Several key components in becoming an exceptional bartender are clean, safe, efficient bartending practices.  Not only are these things important to potential employers, they are also good for your customers.  Of course the first step is be sure and get your TABC license before serving alcohol in Texas.  Whether you are looking for a career in bartending, or you are looking to excel in your current bartending career, here are some good tips for keeping yourself, your customers, and your workplace safe.


Hygiene:  Always be tidy.  Look after your hands, especially your fingernails, as your hands are always in view to customers.  Wash and dry your hands frequently, particularly after contact with fruits and juices (this will help prevent hand dermatitis).  Always remember to wash bar equipment such as cocktail shakers and strainers after use and even between drinks.  When handling a glass soda siphon, hold only by the plastic or metal parts.  The heat of your hands may cause the glass to shatter. 


Safety:   If you drop a glass, don’t try to catch it. If a glass is dropped and it breaks, wear gloves to protect your hands from cuts. Use a dustpan, wet cloth, or broom to clean up the broken pieces.  If a glass is to break near ice, chances are there is shattered glass in your ice.  Throw all of the ice away.  Be sure to handle drinks very carefully in order to prevent spilling or breaking.  Never push a drink to move it, always pick up the glass and place it where you would like it to be.  Use the base or stem to pick up glasses to avoid getting fingerprints on the top of the glass and for better support while carrying it.  Don’t allow champagne corks to pop during removal.  This could be dangerous to those around you.


Efficiency:  Keep your station organized.  This will cut down on time spent looking for tools and supplies.  Recommend cocktails that you make well and fast in busy situations.  Work at a comfortable pace; do not try to overwork yourself early into your shift.  Communicate what you need to your managers even before you have a need for it.  Know drink prices of all beverages that you provide.  Repeat orders to guest to avoid any mistakes.  Try to memorize cocktail recipes instead of having to look at spec sheets.  Keep unnecessary communication to a minimum.  Remember to clean your bar top, refill glasses, and stock during slow periods of your shift.  Most importantly, always try to remain calm and relaxed.  The more stressed you become, the less efficient you can be. 


Bartending is a fun and rewarding career for those willing to keep good practices and work safely with coworkers and customers.  It is also helpful to have a positive attitude and good work ethic. And another thing, smiling employees usually get more tips!  The first step you can take to being the best bartender you can be is by getting your TABC online certification.  


About the Author: David Perkins is a marketing associate of American Seller Server, a leading online resource for your TABC online course, TABC license, and TABC online certification. For more information, please visit

These are some ways to learn exceptional bartending practices. How to become certified in Texas. Go to TABC online to get your TABC online certification.