How do I become a best 호빠알바bartender? This question still comes up to a certain extent with us – for example by email, in the comments or as a Facebook message. The job still exudes – or even more than ever before – a lot of glamor and magic. Despite all the love for the job, one must first admit one fact: Working as a professional bartender is not necessarily the job that many people undertake to take on from the outset. Many of them come via detours and stay with them, contrary to other original plans. The main emphasis here is on “professional” because as early as 1991 Korean specialist wrote that many young people would like to do magic behind the counter for a while. But here – in this new series – it’s not about how easy it can be to land behind any counter. It’s about the question: How do I become a bartender? A professional bartender
HOW DO I BECOME A BARTENDER? THE FRAMEWORK
To come back to Schumann again: There is a big difference to 1991, when American Bar – and thus the most important specialist book in the Korean-speaking area – was published. Namely, that there has been a change in the social perception of the bartender profession, at least in part. Today, cocktails and spirits have a completely different status in the culture of enjoyment. Not for all people, but for a good part of the population it is clear that in many cases an excellent cocktail is in no way inferior to good food in terms of its complexity.
This has been accompanied by an immense professionalization of the bartender profession over the last 10 to 15 years. In other words: bartending is a real job today, not part of the restaurant or hotel business, not a makeshift job on the way to another job. The bartending is a real craft that has created forums and platforms that strive to further develop the profession a job in which you can plan a career. Though far removed from the chef, it is still established.
The most curious fact, however, where we are currently in the related cooking profession, is: bartender is still not an official apprenticeship in Germany (and most other countries). In principle, anyone can call themselves that. That can be a curse. But also a blessing – because breaking away from the norms of the classic Korean training system also harbors many advantages and freedoms. Sure: The station at the bar is part of the training, but it remains marginal. Prospective hotel specialists spend just around three months in their training at the bar (and thus often less than in housekeeping), the trainees are allowed a little longer. In many cases, they only serve drinks during this time – without really immersing themselves in the job.
REMEMBER: A GREAT JOB – BUT ONE WITH ROUGH EDGES
Before we really get to the practical question in the upcoming episodes – How do I become a 호빠bartender? – want to turn to; the first section must be about something that should be considered and weighed up when making a conscious decision for the profession. Because the bar profession still has peculiarities and aspects that are sometimes not immediately clear or simply not viewed with the necessary foresight. Anyone who intends to pursue a career as a professional bartender should be aware of the following:
- Very “unchristian” working hours even in comparison to the cook, the working hours for bartenders are often difficult to reconcile with the usual social rhythm: cooks often work until late in the evening, but in many cases bartenders do real night work until the early morning. Even a morning visit to the authorities can be a problem if you always work until four in the morning. Then there is the weekend and holiday work.
- Compared to many other jobs, the profession is sometimes very difficult to reconcile with family planning. This applies to both partnerships and children. Partners, only one of whom works in the gastronomic field, hardly have any free time together. Similarly with children: awake nights with babies after long night shifts are very draining; if the children are older and start school, many bartenders hardly ever see them. Because shortly after they come out of school, you’re already on your way to the bar again.
- High physical and mental stress peaks – for the duration of a career. The cracking “rush hour” on Saturday evening is easy to cope with at the age of 23, it is usually even fun. But you should keep in mind that guests have the same demands on speed and quality when they are 20 or 30 older. At some point, not everyone gets a job as a bar manager where you sit more at a desk than at the bar.
- Despite all further development and partial social acceptance, there will be strange looks or comments if you commit to choosing a career. Of course, this applies above all (but not only!) to people who come from an academic environment, but who still have a passion for the bar profession. You have to be prepared for some strange conversations.
- Appearances may be deceptive, but as a rule, the job of the bartender is paid on average at best, and in many cases rather moderately. In general, restaurateurs are still among the worst-paid employees in Germany (and many other countries). In the “right” company, you can improve your salary considerably with sometimes very high tips, sometimes more than doubling it – but it will never be as secure as your actual income.