So you’re either thinking about embarking on the journey of bartending school in order to start an incredible career, or you’ve already completed school. Either way, you have a few questions about your new profession, and we here at National Bartending School are always here to help! Right now you want to know how bartenders get paid. This is a valid question- you need to make money to live, and we all want a career where we make money! There are a few ways that bartenders are paid, and we will go into the most common.
Most Bartenders Do Receive a Regular Paycheck
Bartenders generally work for a dining establishment or a bar, or for an event service. State and federal law regulates how much and in what way businesses must pay their employees, so bartenders, at least in California and New York, make at least an hourly minimum wage. This is generally paid out weekly or every two weeks on a paycheck, and it is taxed. Your tips will usually appear on the tax information and these hourly wages will also be taxed based on your tips. These federal and state laws also ensure that you are adequately provided breaks, meal times, overtime pay,
and worker’s compensation should an accident happen. They make sure that businesses do not take advantage of their employees.
You Really Want to Know About Tips!
Tips come in a variety of different forms. Many patrons tip in cash, which is collected in a bin or drawer and logged at the end of the shift. Many also tip on a credit or debit card. These slips are signed and entered into the register, also at the end of a shift. You will also log these before you leave, and the cash and credit tips will equal your total amount of tips for the day. The faster, nicer, and more knowledgeable you are, the happier your customer will be! And a happy customer means better tips!
Different establishments have different rules regarding how tips are dispensed. Oftentimes you collect your earnings at the end of your shift and it goes home with you either that evening, or on your next shift. Some businesses like to collect it all for you and provide it all together with your paycheck.
Sometimes bars and restaurants will pool tips and then the bartenders will split them. This means that everyone who worked adds their gratuities to the collection and it is split up by how many hours each employee worked. There are many different opinions on this way of doing things. Some people love it, some people hate it, and some people don’t care either way. Generally your tips are about average to what you would have earned anyways without tip pooling.
Normally, a bartender will always tip out a percentage of their gratuities to the bar back. Bar backs are invaluable to a bartender and they are well worth the money that you give them to keep you stocked behind the bar! Even if your establishment doesn’t require this, it’s a good idea anyways.
Event Bartending Gratuities
There are two main ways of tipping at an event. Some events, generally larger ones, allow the bartender to have a tip jar out at their table. Others tip the servers and bartenders a lump sum at the end of the event, which is either give directly to the staff or included later on their paycheck.
Bartending is Lucrative
Bartending can be a very lucrative business, especially if you are experienced and have a good outlook. Hard working nightclub bartenders can earn a few hundred dollars per night in tips. The same goes for bartenders at trendy, busy bars on weekend evenings and nights. Bartenders at daytime cantinas and lunch establishments often top one hundred dollars in tips for an easy mid day shift. The hours are flexible and shifts are generally short. This is a great way to make good money!
The More You Know
Now that we’ve answered your question, feel free to browse the rest of the National Bartending School website! We’re eager to help get you started on the path towards a great career in bartending! Nd if you’re already a student or graduate, check out more of our FAQS- maybe you’ll find the answers to more of your questions!