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Food & drink

Bar person

Bar staff serve drinks in venues like pubs, clubs, wine bars, hotels and leisure centres.

Annual Salary

£14,000 to £22,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

39 to 41 variable

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; on shifts

Future employment

There will be 0.3% more Bar person jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

In this role you could:

  • greet customers and create a welcoming atmosphere
  • use a till to take orders and payments
  • handle cash
  • serve drinks at the bar or at the table
  • keep the bar clean and well stocked
  • give advice on drinks to suit customers' tastes
  • collect glasses and wash up

Working environment

You may need to wear a uniform.

You could work in a pub or bar, at a restaurant, in a hotel or at a social club.

Your working environment may be noisy, crowded and hot.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

You can take a college course to learn some of the skills and knowledge needed in this job, which will help you find work in the industry. Courses include:

  • Level 1 Award in Introduction to Employment in the Hospitality Industry
  • Level 1 Award in Professional Food and Beverage Service Skills
  • Level 2 Certificate in Professional Food and Beverage Service

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
For more information

You could do an intermediate apprenticeship as a hospitality team member.

This will usually take 1 year to complete. You'll do on-the-job training and spend time with a college or training provider.

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements but it may help you to get in if you have:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
For more information
Direct application

You can apply directly if you've got some of the relevant skills, experience and knowledge needed for this job.

Employers will look for strong communication skills, good customer service, and the ability to work well in a team.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • be over 18 to sell alcohol and other restricted goods

More information

Further information

You can find out more about careers in the drinks trade from; Wine and Spirit Education Trust

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With experience, you could progress to supervisor, deputy bar manager and bar manager.

You could also become a publican or bar manager for a hotel chain.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • active listening skills
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • a good memory
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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