What to Expect from Bartending School

Bartending is portrayed as a glamorous profession, being featured in movies and television shows where the bartender knows fancy tricks or gives advice to his customers. Whether you want to make a lot of tips at a packed club or if you just want a more casual job working for your local bar, bartending school is one of the best ways to get your foot in the door. I have written this article from my first-person experience attending the Professional Bartending School of Knoxville in Tennessee, and I hope I’m able to give readers a clear description of what they might expect if they’re thinking of going to bartending school.


The tuition for my personal experience was around $600, but you should contact your preferred bartending school to check their individual rates. Bartenders can earn $100-$300 a night on average and are eligible for a variety of different jobs, such as private parties and cruise ships. Experience is important, and bartending school would look good on any potential bartender’s resume.

ABC class

The Alcohol Beverage Commission requires potential bartenders to complete a short course on alcohol safety and serving procedures. You will learn about blood-alcohol content (BAC), signs of intoxication, laws regarding alcohol, how to deal with an intoxicated individual, and other important information that will be helpful in your new profession. The ABC course will probably take around five hours and the current cost of the class is around $70. It will be separate from the actual bartending class, and will earn you an ABC card that lets you serve alcohol legally.


There are a few different options when considering the scheduling of your bartending classes. The Professional Bartending School of Knoxville currently has weekly morning classes from 10am-2pm and night classes from 6pm-10pm. Morning or night classes will last two weeks. They also offer a weekend class for five weeks on Saturday from 10am-6pm. They will work with you on your schedule, and even offer an express course where you can take two classes in a single day and be done with the course in one week instead of two.

The Express Course

I chose to finish the course in one week, because I was taking paid time off from work to complete it. Since they offered to let me do it in one week instead of two, the choice made sense. Be warned, taking two classes in one day will be very intense. For anyone with the time to spare I would strongly recommend choosing either morning or night classes, but not both. You will have quizzes, tests, and recipes to memorize. Because of the class times I had four hours between classes to eat my lunch, study, and practice (more on this later). The extra week would have given me more time to study and become familiar with the skills. Instead, I had to cram.

The Bar

The bar where you perform your skills test looks like it’s full of expensive liquor, ready to be served… Or spilled by your fumbling beginner’s hands. Try not to worry though, because the bottles are full of cheap liquid made to look like the actual stuff. The contents were apparently a business secret, but the clear liquid was just water. As part of our bar-cleaning responsibilities at the end of the day we were asked to refill the “liquor” bottles using jugs containing their appropriately colored liquid representations. For bottles claiming to be liquors such as vodka and gin, as well as other clear liquors, we just used tap water. As silly as it seems, the bottles looked authentic on the shelves, adding to the excitement of learning to be a bartender.

The Curriculum

The bartending course consisted of ten four-hour classes. Morning classes did odd numbered chapters and night classes did even numbers. For me, this meant two chapters a day for a week, but anyone doing one class a day would do the other chapters during their second week of classes. The chapters covered different kinds of drinks, like martinis, highballs, shots, tall drinks, beer and wine, etc. There were daily quizzes, a written test, and a skills test.

The Skills Test

The skills test was the hardest part for me. During my time at bartending school we were asked to practice making drinks, as I mentioned above. We usually did this during the second half of each class. Also, as students, we were allowed to use the skills area while class wasn’t in session. Sometimes, during the four hours between classes, I would go back to the classroom and practice making drinks. For the skills test students must have a quick memory of the recipes they learn, making a specific number of drinks in a set amount of time (I want to say we had to make twelve drinks in five minutes, but I’m not sure, and don’t want to mislead anyone). You will have to know the right glass, if the drink requires ice, the right ingredients, where the appropriate liquors are located, and the right garnish. By the end of the class you should know pouring techniques, and will need to be able to pour something as small as half an ounce of liquid strait from the bottle, and with two hands at once to be able to make the time limit. The skills test can be nerve-racking, but completing it successfully is a huge accomplishment.

Learning to bartend isn’t as simple as someone might think. There are lots of things to consider besides pouring beer (we did that too, but it wasn’t a major part of our training), and I know I haven’t included every single step of the process. However, these are the things that I remember the most about bartending school, and will probably be the most significant features of your training as well. This article should help you prepare for the course, but the preparations are yours to make. Become familiar with the different kinds of drinks, know what a dry martini is and how to make it extra dry. Learn how to garnish and get familiar with tools like the shaker, something that you’ll need to use during the skills test. Above all, have fun. A happy bartender is a bartender that earns lots of tips.

Starting your own catering business

starting your own business can be a very exciting time. No matter what industry you are in there is going to be several factors that you will need to consider before going out on your own

  1. Funding your start up

If you have savings that you are willing to use to get your start up off the ground great! If not you may need to think about getting a business loan or another way to fund your start up. We spoke to a financial advisor at getmemymortgage.co.uk who said ‘ for those looking to start a business funding is essential, there are several options, if you are looking to get a business loan you will need a solid business plan, good credit score and potentially need to guarantee your loan with a personal guarantee. Another option is to release equity in your property if you have it, this can be a quicker and cost effective finance option to funding your start up.

2. Revenue Model

You need to know exactly how you are going to make money. Are you going to open up a sandwich store and provide catering or are you going to be doing private catering jobs. Ideally you will plan out when you will start to make revenue and how long it will take you to break even and start making profit.

3. Customers

You will need to find potential customers and turn them into revenue generating business. How are you going to do this are you going to call businesses and see if they need catering for corporate events? Start a website to drive local leads for your business? Customers are key to making a successful business and you will need to have a good strategy in place to generate them.

There is a lot more to consider when looking to start up your own catering business but the above will give you a good start in finding out if you have a viable option for a business.

All Inclusive Vs. Self Catering Vacations

Most people like to go on holiday at least once a year to get away from work and daily life. When booking a holiday, it is always important to consider all of your options. One of the main decisions to make when you have decided upon a destination is whether you will be going on an all inclusive package or on a self catering package.
To make a decision, it is a good idea to look at your situation, are you going alone, with friends, as a couple, or as a family? Which will save you money or would be most practical? Which will make your holiday experience both fun and relaxing?

The following is a breakdown of the pros and cons of both self catering and all inclusive packages;

Self Catering

When you go self catering you have a choice to stop in a hotel, villa or an apartment. Stopping in a hotel means that you may get half board or bed and breakfast. This can save a lot of money on eating out if you have gone away with your family.

If you choose to stop in a villa then you will normally get the advantage of your own private pool, so if you do not like sharing a pool with hundreds of other people and you prefer a little more privacy, this is the way to go.

With a self catering package you have the freedom to do as you wish. You can eat out every night or you can eat in, but mostly this will cost you a lot more than being all inclusive, especially if you are away with your family as you have to pay for all of your own food.

All Inclusive catering

All inclusive is really only available when you stay in a hotel, so you will have fairly small accommodation, less privacy and you will have to share a pool with the other people staying in the hotel. If you do not mind this then all inclusive is a fantastic way to spend your holiday. You have the freedom to eat in or out of the hotel but while you are in the hotel, you can eat and drink as much as you like throughout the day. This really does save you so much money just on drinks alone, if you are with your family. There is also entertainment most nights in the hotel and any trips you would like to go on are booked by your rep.

In conclusion, self catering allows you to have freedom, privacy and full home facilities, but you may have to pay quite a lot for your food and trips out. Whereas an all inclusive package could save you a lot of money on food, there is no cooking, and you have your whole holiday looked after, but you will have to compromise on sharing a pool and smaller accommodation.

Where to Find a Great Catering Company for Your Wedding

If you’re hosting a special event or simply want to take the weekend off from cooking, ordering a few gourmet food platters from a catering company is a great way to enjoy some of Orlando’s best restaurants. Having restaurant food delivered to your home is worth the extra cost, especially if you’re short on time and guests are due any minute! From appetizers and pizza, to three-course meals and desserts, here’s where to find a great catering company in Orlando:

Dominick’s Catering
930 Arabian Avenue, Winter Springs
(407) 6203950

Dominick’s is an Orlando favorite for good reason; it’s is the place to order a towering chocolate cake for a birthday celebration, or just pick up a fresh fruit platter for a breakfast treat. The professional team will take care of every detail for your private party, luncheon, or other special event, and you won’t be at a loss for menu options. Gourmet meals are a specialty here, so take the time to explore the menu and pick out some new tastes and flavors.

Gourmet Catering
3818 Edgewater Drive, Orlando
(407) 299-6401

When you’re hosting a special event or wedding dinner, Gourmet Catering is ready to serve up classic dishes with a twist; dinner entrée packages make it easy to please a large party when you’re short on kitchen time, and special events can be hosted on-site in the banquet room. Order minimums are usually 15 people, and you’ll find everything from breakfast platters to dessert trays here.

Beyond the Gates Catering
(407) 281-0646

This independently owned catering company is designed especially for businesses and families, and also offers a personal chef service. Menu offerings include box lunches, soups, appetizers, desserts, and a healthy menu for any dieters in the crowd. Local orders within a 10 mile radius can enjoy free delivery, and anything beyond that is just $15.

Good 2 Go Gourmet
3814 Edgewater Drive, Orlando
(407) 822-1789

This catering company has been serving Orlando since 2005, and caters many community galas and media-sponsored events. If you’re trying to plan a large event in your home or other venue, this is a great company to work with for personalized service. Menu offerings include seafood entrees, Italian meat dishes, vegetable sides, and cheese and dips platters. Pasta stations are also available, and are a great choice for get-togethers and banquets.

Cuisiniers Caterer
5470 Lake Howell Road, Winter Park
(407) 975-8763

Cuisiniers s located just outside of Orlando in Winter Park, and can prepare a gourmet meal for your casual dinner party, cocktail party, or five course dinner event. It also caters for weddings and corporate events, but when you need some help with hosting your at-home soiree, this company can send over some artichoke crab dip, smoked salmon platter, or bruschetta that are sure to please the guests. To-go menus and party platter deliveries are also available.

When time is of the essence and you just don’t have the energy to cook up a storm in the kitchen, a catering company can help you plan and prepare for that party with ease. Leave the work in the hands of a professional, and choose any of these great catering companies in Orlando for your next event.

Beyond Mixing Drinks – A Guide to Bartending Success

You’ve gone to school and now you’re a mixologist. It’s time to become a Master Bartender.
Tip: Customer service is job one

Patrons of your bar expect to feel like they are the only ones there, even when they’re not. You should greet each customer kindly with a smile on your face. I know when you’re slammed it may be a daunting task but it’s a must.

Tip: Bar owner’s hire bartenders with a following

Work on you memory skills. Knowing your regulars name is good business. Knowing their name and what they drink–you better buy another tip jar. By learning who they are, what they do, and what they like you will develop a following (a customer base that will follow you to another bar). However, don’t just cater to the ‘clicks’ (regulars), new faces can become followers too.

Another thought, people are impressed by servers who don’t have to write orders down to remember them and get it right.

Tip: Multitask

Keep your eye on drink levels and keep your ears open. You should be able to carry on a conversation, make a Long Island Ice Tea, and answer a beer call at the same time.

Plus, you must always maintain your bar. Dirty bars drive business right out the door. Be sure to zone areas that are vacated as soon as possible to make room for the next body. Keep a wet bar rag handy for spot cleaning and, nasty as it is, dump ashtrays often.

Tip: Make your register ring

Up sell often. If a customer asks for a bourbon and coke, ask them if they want Jack or Jim (if those are on your well then go for Maker’s Mark). Not only will you make money for the bar, you’ll make money for yourself. The owner and/or manager will take notice. The higher your numbers, the more likely you are to get a better shift, promoted, or a raise.

Tip: Market your bar

You can improve your following and increase business if you network. On your days off go to other bars and market yourself. Meet the patrons and pass out business cards with your name, bar, and your picture if your so inclined. Be sure there are directions or a map on the back.

Tip: Sex sells

Don’t be afraid to show a little skin.

Tip: Don’t be just another pretty face

Get yourself noticed! Take opportunities to make suggestions to boost sales and bring in more business. Make the bar work for you.

  1. Encourage specials
  2. Suggest theme/party nights
  3. Did you say free pool?
  4. Buffet night–after all, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
  5. Is there untapped potential? Look into joining dart, pool, and shuffleboard tournaments. Then get people to sign up!
  6. Don’t forget your day bar. Run specials, offer food, buy the bar a set of Dominoes to play with customers during the lull.

Do your share of the responsibilities

There are responsibilities for all bartender shifts. Don’t be a slacker. If you were given a chore to complete before your shift is up, make sure you get it done. Also, have the bar clean and ready at shift change and for opening in the morning.

  1. Keep fresh fruit cut and bins full.
  2. Don’t leave an empty bottle on the well or the rack.
  3. Ensure that there’s plenty of ice.
  4. Close out all open tabs.
  5. Clean dirty dishes.
  6. Bartender courtesy is appreciated (you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours).

Tip: Follow the rules

Don’t serve minors. ID everyone you are suspicious of and even some you’re not–they may like the compliment and give you a better tip. The law is watching and sting operations are used to prevent minor drinking.

Tip: Do comps

Your boss should encourage complimentary drinks. Comps on birthdays, anniversaries, and weekly (or at least monthly) for good regulars. Also, free sodas or virgins for designated drivers, always.

Tip: Always be aware

Speaking of designated drivers, you are liable if an intoxicated patron leaves your bar and hurts someone. Always be aware of how much you are serving. Don’t be afraid to cut someone off. Your customer’s are your friends–more like acquaintances. You must ensure safety for all, always! Look for signs of intoxication.

  1. How are their eyes?
  2. Are they staggering when they walk?
  3. Is their speech slurred?
  4. Can they maintain focus on a subject?

Keep numbers for taxicab companies behind the bar. Some companies will even pick drunken customers up fare free. If a customer tries to leave and they are too drunk to drive take away their keys, ask for assistance if you have to, call husbands/wives. Do what ever you have to do to protect yourself, your customer, and others in the event of over serving. In every case prevention is the best cure.

Cheers to your success!

What Bartending Schools in Atlanta Can Teach You

Knowing what you can expect to learn at bartending school is a great way to decide which one you should attend. Atlanta has a large selection of bartending schools. Each is valuable in its own way and has a lot to teach you about the bartending trade. If you don’t have experience bartending or aren’t sure what a bartending school has to offer, here is a little of what you will learn.
Most bartending courses begin with the basic bar set up. Students learn what ingredients are most used in a functioning bar. They learn how to set up and organize these bartending supplies so that mixing drinks can be achieved in the most efficient manner. Supplies range from what fills the “fruit bar” (that little container full if sliced lemons, limes, cherries, martini onion, and olive) to basic liquors, liqueurs, beers, mixers, and more. Most students will find that they know a little bit about this are before classes even start.

Next, most bartending schools will teach you what drink should be served in what glass. Of course you can drink anything out of any functioning glass, but traditionally some drinks are served in specific glasses. There can be many different reasons for this. One example is red wine. Red wine is usually served in a wide mouthed wine glass. This is to allow the wine to breath so that the flavor is enhanced, not because it looks pretty. This type of glass also allows the wine drinker’s nose to be exposed to the red wine, which also affects the taste of the wine. Different types of beer are also traditionally served in different types of glasses. There is more than just the basic pint glass out there.

After these basic intro courses/ classes, student will usually move on to learning Mixology. Mixology is the art of mixing drinks. This is very similar to cooking lessons where you learn what flavors compliment each other. Understanding how flavors interact can create an art form out of bartending. Student learn basic recipes that will carry them through their career as well as how to create e new concoctions of their own. If a guest were to tell you some of their favorite flavors, you could create something new and wonderful just for them.

Here is the contact information for a few local bartending schools in the Atlanta area. Take the time to visit each one online or in person if possible. A few minutes invested in a little research can save you a lot of time down the road. Be sure to call ahead to schedule a visitation. They will need to prepare an employee to give you a tour of their facilities.

What we suggest:

Professional Bartending School is located at Atlanta, GA 30301. They can be reached at (800) 227-8363.�

Atlanta Bartending School is located at 3754 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30329. They can be reached at (706) 227-8363.�

Professional Bartending School is located at 3754 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30329. They can be reached at (404) 321-5856.�

ABC Bartending Schools is located at 2359 Windy Hill Rd SE, Marietta, GA 30067. They can be reached at (770) 952-2588.

Bartending Schools in Phoenix Rely on Job Placement Counselors

There are a variety of bartending schools in the Phoenix area. Classes at bartending schools can differ in many ways. Differences can range from something like class size all the way to their job placement services. It is important to choose a bartending school that offers you the best chances of getting a good job in the bartending industry once you graduate. You are investing your time, money, and energy, so the school should give you what you are paying for.
The very first thing you should do when visiting a potential bartending school is visit the job placement counselor. If you ask to do this and the bartending school tells you that they do no have a job placement counselor run the other way! You are going to school to get a job!

A job placement counselor does exactly what their title states

They help students find jobs bartending once they have graduated. They are the main reason to choose a bartending school. They can b especially helpful to individuals new to the industry or new to the area. Getting your foot in the door is the first step to finding the job you want. Your job placement counselor is the first contact you will make in this industry. Their sole responsibility is to give you a competitive edge over other potential employees.

While you are with the job placement counselor discuss all the means that particular school has a to help you find a job. There are a variety of means a school could use in helping you find a job after you graduate. Some schools keep a list of graduated students and the jobs they have taken. Other schools may have an inside source or partnership with a local business. When this local business has an opening they contact the school and post the job. This benefits you, the school, and the company looking for a qualified employee. Online job searching should be available at a good and up to date school.

These pointers are just a few of the attributes you should look for in a qualified bartending school

Bartending schools are not regulated and accredited in the same manner that a traditional college is. It is up to you to do the research and know what you should look for in a bartending school. Here a few different bartending school in the Phoenix area. Make yourself a checklist of al the credential listed here. If you find a school that offers all of them, then you may have found the right school for you!

Bartending Academy is located at 2108 East Thomas Road, Phoenix, Arizona, 85016. They can be reached at (602) 957-3771.

ABC Bartending Schools is located at 4903 West Thomas Road, Phoenix, Arizona, 85031. They can be reached at (602) 233-1001.

ABC Bartending Schools has a second nearby location at 5032 South Ash Avenue, Tempe, Arizona, 85282. They can be reached at (480) 777-2333.

Bartending Academy also has a second location nearby at 1250 East Apache Boulevard, Tempe, Arizona, 85281. Tempe is about ten minutes outside of Phoenix. They can be reached at (480) 921-9925.