Ink And Drinks: Can Bartenders Have Tattoos?

can bartenders have tattoos
Joe | Last Updated: May 8, 2023
I'm Joe, a veteran bartender with over a decade in the industry and a burning passion for mixing drinks.

The bartending industry has evolved drastically over the years. While it once being viewed as being a part-time or temporary gig, it’s now a career path that many people pursue and enjoy.

The industry is BOOMING with more people joining every year, and with this shift has come a change in attitude toward personal expression, including the acceptance of visible tattoos.

Whilst it’s true that tattoos are now more generally accepted, there are some professions that view them as inappropriate or unprofessional.

So, can bartenders have tattoos? In this post, we’re going to answer exactly that as we deep dive into the world of tattoos in the bartending industry.

Whether you’re a current bartender that’s considering getting some ink or are keen to get into the industry but concerned your tattoos may hold you back, by the end of this post you’ll know everything there is to know about this topic.

Let’s get into it…

Can Bartenders Have Tattoos?

Yes, tattoos are generally accepted in the bartending industry so long as they are not offensive, but it largely depends on the employer’s policies and the establishment’s dress code.

Some establishments, particularly high-end bars, and restaurants have strict dress codes that prohibit visible tattoos, but others embrace self-expression and allow bartenders to be inked up.

It’s important to consider the location of your tattoos as most will be easily covered up if necessary but tattoos on the hands, face, and neck may be less accepted.

The hospitality industry as a whole has seen a growing trend over the years with regard to employees having tattoos, and some establishments actually prefer it as it fits with the establishment’s style.

can bartenders have tattoos
Photo by Mad Rabbit Tattoo

Tattoos come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to keep in mind that the actual tattoo will play a role in whether it’s accepted or not.

There is a big difference between a small arm tattoo and a person that is covered head to toe in gang signs, especially when it comes to finding employment.

Ink that is offensive or inappropriate is not likely to be allowed in any establishment, so it’s best to check with potential employers to see what their policies are.

It’s all about finding an employer and establishment that is pro self-expression, and if their establishment is a vibey one, they often welcome tattooed employees.

>> Read more: Can bartenders have beards?

Why Do So Many Bartenders Have Tattoos?

If you’ve ever been to a bar in London, Manchester, Sydney, Melbourne, Los Angeles, New York, and just about all trendy cities around the world, you’ll find that many of the bartenders have tattoos.

But why is that?

Bartending has become an industry that allows for creativity and self-expression, and tattoos are one of the ways for people to express themselves.

As the acceptance of visible tattoos has grown, people have been drawn to the industry because of its fun and edgy nature.

Now we’re at a point where there’s a new generation of bartenders that are often inked up.

Not only is bartending an exciting role, but it allows people to earn money and express themselves at the same time, which is one of the reasons why it’s such a growing industry.

The role of a bartender is a social one that requires interaction with customers on a daily basis, having tattoos can help with that and be a way to establish a connection with customers or a colleague.

can bartenders have tattoos
Photo by Ash Edmonds

I have tattoos myself, and the number of times I’ve been asked about them whilst working in bars is too many to count.

Customers are often intrigued about the tattoos which can lead to conversations and connections that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

The reasons why bartenders have tattoos vary greatly and depend on the individual, but what’s clear is that people seem to flock to the bartending industry because of its acceptance of self-expression and creativity.

It’s great to see and really adds character to establishments.

Are Tattoos Still Considered Unprofessional?

Tattoos were once considered unprofessional or taboo in many industries, but over recent years this attitude has started to shift and they are becoming more and more accepted.

In some professions such as law, finance, and health, tattoos may still be seen as unprofessional, but that seems to be changing too just at a slower pace.

In sports, hospitality, customer service, IT, and many other industries, tattoos are very much accepted as part of the culture.

There are some people that will always have preconceptions about tattoos, but in the modern age, many employers don’t mind this form of self-expression.

Having tattoos no longer automatically disqualifies people from applying for jobs, and if you looked at almost any company that exists today you would likely find someone with a tattoo working there.

can bartenders have tattoos
Photo by LexScope

As younger generations enter the workforce, there is a greater appreciation for creativity and self-expression, which tattoos are very much a part of.

Ultimately, whether or not tattoos are seen as unprofessional depends largely on the industry, but as society advances they are seen more as a legitimate form of self-expression that most employers don’t mind and are open to.

Wrapping Up

If you’re considering a role in the bartending industry but are concerned about having tattoos, there is really no need to be.

Tattoos are widely accepted across the bartending industry, in fact, in most establishments it’s more common to find bartenders that have tattoos than those without.

Even in establishments with strict dress codes, most tattoos can be covered up by wearing a long sleeve shirt, so it certainly wouldn’t hurt your chances of securing the job.

That said, there are some tattoos that will not be accepted in any workplace, such as offensive or inappropriate tattoos.

Just be mindful of the tattoos you have, where they are located on your body and the type of establishment you want to work in.

Don’t be discouraged if you get rejected for your tattoos in one establishment asthere could well be another across the street that would love to have you and your wonderful tattoos.

Thanks for taking the time to learn more about tattoos in the bartending industry today and I hope you feel more educated on the matter.

Catch you in the next one.