Why Isn’t Bartending School Required?

Similar to medical drug pharmacists, who endure years of school, bartenders are also serving a legal drug to the public. If you didn’t know, alcohol is classified as a drug and if administered and/or consumed improperly, can cause health issues, irresponsible behavior and even death. So why is it not required to attend Bartending School to obtain formal education on properly serving the public while maintaining the highest level of customer service?

In a recent poll of 100 bartenders in the Dallas Metroplex, shockingly less than 50% of the bartenders actually attended bartending school.” Serving alcohol to the public is serious business which should require formal training and education. Bartending schools teach more than just mixing drinks. They teach aspiring bartenders how to serve responsibly, provide the best customer service and how to work in a high pressure environment where many mistakes can occur. “What an aspiring bartender can learn in a 32-40 hour program, would take a person 2 years to learn on the job.” says Aaron Darcangelo, a local bartender of 12 years. Think about how many mistakes that have been made and potential lives that could have been saved if a bartender actually attended a bartending school and learned how to serve prior to ever getting behind the bar.

Some would argue that the 4-hour Alcohol Awareness course is sufficient, however, a survey conducted by the American Training Institute – TABC showed that those who attended bartending school were more prepared and less likely to over-serve alcohol than those who only took the 4-hour Alcohol Awareness course. As stated earlier, bartending school properly prepares pepole to enter into the bartending industry in general. Bartending is more than just learning about the laws in a particular state, which is taught in the 4 hour alcohol awareness course. Bartending is about the whole customer service experience. Many time bartenders are not prepared to handle high pressure situations becuase they have not been properly trained and in turn, they make costly mistakes for bar managers and owner and they are also more likely to over-serve a customer which could lead to an alcohol-impaired-driving related accident or fatality.

BADD’s push is to encourage bar managers and owners to mandate that a bartender receive bartending certification at a BADD school of choice, prior to working behind the bar. It not only increases their bar revenues by having an educated staff, but it reduces the risk and associated liability of a customer leaving the bar alone, overly intoxicated and posing danger to others.

We aplaud those who are serious about learning the bartending trade by obtaining formal education and bartending certification. Bar managers should be excited to hire those who care enough to invest in learning how to serve safely and save lives.

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