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Top 5 Side Gigs for Bartenders

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Bartending is a job that requires a lot of personality, responsibility, and hard work because it’s more than just serving drinks. A lot goes into bartending positions, and bartenders have various responsibilities they must perform and skills they must possess.


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Several of the duties bartenders are responsible for are:

Preparing Drinks: Bartenders are responsible for creating standard cocktails and specialty cocktails, as well as knowing the ingredients for every drink.

Efficiency: Bartenders have to learn to work efficiently because bars can become very crowded, and they have to juggle the crowds along with their other responsibilities.

Bar Stock: This position is also responsible for keeping their register balanced and maintaining their bar stock. Failure to do so can disrupt business because of a lack of supply.


The skills a bartender must possess are:

Knowledge: Bartenders need to be knowledgeable about different recipes and current trends in the alcohol industry.

Communication: This is a very important skill bartenders must have. Not only do they interact with patrons, but bartenders interact with coworkers as well. Good communication skills are very valuable for this position, and it plays a large role in their success.

Customer Service: Bartenders need to be able to interact with patrons in a friendly way and answer any questions they may have about the selection of drinks. A good bartender can retain clients because of their friendly attitude.

Memory: Behind the bar, there’s a lot for the bartender to remember. Not only do they need to be knowledgeable about all of the different drink options and the ingredients that go with them, but they also have to remember the different mixing techniques that go with each option. Additionally, during busy hours, bartenders have to keep track of what drinks go to which guest.

Creativity: Creativity is important; bartenders display this creativity when they are mixing their drinks, and it can also aid them when customers request customized drinks.

Side Gigs

Bartending is a popular job because the position comes with flexible hours. The skills you develop as a bartender, and the duties you must complete can translate over into different jobs.

As a bartender, you have plenty of extra time to pursue a side hustle, so why not do it? Below are five side gigs you can pursue as a bartender.

Teach Bartending

If you feel as though you have a strong grasp and knowledge of bartending, you can start teaching bartending courses. Some courses can be for:

Groups or individuals



Corporate team building

To start, you’ll want to create a website; WordPress can provide a blog for free, or you can choose a one-page website. Include images of your favorite cocktails and recipes, and create how-to videos for each.

Make sure to add a “hire me” tab so that anyone browsing your site can easily find you. Within this tab, include your contact information, experience, availability, and the price you charge. You can share the site on social media and promote it on Craigslist or Groupon.

Monetize Instagram

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Why not monetize an Instagram account? So many others are already doing it. Social media is a powerful tool that many use as their primary source of income. For you, it can serve as a profitable side gig.

Create an account solely based on your bartending skills. Follow other influencers in your niche, and interact with their posts and other users. Try not to sound too promotional, and don’t beg for followers; instead, opt for genuine conversations with others because that’s what will get people to follow you. Post photos and videos of you bartending, as well as images of the different drinks you know how to create and the premium barware from A Bar Above that you use.

When you have gathered a decent following on your profile, you can team up with bar-related businesses and strike up some sort of deal. You can promote their products and recipes on your profile, and either they can promote you in their posts or pay you for your promotion. Once you have a large enough following, you can gain the attention of potential sponsors and begin charging for posts.

Freelance Bartender

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Since you already have the skills and knowledge of what it takes to be a bartender, why not work as a freelance bartender? In your regular position, you meet a lot of people and are constantly interacting with patrons. These patrons come from different businesses and backgrounds, and there are going to be instances where your customers hold holiday parties and celebrations with their companies. This is where you come in.

If you establish a rapport with your patrons and collect their business cards, you can inform them of your freelance work. Since they’ve already seen you at work and sampled your drinks, it won’t be difficult for them to hire you. Also, there are online job boards, like Craigslist, which post jobs like bartending gigs regularly.

As a freelance bartender, not only do you choose when and where you want to work, but you also have the freedom to set your own rates.

Brand Sales Representative

These representatives work directly with liquor producers, and they are responsible for working with distributors to make sure orders are received and filled out correctly. In addition, brand sales representatives network with restaurants, liquor stores, and bars to develop the company’s presence. Generally, experience in the food and beverage industry is required, along with personality and communication skills, which you would have already developed as a bartender.

Organize Events

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Events are a great way to bring people together and establish relationships. For a side gig, you can schedule events like themed cocktail nights, branded wine tastings, and alcohol appreciation lessons. These events can be posted on social media, and you can charge a set amount per attendee. You can network with bars and wineries in your area to host the event, and many would be eager to because it promotes their business as well. The customer service skills you have developed as a bartender can help you engage with other people and schedule these events.

Some of these side gigs are easy enough that you can work more than one at a time. As a bartender, you already have the skills needed for the side gigs, so why not utilize them?