Jobs which were once thought very secure are nowadays a thing of the past. Who would have thought that skilled jobs in car manufacturing, ship building and the like would one day disappear like smoke? Yet there’s one profession that you can almost guarantee will be with us for ever – a profession which has been with us for thousands of years. No, not the first one which springs to mind, but that valuable underpinning of society, bartending. There will never be a shortage of bartending jobs.
It is possible to imagine going into a bar, keying in your credit card number, and having your cocktail or beer dispensed to you by a machine. The machine might even greet you by name, tell you to enjoy your beverage, and dispense a carefully measured portion of snack items – one beer equals fifteen peanuts. The drink dispensing machine may even ask you to blow into a breathalyzer to ensure that you’re sober enough to have an alcoholic drink. In fact, it’s almost certain that in some godforsaken bar in the techno suburbs of Tokyo, this actually happens. Yes, it’s possible to imagine this horrible soulless experience – but is it possible to imagine enjoying it?
The human bartender can never be replaced; he or she fulfills so many useful roles. He is lord of the bar, keeping everything humming like a top. The bartender welcomes the customer into his world, dispenses drinks which are designed to exactly hit the spot, keeps everything clean and sparkling, makes sure no one gets too drunk, listens to everyone’s woes and triumphs, watches out that the laws are being obeyed, ensures that the cash register keeps ringing healthily and profitably, and all the time dreams up the great new creations which have the customers come back for more.
The bartender sets the tone for everything that happens in the bar. Is the atmosphere good, is the music right for the time of night and the make up of the crowd, not too loud, not too soft? Are the assistant bar staff attentive, are the ashtrays being emptied, the tables being cleaned, is that lady over there in need of rescue from an over persistent would be suitor? The bartender is balancing a host of elements in his mind all the time, elements which go to make up a great night out for his customers.
A mixture of culinary artist, accountant, housekeeper, policeman, psychiatrist, interior designer, sergeant major and mother all rolled into one, the bartender has an almost unique role to play in the service industry world. He or she is vital to the successful operation not only of the bar, but of the wider business which the bar may be a part of. How many people stay at a certain hotel, or eat at a particular restaurant, because the bartender makes the overall experience such a good one for them? Not for nothing are the best bartenders fiercely wooed by prospecting employers, they are as valuable as great chefs, and as such, the bartender at the pinnacle of his career can almost name his own price.
Yes, the bartender is going to be around for as long as there are thirsty people looking for a great drink, in a congenial atmosphere, served by a creative mixologist with a sympathetic listening ear. A good bartender need never fear that he or she will be replaced by a machine, if anything as leisure time increases the demand for bartenders will become even higher.
Joshua T Collier is the owner of Rapid Bartender. Rapid Bartender gives you the best information for those who want to become a bartender and those that are trying to get a bartending job. From bartending techniques to nailing the interview teaches you all you need to know with our comprehensive bartenders guide.