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How to Become a Barback (Barback Training Program)


Breaking into the bustling world of bartending often begins with mastering the role of a barback. It’s the behind-the-scenes hustle that keeps the drinks flowing and the patrons smiling.

Recognizing the importance of this entry point, we’ve crafted a barback training program that draws from over a decade of industry know-how.

Let’s explore how to become a top-notch barback.

Step 1: Explore Barback Education Requirements

When it comes to educational prerequisites, the barback position is relatively accessible. While formal education beyond high school isn’t mandatory, a diploma or GED can be advantageous for demonstrating fundamental literacy and numeracy, which are crucial in a fast-paced bar environment.

How long does it take to become a Barback?

Transitioning into a barback role can be swift, often requiring only a few days to become familiar with the basic responsibilities and perhaps a few weeks to gain full proficiency and speed.

Do I need experience to become a Barback?

Prior experience is not a prerequisite to becoming a barback. Most establishments are prepared to train the right candidate with the right work ethic and attitude.

Step 2: Start To Develop Barback Skills (Barback Requirements)

Beginning your journey requires an understanding of the key skills involved.

Barback Skills & Requirements

  • Agility and Speed: Efficiently maneuvering through a busy bar setting.
  • Physical Strength: Lifting and carrying heavy kegs and boxes.
  • Stamina: Working long hours on your feet, often in a high-pressure environment.
  • Observation Skills: Anticipating the needs of bartenders and patrons.
  • Communication: Effectively communicating with bartenders and other staff.
  • Organization: Keeping the bar area and storage rooms well-stocked and orderly.
  • Cleanliness: Maintaining a clean and hygienic bar environment.
  • Attention to Detail: Following the specifics of inventory and bartenders’ requests.
  • Multitasking: Juggling various tasks without compromising service quality.

Barback Duties And Responsibilities

  • Stock Management: Replenishing bar inventory and supplies.
  • Cleaning: Ensuring the bar area, tools, and glassware are clean.
  • Assistance: Providing support to bartenders during service.
  • Waste Handling: Proper disposal of trash and recycling materials.
  • Preparation: Pre-mixing batches and preparing garnishes.
  • Maintenance: Reporting any issues with bar equipment.
  • Transport: Moving kegs, cases, and other bar essentials to and from the bar area.
  • Safety: Adhering to all safety and sanitation policies.

Step 3: Complete Relevant Barback Training

Effective training is your stepping stone to becoming a competent barback.

Types of Training:

  • On-the-Job Training: Direct experience working under the supervision of seasoned staff.
  • Workshops: Focused sessions on barback essentials and best practices.
  • Online Courses: Flexible learning to grasp the foundational aspects of bar operations.

Barback Training Template

This template is a comprehensive guide designed to structure in-house training for your team.

Day 1: Orientation: Introduction to Bar Operations and Equipment Handling.

Day 2: Stock and Inventory Management: Efficient Stocking Techniques and Inventory Rotation.

Day 3: Cleanliness and Maintenance: Cleaning Protocols and Basic Maintenance Skills.

Day 4: Service Support: Supporting Bartenders and Customer Interaction.

Day 5: Speed and Efficiency: Streamlining Tasks for Optimal Performance.

Best Barback Training Programs and Courses

  • ABC Bartending School – Barback Essentials
  • Barback Bootcamp – Intensive Workshop
  • Udemy – The Complete Barback
  • Tipsy – Bar Skills and Management
  • Bar Smarts – Barback Fundamentals
  • Local Culinary Schools – Short-Term Bar Programs
  • Bartenders Academy – Barback Training
  • Mixology Certification – Online Barback Course
  • The Bartending College Online – Barback Basics
  • ServeSafe – Alcohol and Safety Training

How to Train a Barback

Training a barback is about laying a solid foundation and building upon it systematically.

  • Step 1: Introduce the bar environment and outline the importance of the barback’s role.
  • Step 2: Demonstrate the process of stocking and the importance of inventory management.
  • Step 3: Train in the art of cleanliness, safety, and maintenance of bar tools and equipment.
  • Step 4: Instruct on how to effectively support bartenders and engage with customers.
  • Step 5: Show how to manage time and prioritize tasks during peak hours.
  • Step 6: Provide hands-on experience with mock service scenarios.
  • Step 7: Review and provide feedback to ensure all skills are being met efficiently.

Barback Training Checklist

A checklist ensures each trainee is equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge.

  • Check Understanding: Confirm the trainee comprehends their role.
  • Check Efficiency: Assess the ability to complete tasks promptly.
  • Check Stock Handling: Verify the correct handling and rotation of stock.
  • Check Cleanliness: Ensure the bar area remains clean and organized.
  • Check Equipment Knowledge: Confirm familiarity with bar tools and machinery.
  • Check Inventory Skills: Evaluate the accuracy of inventory tracking.
  • Check Customer Service: Observe interaction with staff and patrons.
  • Check Compliance: Confirm adherence to bar policies and regulations.

Step 4: Get Additional Barback Certifications

While not mandatory, obtaining certifications can showcase your commitment and expand your knowledge base, potentially leading to faster career progression.

Most common certifications for Barback:

  • TIPS Certification for Responsible Alcohol Service
  • Food Handler’s Card

Does a Barback need certifications?

Certifications are not usually required but are advantageous for professional development.

Barback Certification Cost

Certifications are generally budget-friendly, with many costing less than $100.

Step 5: Prepare Your Barback Resume

Your resume should highlight any relevant experience, even if not directly related to barbacking, such as customer service or fast-paced work environments. Showcase your ability to learn quickly, physical stamina, and commitment to maintaining a clean and organized workspace.

Step 6: Apply For Barback Jobs

When applying for barback positions, tailor your application to each job and don’t hesitate to follow up. Persistence can set you apart.

Most popular job services:

  • Indeed
  • Glassdoor
  • Monster
  • LinkedIn Jobs
  • Craigslist

Key Takeaways

  • Becoming a barback is an accessible entry point into the hospitality industry.
  • Focused training and development of key skills are essential for success.
  • Certifications, though not essential, can provide a competitive edge.
  • Hands-on experience is often valued more than formal education for barbacks.
  • Building a strong resume and using job platforms effectively are crucial.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Barbacks can progress to bartenders, bar managers, or even open their own establishments.

Yes, most barback positions do not require formal education beyond high school.

Apply for entry-level positions and demonstrate eagerness to learn and a strong work ethic.

With experience and dedication, a barback can aspire to become a head bartender or bar manager.

Absolutely, as it equips you with the skills to handle patrons effectively.

Typically, evenings and weekends are busiest, demanding the most focus and efficiency.

Dominik Bartoszek

Dominik Bartoszek

8+ years Digital Marketer driven by data & AI. Helping restaurants grow more through online orders.

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