Alright now that we have a good overview of the general anatomy here is my advice in a few easy steps to getting behind the bar and making that money!
Step 1: Be Qualified
Most states mandate that you be over the age of 18 and in some cases 21 to serve alcoholic beverages. Also you must be able to lift about 30lbs and be able to work in a fast environment while multi tasking. Lastly, and this is a big one. Like meeting new people. If you are a miserable SOB and hate dealing with the public it will come out to your customers. Allow me to expand on this...
Step 2: Get the Training.
Much like any other field it always helps to know what the hell you are doing. If you come in without any training or experience many places will tell you to beat it. There are bartender schools all over the country and now some of them are even now online or weekend only training. I went through Boston Bartender School. Whatever school you choose my advice here is to make sure there is a hands on lab where they teach you hands-on how to pour, recipes, glassware and how to properly build a drink. Another thing to look for is a school that has job placement. This is important because in order to get a bar tending job you must have experience. A school that provides placement will have relationships with a variety of establishments or catering companies that will foster your newly found skills and get you the experience to move to the next level.
Actually finding openings in the bar world can be tough. So here is another great place for Facebook and just talking to others in the business. Craigslist seems to be were most places post their openings. Depending on your area especially the seasonal places here in Maine tend to post their openings in the food and beverage section under jobs.
Step 4: Add a Little Polish
Have a cover letter resume. Even if it is not extensive. This will make you stand out among all the others as having your general shit together. Many times it even circumvents the need to sit there filling out a application and puts you to the front of the line when it comes to interviews.
Step 4: Build your Following
Finally: Know your Stuff!
Sort of a blanket statement here but here are a few final tips to being successful in your new career as a fun friendly bartender.
+ Know your stock and have favorites and specialties. I can't even count the number of times I have been asked "what is your favorite drink to make?" The real answer is Bud Light however I have a few go to drinks that can give the customer a little wow factor. The customer is looking for something new and tasty so give them what they want.
+ Enjoy what you do and you will never work another day in your life!