The employment estimate for barbacks, dining room and cafeteria attendants and other bartender’s helpers is $374,940, according to government data.
As many as 226,200 barbacks work in restaurants, with the second most popular place of work being traveler accommodation.
The least paid industry for barbacks, offering compensation estimated at $23,600, is rooming and boarding houses. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the Other Schools and Instruction industry pays $39,000 on average.
Read on to find a detailed barback job description, including the required qualifications, education and responsibilities.
Towards the end of this post you’ll find the five key interview questions, with guidelines to help both barbacks and HR managers prepare for a job interview.
Barback Job Description
The barback job description encompasses responsibilities such as stocking and replenishing bar supplies, retrieving supplies from storage areas, cleaning glassware and bar equipment and assisting bartenders with various tasks. They can typically be found in the vicinity of the bar area, especially during busy nights.
Barbacks often work in hectic, crowded environments where they must move quickly, lift heavy kegs or cases of alcohol and navigate through busy areas to retrieve supplies. Their work hours can vary, including evenings, weekends and holidays.
Barback Responsibilities: What Does a Barback Do?
A barback’s primary role is to support the bartender and ensure a smooth restaurant operation by handling various tasks behind the bar. Their main responsibilities include:
- Stocking and replenishing bar supplies (liquor, mixers, garnishes, napkins, straws, etc.)
- Cleaning and polishing glassware, utensils and bar equipment
- Collecting empty glasses and dishes from tables and returning them to the bar
- Assisting bartenders in preparing and serving drinks
- Keeping the bar area clean, organized and presentable
- Changing kegs and tapping barrels to ensure a continuous supply of beer
- Maintaining cleanliness and functionality of bar equipment, such as blenders, juicers and ice machines
- Removing trash and recycling materials from the bar area
- Providing excellent customer service by promptly attending to customer requests and ensuring their satisfaction
- Adhering to safety and sanitation standards, including proper handling and storage of hazardous materials
- A barback stocks and replenishes bar supplies (liquor, mixers, garnishes, napkins, straws)
Barback Job Training & Education
Some establishments expect barbacks to have a high school diploma or equivalent, but this is a rare occurrence. Typically, no formal education is required and most of the training takes place on the job.
Training for barbacks primarily focuses on emphasizes practical skills and the ability to work as part of a team in a bar setting. They learn how to stock and organize bar supplies, prepare garnishes, clean glassware and maintain a clean and organized work area.
In fact, many bartenders start out as barbacks and make progress in time, as they get used to the job and gain more experience. If you want to know more about the bartender job description, check out our article!
Skills & Qualifications Needed for a Barback Job
A successful barback possesses specific skills and qualifications tailored to the dynamic demands of the role, ensuring efficient support behind the bar. To fit the barback role, however, you need to have the following skills:
- Attention to detail: Keen focus on accuracy and efficiency in restocking and organizing
- Fast-Paced work ethic: Ability to work quickly and prioritize tasks in a busy environment
- Adaptability and flexibility: Willingness to adjust and respond to changing situations
- Multitasking abilities: Skill in handling multiple tasks simultaneously
- Team player mentality: Collaboration and effective communication with coworkers
- Sense of urgency: Understanding the importance of timely service and a proactive approach
In addition to skills, a barback should have the following qualifications:
- Minimum age requirement: Barbacks may need to meet the minimum age requirement set by local laws and regulations
- Legal authorization: Barbacks must have the legal authorization to work in the country or region where the establishment is located
- Physical fitness: Good physical fitness and strength are important for handling the physical demands of the role
- Knowledge of basic bar operations: Familiarity with bar operations, including glassware, drink recipes, and equipment, can be advantageous
By demonstrating these essential skills and qualifications, you can excel as a barback, contributing to a seamless bar operation and overall customer satisfaction. If you are feeling insecure about your barback skills, you can get online certification from the International Bartenders Association or the National Bartending School.
Related Barback Career Advice
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