Bar staff serve drinks in pubs, clubs, wine bars, café bars, some sports clubs and hotels.
As a bar person your main duties would include serving customers with drinks, collecting payment and operating the till and providing snacks, such as crisps and nuts.
You may also create cocktails for customers and, during busy periods, you may help serve hot and cold food.
You would be responsible for keeping the bar area clean and well stocked, which would involve washing glasses, emptying ashtrays, storing empty bottles, clearing and cleaning tables and the bar regularly.
You would also play a key role in creating a welcoming, friendly atmosphere and talking with customers.
You are likely to work shifts including evenings, weekends and public holidays. Part-time and seasonal work is commonly available.
Flexible opening hours for licensed premises provide the potential for up to 24-hour opening, seven days a week. This may impact on the type of shifts you would work.
Bars, pubs and restaurants can be very noisy, hot and crowded at key times of the day and during weekends.
Full-time bar staff can earn between £11,000 and £14,000 a year.
With experience and supervisory responsibilities, this can rise to around £17,000.
Salaries can vary greatly depending upon the type of bar or restaurant and its location. Tips from customers can increase earnings.
You will not usually need any qualifications to start work as a bar person but you would need an outgoing, pleasant and helpful manner and to be at least 18 years old.
You would need good communication skills, an outgoing personality and a pleasant manner, a smart and tidy appearance, tact and diplomacy for dealing with demanding customers, the ability to carry heavy crates, beer barrels and boxes, the ability to memorise orders, good number skills for handling cash, the ability to work well in a team and a flexible approach to work.
You will find jobs in pubs, clubs, restaurants, hotels and other leisure complexes. You could also work in theatre bars, holiday centres, sports clubs, airport terminals, and on ships, trains and aircraft.
With experience, hard work and determination you could progress to supervisor, deputy bar manager and eventually bar manager.
You could also move towards related careers including club steward, publican or bar manager with a chain of hotels.
Jobs are advertised in the local press, Jobcentre Plus offices and in publications such as Bar Magazine.
You would need a good general standard of education.
Some large pub and bar chains will consider your ability to take relevant qualifications such as, NVQ Level 2 or National Certificate for Personal Licence.