How To Be A Great Female Bartender (9 Pro Tips)

how to be a great female bartender
Joe | Last Updated: November 24, 2023
I'm Joe, a veteran bartender with over a decade in the industry and a burning passion for mixing drinks.

From handling drunk customers in busy bars to suggesting the perfect wine pairing, a female bartender must be an expert multitasker and a great listener.

The much-loved agony aunt of the bar, she controls portions, tends to the needs of patrons, and creates a comfortable atmosphere for everyone.

Physically fit and mentally sharp, a great female bartender maximizes tips, ensuring she earns the most income possible and goes home with a healthy paycheck.

Sounds like something you can do? Well, the competition is fierce, with more than 55% of the bartending workforce being women.

This post goes through nine pro tips on how to be a great female bartender, offering answers to the challenges of the job, from dealing with difficult customers to creating a standout menu.

Male Bartenders vs Female Bartenders

There are some noticeable differences between male and female bartenders, particularly in how they interact with customers and earn tips.

Male bartenders are often seen as experts in making drinks and are respected for their knowledge of spirits and cocktails. They tend to focus more on the technical side of bartending as opposed to making connections.

Female bartenders, while equally skilled in the craft, often bring a different approach to customer interaction.

They are sometimes perceived as more approachable and engaging, which can significantly enhance the customer’s experience.

This approachability often leads to better tips, as customers value the combination of good service and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

But it’s important to remember that these are general trends and individual experiences can vary. In terms of earning potential, female bartenders may have an advantage due to their ability to connect with customers on a more personal level.

I’ve worked with many female bartenders over the years and have seen some earn hundreds sometimes thousands of dollars in tips in a single night, particularly in high-end establishments.

The money a great female bartender can earn is frankly mind-blowing!

9 Tips For Being A Great Female Bartender

1. Know Your Drinks

Being a great female bartender is more than just slinging drinks! It’s about knowing drinks inside out, from crafting the perfect cocktail to suggesting the right beer.

Whether it’s dealing with drunk customers or offering recommendations, your knowledge can make you extremely important in the bar scene.

You must master the art of conversation, be a good listener, and learn how to navigate busy bars.

Great female bartenders own the bar, maximize tips through conversation, and create an atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable!

2. Give Respect And Get Respect

As well as having a good grasp on the drinks menu, female (and male) bartenders must learn how to give and get respect.

Simple gestures like greetings and smiles significantly impact customer interactions. Despite the challenges bartenders face, maintaining composure is crucial when attending to patrons. 

For female bartenders, especially those deemed attractive, serving couples requires finesse.

Start by acknowledging the lady first to avoid triggering insecurities. Engage with her while delivering service, ensuring her comfort without compromising overall service. 

Honing these social skills not only makes you a great bartender but also opens avenues for more money through increased tips from satisfied customers. 

3. Appearance Matters

Looking your best is very important as a bartender, and it’s a step that’s often overlooked in the industry that can quickly lead to disappointment in earnings.

I hate to say it, but the better you dress, the more tips you’ll earn as patrons want to be served by you and deem you attractive.

As a female bartender, dressing up isn’t about going overboard or looking like you just left a funeral.

It’s about classy allure. 

Consider skipping the impractical heels for comfort and style. A touch of seduction can up your earnings but keep it tasteful.

Balancing what works best for you and your bar takes time. 

And don’t forget, the bar’s appearance matters too – no one likes a dirty bar! Clearing glasses promptly and wiping down the bar keeps the establishment classy and will keep customers coming back for more.

4. Take Control (Especially With Drunk Customers)!

To thrive as a female bartender, you’ve got to learn to take charge without needing backup. Be ready for anything and always anticipate the unexpected. 

If a person is harassing your female clients, step in pronto to defuse the situation and try to only call the bouncer if it’s out of hand. 

Got a complaint about a bitter cocktail? Swap it out right away, and then suggest steering clear of mint or lemon in future orders. 

5. Connect But Don’t Get Stuck

Being a top-notch female bartender is all about conversation, and a big part of that is honing your listening skills.

Engaging with your customers’ stories builds rapport, but watch out for the talkative types. While it’s great to connect, you can’t let yourself get stuck chatting to one customer all night.

female bartenders
Photo by Hybrid Storytellers

Keep the convo flowing, but don’t let a clinging client keep you from serving other customers. 

6. Watch Your Drinking Habits

As a female bartender, you’re the maestro behind the bar, ensuring everyone feels welcome and is having a good time.

Most bars won’t allow you to drink on the job, but if you do work in a place that allows drinking you shouldn’t get too intoxicated whilst working the bar.

It’s easy to slip into a bad drinking routine when you’re working at a bar every night, but this can drastically impact your health and lead to bad drinking habits.

7. Stay Fit

Staying fit is your secret ingredient to CRUSHING the bartending game as a woman.

It’s a cheat code to earn more tips and be able to breeze through those difficult, draining nights when others fall by the wayside.

So, hit the gym, stay strong, and own those busy nights. Because when you’re physically fit, bartending becomes much easier, and as a woman, you’ll often earn a lot more.

8. Evaluate The Market

Being a great female bartender is all about knowing your crowd and making them feel special. Instead of just waiting for orders, suggest drinks to customers and give them a personalized experience based on their preferences.

Have regulars in the bar? Pay attention to their favorites and next time they come to order suggest their drink before they even say it.

This is a sure way to make patrons feel like you’re paying attention and can lead to more tips if you’re extra attentive.

9. Stay Sharp And Swift

In peak hours, things get crazy, and orders pile up. So, train yourself to recall each order swiftly and keep an eye on your stock to avoid running out. 

Learn the most common orders and know how to make them quickly without having to scramble for your ingredient list.

Make customers feel special – address them by name, especially regulars or those handing you their cards.

To Sum Up

Being a female bartender is difficult for some, but those who learn to adapt and hone their skills often CRUSH it in this industry and earn a fortune.

There’s a reason so many bartenders are female as it can be a highly lucrative career for those willing to dedicate themselves and get into a high-end establishment.

Addressing patrons by name, suggesting drinks, and offering replacements immediately help to build connections that keep patrons happy.

Your knowledge, personal touch, and ability to control the bar make you not just a bartender but a maestro behind the counter. 

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