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Hiring a Barback: Job Description Template

By Priya Jain


What does it take to craft the ideal Barback job description? In the bustling hospitality industry, a Barback’s role is crucial for ensuring an organized bar area and assisting bartenders, directly contributing to a venue’s efficiency and success.

This guide dives deep into the intricacies of the Barback job description, offering strategies to pinpoint and onboard unparalleled talent.

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Responsibilities & Role of a Barback

The role of a Barback is essential in maintaining the smooth operation of a bar or establishment, providing critical support to the bartending team, and ensuring a seamless experience for customers.

Here are the key responsibilities of a Barback:

  • Bar Setup and Maintenance: Barbacks prepare the bar area before service begins. This includes arranging glassware, restocking liquor and mixers, ensuring an adequate supply of ice, and organizing garnishes and condiments.
  • Assisting Bartenders: Barbacks assist bartenders during busy periods by helping them prepare drinks, retrieve requested ingredients, and refill empty bottles and containers. They ensure bartenders have the tools and ingredients readily available for efficient service.
  • Glassware Management: Barbacks collect, clean, and polish glassware to ensure a constant supply of clean glasses for serving drinks. They promptly remove used glassware from the bar area and keep it well-organized for easy access.
  • Inventory Control: Barbacks monitor inventory levels of alcoholic beverages, mixers, and other supplies. They communicate low-stock situations to the management or purchasing department to ensure supplies are replenished on time.
  • Restocking Supplies: Barbacks restock beer kegs, liquor bottles, mixers, and other necessary supplies as needed. They ensure that all items are within reach for the bartending team to maintain a smooth service flow.

How to Hire a Barback

Hiring the right Barback is crucial for the efficient functioning of any bar or restaurant.

This comprehensive guide outlines the step-by-step process to help you find and onboard an efficient and qualified Barback:

1. Define Your Barback Requirements

Before diving into the hiring process, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of your bar’s specific needs and requirements. 

Start by closely examining the core elements of your bar’s functioning:

  • What are your service objectives?
  • Who comprises your primary customer base?
  • What types of drinks and beverages will the Barback be responsible for supporting?
  • Are they anticipated to assist bartenders during busy periods, maintain the bar area, and ensure a seamless service flow?
  • What qualities are essential for being successful in this role?
  • What duties and responsibilities do you expect your Barback to complete?

Having answers to these queries can help you gain insights into the skills, attributes, and experience necessary for success in the role.

By thoroughly defining your Barback needs, you can create a solid foundation for the rest of the hiring process. This clarity will guide your Barback job description, candidate evaluation, and the overall success of your Barback’s role within your establishment.

2. Look for Talented Barbacks

Finding talented Barbacks to join your team is essential for maintaining the high standards of your bar’s service.

Here are some effective places to search for top-notch Barback candidates:

  • Industry-Specific Websites and Job Boards: Websites and forums dedicated to the hospitality industry, such as ProBrewer for the brewing industry, Hcareers, Poached or Barista Hustle for the coffee industry, can be excellent places to find professionals seeking opportunities in related fields like bartending and barbacking.
  • Networking Events: Attend local hospitality or industry networking events where you can connect with professionals in the bar and restaurant industry.
  • Referrals: Encourage your current staff to refer candidates they know personally or through their professional networks. Employee referrals often yield high-quality candidates more likely to fit well within your team.
  • Recruitment Agencies: Partnering with recruitment agencies that specialize in the hospitality industry can help you find pre-screened and qualified candidates who match your requirements. For instance, you can use agencies like Gecko Hospitality, Horizon Hospitality, or Hospitality Staffing Solutions to hire professional Barback.
  • Local Events and Competitions: Attend local bartending competitions, cocktail events, or industry gatherings. These events can provide opportunities to observe potential Barbacks and identify those genuinely interested in the industry.

By exploring these places, you can increase your chances of finding skilled and motivated Barbacks who can contribute to the success and reputation of your bar.

Remember to showcase your bar’s unique offerings and culture to attract the right candidates who align with your vision.

3. Evaluate Their Educational Qualifications

The educational qualifications when hiring a Barback can vary depending on the establishment and your specific requirements.

Search for candidates with the following educational background:

  • High School Diploma or GED: Most Barback positions typically require a diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate. These qualifications ensure that candidates have the basic education and communication skills.
  • Hospitality or Culinary Courses: Candidates with formal education or training in hospitality, culinary arts, or related fields can demonstrate a foundational understanding of the industry.
  • Bartending School: While not always mandatory, attending a bartending school or course can provide candidates with relevant knowledge about bar operations, mixing techniques, and beverage preparation. This can be especially valuable in establishments where barbacks are expected to assist bartenders with drink preparation.
  • Food Handling Certification: Depending on local regulations and the specific tasks involved, having a food handling certification can indicate a candidate’s understanding of hygiene and safety standards in a hospitality environment.

Consider the qualifications that best align with your barback position’s requirements and the level of expertise needed to contribute effectively to your establishment’s operations.

4. Validate Their Work Experience

When evaluating candidates for the Barback position, investigate their work history to ascertain their suitability. 

Look for relevant industry experience that demonstrates their familiarity with bar operations and the demands of the hospitality sector. Prior experience in bars, restaurants, or similar establishments can provide valuable insights into their ability to handle fast-paced environments and navigate the unique challenges of the job.

Lastly, consider their career progression – whether they have shown growth and development in their previous roles, as this can indicate their potential for contributing to your bar’s success.

By thoroughly evaluating a candidate’s work experience in these aspects, you can make informed hiring decisions that lead to a capable and effective Barback that positively impacts your bar’s operations and customer satisfaction.

5. Conduct an Interview Process

Conducting a comprehensive interview can evaluate a candidate’s fit for the Barback role. Focus on preparing thoughtful interview questions that delve into their relevant experience, customer service skills, and ability to handle high-pressure situations. 

During the interview, pose situational scenarios to assess their problem-solving and adaptability and inquire about their approach to customer interactions. Gauge their teamwork and communication skills, ensuring they can collaborate effectively with bartenders and colleagues.

This thorough assessment will help you make a well-informed decision and select a candidate who positively contributes to your bar’s success.

6. Focus on Reference Verification

Before finalizing your hiring decision for a Barback, it’s essential to cross-verify the information candidates provide. Contact their listed references to gain insights into their work ethic, reliability, and interpersonal skills. It helps you understand whether the candidate is lying on their resume or telling the truth.

This step helps validate the candidate’s claims and clarifies their performance in previous roles. Additionally, conducting thorough reference checks is crucial to ensuring the safety and reputation of your establishment. 

Here are some questions we recommend you ask a reference:

  • Can you describe the Barback’s attendance and punctuality? Were they dependable and consistent in showing up for their shifts?
  • How well did the Barback handle busy shifts or unexpected situations? Can you give an example?
  • How did the Barback interact with other staff, especially bartenders? Were there any conflicts, and if so, how were they resolved?

Tips for Avoiding Red Flags during the Hiring Process

Identifying potential red flags during the hiring process can help avoid disruptions to your establishment’s performance.

Here are some key tips for spotting and addressing red flags when evaluating Barback candidates:

  • Physical Endurance: Given the physically demanding nature of the job, ensure that candidates have the physical endurance and strength to lift heavy kegs, cases of liquor, and other supplies without difficulty. Ask about their ability to handle such tasks during the interview.
  • Knowledge of Bar Equipment: Assess their knowledge of bar equipment, such as glassware, utensils, and the use of bar tools. A candidate who can identify and handle these items demonstrates competence.
  • Efficiency Under Pressure: Barbacks must work efficiently, especially during busy shifts. Ask candidates how they handle pressure and multitasking, as this is a key aspect of the role.
  • Customer Service Attitude: Although the primary role is not customer-facing, Barbacks occasionally interact with patrons when assisting at the bar. Assess their customer service attitude and friendliness.
  • Beverage Knowledge: While not mandatory, candidates with some knowledge of different types of alcohol and beverages may require less training and adapt more quickly to the role.
  • Lack of Knowledge of Local Alcohol Laws: Barbacks should have some knowledge of local alcohol laws and regulations, including responsible alcohol service. Ignorance of these laws can lead to compliance issues.
  • Lack of Punctuality: A history of chronic lateness or unreliability in previous jobs is a significant red flag. Barbacks need to be punctual and dependable, especially during busy shifts.

A new hire's first day checklist

Barback Job Description

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Job Title: Barback

Company: [Your Company Name]

Location: [Location]

Job Type: [Full Time / Part Time / Contract]

Salary: [Salary / Competitive / DOE]

About Us:

[Provide a brief description of your company, its history, values, sustainability and work environment.]

The Opportunity: 

We are seeking dedicated and motivated Barbacks to join our vibrant team. As a Barback, you will play a vital role in ensuring the smooth operation of our bar by providing essential support to bartenders and ensuring a seamless experience for our patrons.

What You’ll Do:

  • Assist bartenders in setting up the bar area before opening and restocking throughout the shift.
  • Ensure clean glassware, utensils, and other necessary items are readily available for bartenders.
  • Prep and stock garnishes, fruits, and mixers for efficient cocktail preparation.
  • Dispose of empty bottles, trash, and debris to maintain a clean and organized workspace.
  • Assist in maintaining the cleanliness of the bar area, including wiping down counters and surfaces.
  • Assist in changing kegs, restocking beer, and maintaining an adequate supply of beverages.

What You’ll Bring:

  • Physical fitness and the ability to lift and carry heavy items.
  • Attention to detail to ensure bar area cleanliness and the availability of supplies.
  • Strong work ethic and the willingness to assist wherever needed.
  • Excellent communication skills to collaborate effectively with bartenders and other staff.
  • Adaptability to changing demands and the ability to maintain composure during busy shifts.

Benefits and Perks:

  • Competitive hourly wage and potential for tips.
  • Opportunity for skill development and advancement within the hospitality industry.
  • Friendly and energetic work environment.
  • Discounts on food and beverages.
  • Employee recognition programs.
  • Opportunities to participate in bar-related events and promotions.

How to Join Us:

If you’re enthusiastic about contributing to the energy of our bar and ensuring exceptional customer experiences, we invite you to apply by sending your resume and a brief cover letter outlining your interest and qualifications to [email address]. Please use the subject line “Application for Barback Position – [Your Name].”

[Your Company Name] is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We embrace diversity and encourage all qualified candidates to apply. We do not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or any other status protected by law.

Closing Date: [Insert closing date for applications]

Please note that only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. We appreciate your interest in joining [Your Company Name] and contributing to our exciting bar environment.

Note: Customize this template according to your bar’s unique requirements and the specific Barback role you aim to fill. While this template covers a general scope, adjustments might be necessary for specialized bar settings or additional responsibilities.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Barback?

Understanding the financial implications of hiring a Barback is essential for effective budgeting and resource allocation within your hospitality establishment. Focusing on the associated costs of recruiting and onboarding a barback provides valuable insights into optimizing your hiring strategy and ensuring a smooth integration process. Here’s the cost associated with hiring a Barback:

Recruitment Expenses

With human resources spending a whopping 15% on their expenses on recruitment, understanding the cost associated with recruiting a Barback can help you minimize this cost. 

Here’s a breakup of the recruitment expenses: 

  • Industry Job Boards: Most industry-specific job boards charge a fixed fee for using their platform and accessing their database. For instance, Hcareers charges $249 per job posting, whereas Poached charges $59 per 30-day job post.
  • Recruitment Agencies: Collaborating with recruitment agencies can streamline the hiring process. External agencies often charge a percentage of the Barback’s annual salary. Research different agencies, compare their fees, and choose the one that aligns with your budget while delivering quality candidates.
    Staffing agencies can charge between 20-30% of the first year salary of placed resources.

Salary and Benefits

Salary is an essential component within the recruitment process, serving as the cornerstone of compensation and a primary factor in attracting and retaining top talent. The average salary of a Barback is $42,856 per year, which includes $6,632 per year of additional pay. This additional pay includes tips and commissions received during their job.

While salary ranges can vary based on location, establishment type, and experience, offering competitive compensation is crucial to securing top Barback talent.

In addition to a competitive salary, a Barback often enjoys a range of benefits that enhance their overall compensation package. 

These benefits can include a share of tips and gratuities, flexible work hours, employee discounts on food and beverages, opportunities for skill development and training, potential health insurance coverage, clear paths for career progression, employee recognition programs, and a safe and supportive work environment. 

Job Shadowing Cost

When hiring Barbacks in the hospitality industry, a crucial step involves a training or job shadowing period to familiarize new employees with their responsibilities.

This process entails certain costs, such as:

  • Labor Costs: During the training period, the new Barback and the experienced staff member they shadow are on the clock. This translates to labor expenses for the establishment.
  • Supervision Time: The experienced staff member spends time supervising and guiding the new Barback. While this is an investment in the new employee’s training, it also uses the experienced staff member’s time.
  • Potential Decrease in Efficiency: Since the experienced staff member is dedicating time to training, there might be a temporary decrease in overall bar efficiency. This can affect the speed and quality of service during the training period.
  • Training Materials: If there are any training materials, manuals, or resources provided to the new Barback, there might be costs associated with creating or purchasing these materials.

Uniforms and Equipment

Here’s a breakdown of the cost associated with these uniforms and equipment:

  • Cost of Uniforms: Depending on your bar’s dress code, you may need to provide uniforms for your Barbacks. Include the cost of uniforms, such as shirts, aprons, and other attire, in your hiring budget.
  • Equipment: Consider any equipment or tools your Barback might require for their role. This can include items like bottle openers, shakers, towels, and cleaning supplies. Providing the necessary equipment ensures that your Barback can perform its duties efficiently.

Priya Jain

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