“Should I go to bartending school?”
This is a question I get asked ALL.THE.TIME. Many people want to bartend. Whether they want to do it for a career, make extra money, or just as a hobby job; people want to learn how to crack into this industry. Let me shed some light on bartending schools.
My answer is almost always, “No. Don’t waste your money.” We live in the information age. You can learn how to do A LOT of stuff for free (or little money) if you’re resourceful. Most professional bartenders you talk to will tell you that bartending school is a waste of money. But I won’t just say that bartending schools are all a scam like some bartenders will. (After I tell you how you can avoid bartending school, I’ll tell you what benefits some do have).
I recommend people to do what I did: learn how to bartend, on the job. I made my way up from serving tables in a restaurant. (Read how I did it here). I bought bartending books, taught myself, asked bartenders to teach me, and practiced in my spare time.
Bartending schools will charge you anywhere from 200$ to $1000 to teach you the ropes. I am a firm believer that you can avoid paying these costs if you are resourceful. The internet is filled with Youtube videos, articles, and books that can help you learn for a very little amount of money (my book is $5).
All that being said, some, reputable schools can serve a purpose. If you do not want to work your way up and if you don’t want to spend your time teaching yourself, you can go to a bartending school. BE WARNED, however, some ARE scams. Do your research if you decide to go this route. Find people who have gone. Ask them questions. Did they teach you everything you needed to know? Did they charge too much? Did they help you find a job after you competed the program? Some programs have informed instructors and offer job placement upon completion.
Again, I recommend you don’t go to bartending schools and save your money. But I just wanted to give a fair shake to both sides of the argument.
If you go my recommended route (teaching yourself), which I hope you do. I have a bartending e-book for you here: “Introduction to Bartending“. Buy this one or another, high quality book to help you learn… and PRACTICE!
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