It has been more than a year since I graduated from Bucks County School of Bartending. Top of my class of 12 or-so non-traditional students. Meeting 7 o'clock every weekday night for our education on all that is 'Bartending'. It was a blast; but was it nescessary?
Could I have gone a better route if I wanted to be a Bartender?
The Bartending School I went to did offer post graduation - job assisstance by providing a bulletein board full of restaurants and bars that had called and told the school about their job opening. I didn't use it because I was going away to college and a job around home would not be possible. Though, when looking into Bartending schools it is absolutely nescessary to make sure they will help you out with some kind of job assistance or even placement post-graduation.
I have yet to work as a bartender.
The few restaurants I did talk to about employment opportunities behind the bar said that they hired from within. They liked to start people as waiters and once they are known to be able to handle responsebility - are then put behind the bar. This point adds to the arguement that anytime you get a new job that you have to memorize new recipes and some oldies and learn - perhaps the most difficult part - your surroundings and become comfortable with your bar.
Another interesting point is that in bartending - the drinks vary from place to place. Different locales have different local drinks as well as serve variations of popular drinks. Ingredients can change significantly based on local taste.
However; the one area where employers were impressed by bartending school was in the area of background knowledge on alcohol and the various types of liquors, wines and beers. When a customer asks which liquor is sweetest; you will say rum - when they ask why - because it is made from fermeanted sugar cane, which sugar is derived from. Knowledge like that is assumed for the position of bartender and it's easier to serve your customers better having learned it.
So I wonder, could I bartend without doing the waiter thing - because of my schooling?
I believe so; employers like to know that you have a general list of popular drinks minimized. They like it when you can elaborate on commonly asked questions at the bar. Also, It is nice to be able to walk in an interview and know exactly how to whip up a Cosmopolitan using the right glasses and everything. Guess the tip is that if you do wish to go that route - apply EVERYWHERE. You can always switch jobs, once you have behind the bar experience it's easier.