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What to Consider Before Taking a Job Serving or Bartending

Bartending Guide once you have our TABC By Kirti PoddarIf you’re considering getting your TABC certification to start serving alcohol, then you have to consider the pros and cons of the job. Whether as a bartender or as a server, there are a lot of perks, but also a couple of things you have to be careful of. For example, most people have friends who might expect preferential treatment when they come over, while you can’t offer that treatment, you do have to find a way to tactfully deal with it. What are some of the other things you might have to watch out for when taking a job serving alcohol?

You Have to Be Nice

You probably know that you have to be nice to customers, but sometimes they won’t always make it easy. Everyone is different and people don’t always get along, especially when drinking. Your job is to make the customer feel happy and welcome, which means being nice to them no matter what. Usually this requires a little bit of tolerance for stupidity and human error on your part.

Steady Pay Isn’t Guaranteed

Most bartenders make pretty good money with their TABC certification, but it isn’t guaranteed. You might have weeks where you don’t know what to do with all of your tips, but then again you might have months where you barely pay the rent. The unfortunate part of working for tips is that if no one has any money, you don’t make any money.

No Work Perks

Most bartenders and servers don’t actually get paid insurance or dental or even healthcare. This means you will have to pay for these things out of your own pocket, even if your last employer covered your insurance. This is definitely a downside to any sort of job as a server, but if you get good shifts, and you work in a busy area, you can definitely make up the difference.

You Have to Learn to Keep Your Distance

Whether you’re a server or a bartender, male or female, you’re going to have to learn to keep your distance. Many of the customers in a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol are on their own, and might be overly affectionate when drunk, especially if you’re being nice to them. Learning to gently dissuade this sort of affection is important for keeping your job as well as your sanity.

Long and Late Hours

The most successful bartenders work at night, although it is also possible to work in golf clubs, casinos, and pretty much anywhere else that serves alcohol during the day. You are most likely to get more tips if you are working in either a place with wealthy patrons, or working after standard work hours when more people are likely to be out and having fun. This usually means 6-10 or even 6-2, which is a long shift for standing on your feet.

Serving Alcohol is a Responsibility

If you’ve gotten your TABC certification then you know the responsibilities inherent with serving alcohol. You are legally required to not serve alcohol to minors or to those who are intoxicated, and if you do, it could be your fault. It is your responsibility to check IDs, and pay attention to people before serving them alcohol.

It’s Hard Work

Last but not least, bartending and serving are hard work. While it might sound easy to serve people drinks, you will have to stand on your feet for 5-10 hours depending on the shift, you might not make any money if no one is tipping, and there is a lot of work involved. For example, you will have to memorize any number of drinks, mix them properly each time, make every customer happy, and do it all with a smile. While no one ever said bartending was easy, most don’t consider that it is actual work either.

Think you have what it takes to be a bartender? If so, consider getting your TABC certification online where you can print it out as soon as you are done.

Five Things You Should Do To Get A Job as a Bartender in Texas

Bartending Guide once you get your TABC by PublicDomainPicturesIf you’re thinking about getting a job as a bartender then there are a couple of things you should consider first. For example, you will need your Texas alcohol certification or TABC, you will have to memorize a few drinks, and depending on the bar, you might have to earn a certification from a bartending school as well. Here are five things you should do before looking for a job as a bartender in Texas.

Get your TABC

No matter where you plan on selling alcohol you should get your TABC or Texas seller server certification before going for the job. While it is not a requirement to get a TABC permit to serve alcohol, it is a definite plus and can help you get the job. Some employers might not even hire anyone who does not have the permit, so it is definitely a good idea to look into. On the plus side, the TABC course can be taken online in 2 hours for $14.95, and then once you pass the test, you can immediately print out your certification which is good for 2 years from the date of issue. Notably, you do have to be 18 in order to sell or serve alcohol, but you can get your TABC sooner.

Learn Drinks

If you are planning on applying to be a bartender at a specific bar then try visiting the establishment and checking to see which drinks they have available before you go in. If you can memorize them all, then you are definitely much more likely to get the job. If you plan on applying to a range of different establishments, simply memorize as many of the most popular drinks as you can before you go in. You will most likely be asked to prepare at least a few drinks before being hired, so go prepared.

Learn to Cut and Style

Did you know that if you learn to cut and style the garnishes that go on drinks you are much more likely to get a job as a bartender? Learning to cut fruit, salt and sugar rims, and use other garnishes appropriately will help your drinks to look better and will make customers happier as well. For this, you can choose to take a bartending course where they will definitely teach all of these items, however, a course really isn’t necessary if you already know what you are doing.

Develop a Clean Workstation Habit

One of the best things for any bartender to learn is to constantly wipe things down and clean. If you can keep your workstation neat and tidy, and wipe things off after every drink, you will definitely make everyone concerned very happy. All you have to do is learn the basics of your workstation, learn how to clean it up, and remember to keep it clean even when busy. This is extremely important in any establishment, but especially one that serves food as well, because not keeping it clean could be a healthy violation, as well as a turnoff for any customers who might happen to see a messy workstation.

Be Good With People

While this last can be a little difficult to learn, you have to be good with people in order to bartend. As mentioned in the TABC course, you also have to learn to judge people to see if they are underage or intoxicated, but you also have to smile, be friendly, and make each customer feel as though they are the center of your attention if you want to get tips. If you are charming, pleasant, and friendly when you go looking for a job, you are that much more likely to be hired.

A Quick Guide to Getting Better Tips as a Bartender

Bartending Guide after your TABC certification by Sporting Chance Bart EversonIf you’ve earned your TABC certification then you’re probably working as a bartender or a server. In either case, the majority of your income is probably from tips, so you have to learn to make the most of your time and earn the most tips possible. But how do you do it? You most certainly shouldn’t ask, or even hint that you need money as most people will be affronted by the request and your employer might frown on it. Instead, try using these quick tips.

Remember Names

Did you know that asking someone about their name and then remembering it when they first sit down is almost a sure way to get a tip? While you’re not going to get a huge tip from just remembering their name, it is likely to convince them that you are a better bartender. Obviously you don’t have this luxury if the place is packed and you’re constantly moving, but at that point you probably won’t have to worry about tips anyway. Get someone’s name by telling them yours and introducing yourself with a smile.

Remember Drinks

What’s the next best thing to do to get a tip? Remember their drink. If you see an empty glass, walk up and say ‘Would you like another (insert drink name here).’ If they had anything special like ‘on the rocks’ or ‘salted’ make sure you smile and ask if they would like those changes again, or if they would like to try it another way. Just remember to ask first as some people like to switch drinks and try different things. Notably, as you probably learned when taking your TABC certification, you should probably also try to remember how many drinks each person has had. Not only will it help you to judge the persons level of intoxication, a fun comment like “You’re fifth already!” might earn you some points.

Don’t Hover

There is nothing more annoying than a bartender or server who is always there. Instead, try to make yourself look busy. If you’re not serving another customer, wipe down the counters, clean the glasses, or whatever else needs to be done. Not only do you make yourself look good to your employer and the customers, but you’re more likely to get a tip because you look busy, and because you weren’t annoying. Part of this goes in to say that you should never butt into anyone else’s conversation unless they invite you, in which case you might still be best off saying that you weren’t listening, could they say it again, so you don’t appear to be eavesdropping.


It is most definitely okay to offer compliments as freely as possible across the bar. Whether male or female you can complement both genders, and even flirt a little with those of the opposite sex (although this should be very subtle, especially if that person is with a partner). Offering complements on clothing or ‘great choice of drink’ or even facial features is perfectly fine, and likely to make the customer happy. Just remember not to complement everyone where each person can hear you as it might come off badly if they see you’re doing it to get tips.

Don’t Talk Too Much

Did you know that talking too much can be annoying? Try politely answering questions when asked, talking to the customer at first, and then unless they look lonely or bored, mostly leaving them to their own devices. While it can be tempting to chat up everyone on a slow night, it’s probably not a good idea, especially if those people want to be left alone. If you want to talk, try finding an equally talkative person to chat with and then do so.

Be Attentive

Last but not least, pay attention, just not too much. Taking away empty glasses, offering refills or another drink, and talking to someone who is bored can all earn you a lot of brownie points towards getting tips. Part of this includes wiping down the bar in front of each person before you set down the glass, paying attention to them and their drink, and of course, to their attitude.

As a bartender, your tips can be a large part of your income, and the best way to earn tips is to be friendly, attentive and good at your job. Before you get a job as a bartender, you will of course also need your TABC certification if you do not already have one.

How to Get a TABC Certification Renewal

TABC Certification Renewal If you are currently serving alcohol with your TABC certification then you probably know that it is only good for two years after issue. If you plan on keeping your job, and it is nearing an expiration date, you will have to get a TABC certification renewal. While you do not have to renew your certification until your current TABC license is up, you should definitely consider a renewal any time in the week before your certification is up.

What is a TABC Certification Renewal?

The first thing to consider is that the TABC does not actually offer a certification renewal. The certification lasts for 2 years because laws and rules are frequently updated. You will have to take the course again at the end of the two year period, but the fee is still relatively very low at $14.95. The class takes roughly two hours and then you can take your renewal course afterwards. When you print your certification, you will be qualified to serve alcohol for another two years. You can typically choose to take your course online or at a certified training location, although the former is usually more convenient, and more entertaining.

Asking Your Boss

If you are employed as an alcohol server, or anyone who helps to oversee the serving and sale of alcohol, then you need an alcohol server’s permit. As such, your employer should be able to pay for the fee. Usually this fee is tax deductible so they should not mind paying for it for you. If not, you can deduct it from your own wages at the end of the year.

If you’re lucky and you ask on a slow night, you might even be able to take your certification during working hours. You would of course have to use a computer at your bosse’s work place, but this can save you a two hours of valuable personal time if he or she agrees.

Choosing an Online TABC Certification Renewal

Choosing to take your TABC certification online is definitely a better option than going to take it in person. Usually this will save you time because you can do it at home or in your employers workplace rather than having to drive to a specific location. You can also take it at any time 24/7 because online classes are always available. Finally, taking your TABC online also allows you to print your new license immediately after passing so you can go back to serving.

While you cannot get a TABC renewal in the traditional sense, it is very easy to renew your license by simply getting a new one. Check out AACEA TABC Certification for more information.

Five Tips for Getting Your TABC Certification Online

TABC CertificationIf you’re planning on taking your TACB certification online, then you need free time, a printer, and patience. If you’re ready to take the test, you should start out by finding a certified TABC website online such as America’s Alcohol Certified Education Association or the AACEA. The following five tips can help you get started, and help you pass your test.

Check to Make Sure the Website is Certified Getting your TACB certification online is great, but only if you’re getting it from an approved website. The AACEA is approved by the TABC and you can check to see it listed at the top of Section II: Internet Training resources on If you get your certification from a website that isn’t listed, it might not be legit.

Prepare to Sit Through the Course The TABC online certification is approximately 2 hours long plus a test, so you should prepare. Make sure you have free time, no interruptions, and a glass of water handy. Taking a bathroom break beforehand can also help.

Take a Short Break Before the Test After taking the two hour course, you should get up, stretch, and if necessary visit the bathroom. A quick ten minute break will allow you to relax so that you do better on the test. If you don’t think you need the break, you can of course skip it and go right from the lesson to the test.

Have a Printer Handy You can print your certification as soon as you pass the test, so try having a printer handy. If you don’t have a printer in your home, you can also schedule your test so that you can go to the library or anywhere with a printer immediately after finishing.

Study at a Time Best For You Studies show that we learn better when fully rested and not distracted by thirst, hunger, or stress. If you schedule your study time and test for a time when you aren’t going to be tired, you are likely to do better on the test and therefore pass more easily. Depending on your personal preferences this could be in the morning, night, weekends, or even weekdays. The best part about taking your TABC certification online is that you can take it any day of the week, 24/7. Try finding a time that suits your needs.

AAECA offers a fully certified TABC test and course, and we’ve gotten a lot of great reviews on our lessons. Some of the course material includes video, activities, and a bit of humor so that you can study more easily. All that we recommend is that you come comfortable, have the free time, and don’t have any distractions. Those with kids who are studying in their home should try to get a babysitter for the period so that they can focus on the lessons.

A Quick Guide to TABC Rules and Guidelines

Whether you have your TABC license and just want to check up on the rules, or are planning on taking the test and want to ensure you know the basics, the following guidelines can help you out. For the most part, TABC rules are not extremely strict so long as you know the basics, don’t serve to minors, and serve responsibly.

Offering Discounted Beverages It is permitted to offer discounted beverages to customers within reason. Offering multiple deals, bringing more than one drink per person to the table, or offering large discounts is not allowed. For example, two beers at a normal $2 could be sold for $3 within the limits of the TABC. However, two plus two free or six for the price of four is not allowed as this encourages over consumption. Happy Hours are allowed but must end by 11 P.M. It is also important to note that it is against the TABC rules to offer discounted beverages if the alcohol supplier is offering a purchase incentive on top of the discount. Purchase incentives can include money back, free glasses, or etc.

TABC Permit Any location selling alcoholic beverages must display their TABC permit at all times. The permit should be clearly visible to anyone in the business. You also have to be willing to submit to inspections at all open hours in order to keep your TABC permit.

Serving You may not at any time offer or sell a beverage to a thoroughly intoxicated person. This is part of responsible serving and it is up to you and your servers to determine who is intoxicated and who is not. You must also not serve more than one alcoholic beverage per person at once. Finally, you may not serve alcoholic beverages of any kind to anyone under the age of 21 unless they are in the presence of parent or legal guardian. You must determine the age of the persons being served via their state or government issue identification such as ID card or Driver’s License with a photo.

Refusing To Serve Customers It is the law that you refuse to serve customers who are underage, intoxicated, or engaged in an argument. Anyone who has been drinking and begins a fight should be asked to leave the premises, although you also have the right to call the police.

For a more thorough look at TABC laws, consider studying for your TABC certification online and then posting it in your business. By law you need a TABC certification in order to serve wine or beer in your business, so if you do not have one, you should look into taking the test as soon as possible.

Five Reasons Your TABC License Might Not Be Enough to Get You A Job Bartending

TABC LicenseBecoming a bartender requires that you study for and earn your TABC license (also known as the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Certification) but having one doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be hired. There are a couple of reasons you might have been turned down, and for the most part, those reasons include experience, look, and attitude. Here are the top five reasons your TABC certification might not have gotten you the job.
  1. You Don’t Look the Part – A lot of bars have a specific look and feel, and they like their employees to blend in. If you don’t look like you belong in a certain bar, they probably won’t hire you unless they are in desperate need of a bartender. Try visiting the bar in advance, getting an idea of dress code, style, and attitude, and then going in prepared.
  2. You Aren’t Experienced Enough – So how do you get a job as a bartender if you need experience to get it? Actually most bars like to hire bartenders on as servers first so that you can learn how the bar works from the ground up. You will need your TABC license for serving as well, and you can take the time to learn the house drinks and favorites while dishing them out. Most bars won’t hire a new bartender as a bartender unless you already have years of experience, or can demonstrate proficiency with all of the house drink.
  3. They Didn’t Like Your Attitude – If they don’t like your attitude, they simply won’t hire you. While sometimes bars might refuse to hire you because they simply ‘don’t like you’, most will refuse a hire because they don’t think you’re trustworthy, don’t think you’re polite enough, or even if you’re too polite!
  4. You’re Not a People Person – Most bartenders make the majority of their wage in tips, so you have to be a people person. If the bar owners don’t think you have what it takes to cheerfully talk to a bar full of people and entertain them while filling glasses and making drinks, they might skip hiring you.
  5. Your License is Old – Your TABC certification is only valid for two years after completion so if you’re about to lose your license, some bartenders might ask you to take it again before they hire you. If this is the case, all you have to do is look for a TABC certification online and renew your license.
There are a lot of reasons you might not be hired for the job, even if you qualify. A lot of bars actually prefer to train their own bartenders to their own drink style, especially if they are well known for cocktails and mixed drinks. In some cases, you might even have to start off serving and work your way up. Usually, the only way to find out is to ask, and to make sure they are hiring.

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