Being a bartender can be a very good job with a great income. You can earn an average of $49,000 per year. A bartender may be promoted or take other jobs in a restaurant with higher salaries. A Sommelier is someone who helps pair wine with food; and can make anywhere from $29,000 to $80,000.
Typically a bartender earns an average of $5.00 to $8.00 per hour. Tips are where a bartender earns the majority of his/her income. It is a general rule of thumb that a bartender should earn 2-4 times their hourly salary. Therefore, if your base salary is $6.00 per hour you should earn in tips about $12.00 to $1800 per hour in tips. A bartender in an average bar can earn $15.00 to $30.00 per hour with both wages and tips.
I’m sure many of you have sat in a bar, ordered a couple of drinks and left a $3.00 to $5.00 tip. That is just what happens in a matter of minutes. While your bartender is waiting on you he also serves a few more people and makes a few more dollars. All in a matter of 5 minutes or so, he may have earned $10 – $15.00. I know you think that’s only a couple of bucks. You’re right but this goes on for most of the night and the bartender waits on hundreds of people which add up to hundreds of dollars in just a few hours.
The trick to making good money is to work in a busy bar that has good clientele and serve as many drinks as you can while still providing great customer service. Try to get the best shifts and be professional, responsible and honest.
Its also a good idea to be friendly with the customers, getting to know them and their drink habits. Add a smile or a joke with a well made drink. Get chummy, ask questions, talk up popular subjects such as sports with the men; compliment the women on their attire. Make their visit to your bar station a fun and entertaining experience.