Are Bartenders Respected? (The Truth)

are bartenders respected
Joe | Last Updated: May 10, 2023
I'm Joe, a veteran bartender with over a decade in the industry and a burning passion for mixing drinks.

If you’ve ever worked in a bar then you know how demanding the role of bartending is. Late nights, long shifts, and getting your hands dirty are all part of the role and without the right attitude, new bartenders won’t last long.

That said, those that are determined to make it in bartending and have a passion for service will find that this role has lots to offer.

It can be a lucrative career path that rewards the skilled and is a thrilling and exciting role that is a world away from working a boring office job.

In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at an important question that is often asked by bartenders and aspiring bartenders alike. “Are bartenders respected?”

Yes, bartending is a respectable profession that commands respect and in most bars across the world, the bartender is almost always respected. Bartenders run the room and have authority over punters, so if they want to be served a drink they best show respect to the bartender.

Are Bartenders Actually Respected?

I’ve worked in many bars all over the world and have never felt a large amount of disrespect from customers, aside from the odd drunk person that has had far too much alcohol.

In general, bartenders are highly respected both in society and while working the job. It’s a profession that requires hard work, determination, and a lifestyle that only some can handle.

When you tell a friend or family member that you’ve recently taken a job as a bartender, they will likely respect you for it as they’re aware of how difficult the role can be at times.

are bartenders respected
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

It’s certainly not suited to everybody and requires a certain personality type to stick the role out for long enough to become a highly successful bartender.

Why Are Bartenders Respected?

Now that we know bartending is a respectable profession that is one to be proud of, let’s take a look at the reasons why bartenders are respected around the globe.


First of all, it takes a lot of skill to be a successful bartender. It’s not something that a person can pick up with a couple of hours of training and requires the skill to be developed over time.

Learning cocktails, pulling pints, and learning to communicate effectively with customers from all walks of life is something that not everybody can do.

Memorizing a full cocktail menu can take months, but even if you have a photographic memory and can recall every cocktail under the sun but are unable to communicate with customers you won’t last long in the bartending game.

Bartenders require EXCELLENT communication skills which is one of the main reasons why they are highly respected and sought after.

There are also different types of bartending such as mixologists and flair bartenders that learn how to entertain guests and audiences through the manipulation of bar tools.

Flair bartenders can command high salaries because of their ability to entertain, their skill level is MUCH higher than the average bartender.

Hard Work

On average, full-time bartenders usually do multiple shifts of between 10 – 12 hours which can be incredibly exhausting and taxing on their bodies.

Trying to run a family, have a social life, and look after your own health can be difficult whilst working as a bartender which is why they are respected for their role.

Hard work is a given in any alcohol-serving establishment. It’s easy to look at bartending on the surface as simply making drinks, but it also requires cleaning duties, dealing with drunk customers, managing stock, and much more.


The lifestyle of most bartenders is a hectic one. Bars don’t usually pick up until after the public finish work, usually around 5 – 6pm, which is when bartenders start their shift.

They often work late into the early hours of the morning, usually between 1 – 3pm which can mean they operate on a schedule that is very unorthodox.

Working in a busy bar environment where you’re constantly surrounded by drunk people and alcohol can also take a toll on a bartender’s lifestyle over time, especially if they don’t drink or are trying to stop.

Their schedule can complicate their day-to-day activities and be tricky to manage if they have children or other commitments.

Are All Bartenders Respected?

For the most part, all bartenders are respected in their profession. They run the bar and ensure everyone is being served promptly and having a fun experience which is why they are respected.

That said, respect quickly goes out of the window if a bartender is rude, unhelpful, or arrogant, and just like all professions, there are bars or other establishments that house these types of bartenders

Dealing with punters is a difficult task and it’s certainly not for everyone. Bartenders that are not up to standard and have trouble when it comes to serving customers often don’t last long in the role.

It’s fair to say that almost all good bartenders are respected, but the ones that are poor at their job or are rude will not be respected, and rightly so.

>>Read more: can a bartender take your keys?

How To Deal With Disrespect As A Bartender

Even the most skilled and pleasant bartenders deal with disrespect from time to time, and it can really put a dampener on the shift when it happens.

Disrespect usually comes from customers that have had a little too much to drink and believe that they have waited too long to be served or are being ignored completely.

are bartenders respected
Photo by RODNAE Productions

Whatever the reason, bartenders will always face disrespect from time to time, but how they deal with it ultimately determines how good of a bartender they really are.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways to deal with disrespect as a bartender.

1. Do Not Tolerate It

Option one is simple, don’t tolerate it at all. If a customer is being disrespectful, rude, or aggressive, call over bar security and have the person removed immediately.

As a bartender, you do not need to deal with aggressive customers that could cause you or any staff members or customers harm.

2. Be A Champion Problem Solver

If a customer is being disrespectful, a great way to help solve this issue is to first identify the reason why the punter is being disrespectful in the first place.

Do they feel that they’ve waited too long for a drink? Maybe the drink they order is incorrect? Once the reason is clear, good bartenders will use their problem-solving skills to find a suitable solution.

In the instances above, it may be that the customer needs a simple apology or a replacement drink to be satisfied.

3. Assertiveness

Bartenders that are successful in the role know when to be assertive but know when to dial it back and try to work the problem out with the customer.

Sometimes if apologies or replacing drinks does not work and the customer is still showing disrespect, being assertive and sticking by your words is crucial.

Bartenders are in control of the bar and have the authority, if you believe that you’re being disrespected then you have the right to deal with it appropriately and assertively.

Final Thoughts

In most bars and alcohol-serving establishments around the world, bartenders are respected highly by customers and society at large.

However, there are some people out there that will always regard bartending as not a “real” job or one that is done only by students or on a part-time basis.

These people are the most likely to be disrespectful toward bartenders, but as society moves forward and bartending become increasingly popular as a career, they become less vocal and or change their views.

Bartending as a profession is becoming increasingly popular and a career path that more people are choosing to enjoy their work/life balance.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post today and learn more about bartending.

Catch you in the next one!