Frequently Asked Questions

Start Bartending FAQ

Doing your research on what to expect from an online bartending course is a great idea.

We have laid out our curriculum but you have other burning questions.

Questions about online bartending school

How long does the course take?

The short answer is this, we recommend spending 40 hours to really learn the material.

We have a lot to teach you. The extensive video tutorials are more than six hours of presented material and there are also exercises for you to work through. 

Practice makes perfect, and that means repetition. Some people like to do things once and target only 80% accuracy. Others will do things at least 3 times to make sure they are always 100% accurate.

To be successful as a bartender, accuracy is essential. That means the time to complete the modules and quizzes depends on the person. Sorry, that’s the long answer. 

Is this course applicable in my area?

Yes. The material covered in this course speaks to the universal aspects of bartending. The only regionally specific aspect of this course is that the drink recipes are expressed in ounces, not millilitres.

Does the course include a shaker set?

No. There are so many shaker sets on the market, we wouldn’t presume to tell you which one is the best for your budget and taste. Also a number of people already have some or all of the bar equipment needed. You are responsible for picking out your own shaker set. 

What kind of computer and internet access do I need?

This is an online course with lots of video learning modules. You will need access to a computer or smartphone with a solid internet connection. It will be frustrating if the video is constantly buffering or lagging.

Do I get a certificate at the end of all this?

Of course! After successfully completing the modules we have a certificate for you, which you can print out and frame. Attaching a digital copy to your resume is also handy.

Why an online bartending school?

Start Bartending was created as an affordable, online alternative for people who live far from the nearest physical bartending school, for folks who can’t make the time commitment for an intensive two week course, and for those who want to learn in the comfort of their own space.

Do I need industry experience?

No experience required. Just like in-person classes, all we need from you is an eagerness to learn and some dedication to the program. We see people with zero cocktail knowledge, and others with 50 years of imbibing. Sometimes they are construction workers that don’t want to work in the cold anymore. Sometimes they are bartenders with a few years experience pouring beer and wine.

This is a program designed to be digested module by module. We want you to build on basic skills and evolve with time. Even those ‘experienced bartenders’ need some reeducation. We see a lot of bad habits from working bartenders coming through the courses. The receptive individuals finish the classes with much more confidence than when they arrive. The same can be said for that individual that had zero experience to start… by the end of the classes they have learned a great new skill!

How much do bartenders make?

This is one of those bartending questions without a firm answer. We have heard stories of some making more than $1000 per night in tips. Other times it’s as little as minimum wage… and that’s it. Each venue is different. Bartenders will tend to move from a low paying job to something better paying, like most other careers. The day shifts can be slow, at which point your sales are few. Of course those few patrons might be wealthy individuals that visit that place just for the atmosphere and the staff.

We had one guy that finished the course get a $200 tip from a table of 4 on a quiet Sunday afternoon. He was a great guy and by providing top-notch service is where you make the real money. A busy venue is your opportunity to really make some cash, but much of your money making potential comes from your attitude.

Can I travel and bartend in a different country?

Both of us have travelled the world extensively. Throughout most of the world, people like to enjoy cocktails. If they don’t like cocktails, they like beer or wine. North American trained bartenders are preferred because they deliver excellent service. They can also deliver that great service to the rich North American tourists dropping their vacation dollars. It’s a win for the establishment and for the bartender. This again is a long answer, but YES… you can bartend anywhere in the world. You’ll have to figure out the terms and local legalities for working in each place though.

This is an ever-growing list of commonly asked bartending questions, and questions of course about our StartBartending online course. If there is something missing, be sure to send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. We’re here as a resource! Ask us questions!!

What is a Responsible Service program?

Every state, and province, has their own responsible service program. These programs are intended to train people on how to recognize intoxicated individuals and refrain from selling/serving them. Anyone that sells liquor, either mixed in a cocktail or from a corner store, must have their respective responsible serving certification. You’ll have to do a bit of research to see what responsible service program is applicable to where you live and want to work.

Our online bartending school was created in Vancouver, BC

Where is Start Bartending located?

Since we’re online, we’re everywhere! In real life, we are based in Vancouver, Canada. The course video modules were shot in Canada’s oldest bartending school. 

Got more questions?

Check out our blog, which dives into all sorts of extra info. You can also reach out to us via email and we will get back to you.

Trevor & Chris

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