Pros and Cons of Being a Bartender

As you might know, my main income comes from being a bartender. For many people very far from their dream job. For me? Depends… Some days are amazing, some days are hell. Here are some pros and cons I can come up with after three days of work after being back from holiday.


PEOPLE – Let’s start with the biggest positive of them all! And yep, it is people. It is a great way how to gain network – especially if you are an international in a foreign country – as I am. Almost everybody drinks and does socialise in bars and pubs! You can find carpenters, managers, creative people – basically anyone.

FLEXIBILITY – This kind of work tends to be rather flexible when it comes to schedule and planning. You can give your manager days when you cannot work and they will kind of figure it out for you.

VARIETY – Every day is different! Kind of. Again – depends on the crowd you get. Also sometimes you might have football going on. Or bingo. Or quiz. Or karaoke. In which case you just wanna die. But…It is different. Darts and domino tournaments are fine tho.

CHEAPER NIGHTS OUT – As an employee you might get staff prices – aaand that means you save up some money on your nights out! Careful with this one though as it might be bit dangerous 🙂

TIME FOR YOURSELF – It is a great way how to support your economy and still have time for your own side kick as writing, painting, playing gigs with your band and such.

TIPS – If you are lucky you might get some nice tips. Yes, depends on what country you are working in, but sometimes you get lucky even in country like Denmark.


PEOPLE – The biggest con is again – people. In the bar industry /and all of customer oriented jobs/ it is all about them. And trust me – you can get a lot of sh*t. It is not only drunk people being annoying. The worst ones are usually sober and giving you advices about how to live your life and criticising absolutely everything about you. Looks? Personality? Job? Dating? They got it covered, don’t you worry. Which just gave me an idea of making post about different kinds of people coming to bars. And oh god, there is a lot!

DEALING WITH THE INFLUENCES OF ALCOHOL – Yep, you might clean after people /men/ not being able to aim precisely enough. You might clean broken glass and spilled drinks or – puke. It is not the most elegant job ever, but… As everything else – it has to have a “bad” side too, right?

NOT EVERYBODY IS GREAT IN THEIR JOB – Sometimes you might get really frustrated as your colleagues do not stick to their job description and you have to do extra work after them, for example if they get wasted in the process of closing the place down and you have to do the evening duty as well, while you are supposed to do only your scheduled opening. But I believe it happens in every job and thanks god bartendering is not too much of a rocket science.

LAST MINUTE CALLS TO WORK – People might get sick or busy out of nowhere and then you just have to adjust your life around it, cancel your plans and feel bitter as no one takes shift back for you, even if you really need it.

IRREGULAR SCHEDULE – If you are working part-time in a bar like me, then you never know if you are going to have day shift, closing, or shift on the weekend when you get home at about 5 am or later. It kind of does mess up your sleeping pattern and schedule and all that jazz.

IRREGULAR INCOME – One month you can have 60 hours, the other month you can have 90. You basically never know and it is not the most pleasant situation not to be sure how your economy is going to be. The same goes for tips – do not rely on them! As I mentioned already – I know the tipping culture is different and depends on what country you are working in, but in Denmark – it is just not a thing. Even though sometimes you can get nice extra cash, but it is more the sweet cherry on top then thing you take for granted.

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