas that they see beneficial to both themselves and to their work but I am also a strong believer in utilising the right person and the right skill set in order to maximise on the outcome.

Personally, I’m the kind of person that likes to know a bit about everything and I certainly do not limit myself to what I can and can’t learn. But on the flip side of that, I identify my strengths and build upon those. I identify my lesser strengths and utilise the talents of others to maximise on those areas.

Bar manager job descriptions do not talk about these alternate areas enough and I certainly do not see them enforced in people’s work.

It took me quite a bit of time to begin to get some clarity into this but once I saw the light I never looked back. I began to see the areas of operations that are not given enough exposure as to their importance. The areas where training is not as high as it should be due to a general misunderstanding of how and why resource should be utilised. I wish that I had seen all of this years before as I now know where a lot of failings of my doing and the organisations I worked for were made. I see now how I would have done things differently and with almost guaranteed results.

I can now sum it up into three points ‘Consistency’, ‘Attention to Detail’ and ‘Standards’. That’s it. That is my three point blueprint to operating a successful bar and hospitality business. How these three points are implemented is still a huge factor in the success but once I figured out that having these three things embedded into everything I did I saw the changes almost instantly.

Nobody really sat me down and expressed this to me but I had ran enough bars and nightclubs to suddenly see a pattern in the successes that I had had and the not so successful times.

If someone had told me these things years before I know that I could have saved myself a lot of sleepless nights worrying about why things weren’t going so well!

It was later on in my career when I realised these things. The company I was currently working for at the time was successful. Whether they were truly conscious or not of these three things (Consistency, Attention to Detail and Standards) I couldn’t say. As mentioned, nobody ever sat me down and explained it to me in the manner that I am writing now. It didn’t form part of the bar manager job description. What I do know however is that I was able to model this blueprint into future positions that I went on to hold in other organisations and businesses and I can honestly say that I have consistently moved forward with positive results ever since.

What would I tell my past self now that wasn’t included on the bar manager job description?

So for a start I would tell myself that you need to be someone who knows how to:

  • “Set Your Standards“. You must have standards! These are the things that both you and your staff must live by every day. These are the things that your customers come to expect and that set you above the competition. Your standards must be recognised by your staff and they must buy in to the importance. The results from your standards must be noticeable.
  • Get ahead and be noticed through your attention to detail. This is how you ensure that your standards are kept to. This is how you ensure that you are delivering an experience that meets the standards that your customers expect. From the lighting and music through to the customer service and the quality of the product. Your attention to detail in how these standards are kept to by your entire team are what will turn your customers into repeat customers.
  • Deliver consistent standards! If your entire team are well trained, well motivated and well valued you will pull all of these three elements together and get results!

This is how you get results!

Any it really isn’t that difficult to do so

These are the things that I structure my training and guidance around and it has helped dramatically in making positive improvements in the teams I work with as well as within myself. This is how someone who is new to running a business or aspires to one day can make a real impact and begin to see results.

You can start to make positives results in your current position

I am passionate about helping people to make the change. I want bartenders, bar managers and all of the people working in this wonderful industry to know that there are ways to make almost immediate changes within their businesses. I wanted to put together a simple, easy to follow and accessible guide for all of the people who like me all those years ago work hard to make an impact in their work but didn’t really know the best ways to do so.

In a world where time is more important than ever and people are constantly looking for ways to ‘hack’ their productivity I chose to put out my guide online in the form of a video course. My reasoning behind this was that people like to take in small chunks of information at a time. People are less inclined to sit and listen to a 2 hour lecture all in one go. So that is why I put my guide out on Udemy.com, the biggest online teaching arena there is.

Udemy allowed me to structure my guide so that people can get the 2 hours of knowledge and insight in 17 easy to digest steps. Not only that, it allowed me to do it visually.

Upon launching the course I had over 100 students in a week! A week! I was so excited to see that there was a community of students who had a passion for the bar and hospitality industry on the Udemy platform. (Your Bar Consultant has over 1000 students across it’s Udemy course as of writing this article)

Your Bar Consultant - Bar & Hospitality Course Onlie

So now that I have shared my story and you know my 3 Point Blueprint  I am offering all of the readers and subscribers of Your Bar Consultant’s blog to get this guide. I want to offer it to my readers as you are the people who I made it for in mind and are the ones that will get the most value from it and put into use.

Take the course now at Udemy.com. This link will take you directly to the course and will implement the promo code YBC-SUBS-10 automatically.

If you’ve never used Udemy before then you’re going to love it! There are thousands of course to take over a range of subjects and loads of them are at a discount. It’s really easy to sign up and takes less than 30 seconds. You can even sign in instantly with your Facebook account which takes away the need to put in your email address! Your Bar Consultant has over 1000 students enrolled across its multiple courses on Udemy already and we’re adding more courses very soon.

If you don’t want to miss this promotion then you can pop your email address into the form below and I’ll automatically email you the link and promo code to use at a future date.


Years ago, when I received my first bar manager job description, If someone had offered me the chance to make this investment in myself and my future to learn more about the industry and then told me that I would be able to “take the course on my phone” if I so wished I would have laughed out load! What a world we now live in!

Header Image taken from http://bit.ly/2bOebXH

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