How to Build a Top-Tier Bar Staff: Hiring Tips and Resources

Finding and hiring bar staff for your business requires careful consideration of your specific needs and the hiring resources available to you.

How to Build a Top-Tier Bar Staff: Hiring Tips and Resources

When you’re managing a bar, every serve, sip, and smile matters. The team you assemble to work behind the bar can transform the experience for your guests. 

How you staff your bar depends heavily on the type of business you operate. For example, a small dive bar can get by with a few people wearing multiple hats. But, an event venue that caters to large parties will need more hands on deck to cover various responsibilities.

Determining the type of staff you need behind the bar is the easy part. Finding quality workers who can meet the demands of your business is the challenge.

In this blog, we’ll explore common behind-the-bar needs and some resources to help you find your next bar staff hire.

Let’s dive in!

Understanding Your Bar Staff Needs

Before you begin the hiring process, you should first identify the specific roles required to run your bar smoothly. Do you run a speakeasy that prides itself on a rotation of new and exciting cocktails? Are you managing a nightclub that sees hundreds - maybe thousands - of guests each weekend? Do you need to hire bar staff for a party you’re hosting? 

Key positions commonly found behind the bar include:


Bartenders are the face of your bar, responsible for crafting drinks, engaging with customers, and maintaining the bar's ambiance. Look for candidates with a mixology flair, excellent customer service skills, and the ability to work efficiently under pressure.


Barbacks provide essential support to bartenders by restocking supplies, cleaning glasses, and ensuring a seamless flow of operations. They should be reliable, detail-oriented individuals capable of multitasking in a fast-paced environment.


A mixologist brings an elevated level of creativity and expertise to your bar. They possess an in-depth knowledge of flavor profiles, spirits, and cocktail techniques that add flair to your beverage offerings. A mixologist develops unique craft cocktails and drinks that will impress your patrons.


A sommelier is an expert in all things wine. If you run a more elevated business focused on wine, having a sommelier on staff is invaluable. A sommelier guides customers through the wine selection process, suggesting pairings, and ensuring a memorable dining experience. Look for candidates with formal sommelier certification and a passion for wine education.


In establishments where the bar and dining areas intersect, it’s handy to have waitstaff assistance. Waitstaff can pitch in with drink orders and bring them out to guests which is especially useful when your bar is busy. Look for candidates who are friendly, attentive, and adept at multitasking.

How to Find and Hire Bar Staff

Now that you've identified the roles you need to fill, let’s explore some effective strategies for recruiting and hiring bar staff:

Online Job Platforms

Utilize popular job search websites such as Indeed, Monster, or ZipRecruiter and platforms dedicated to hospitality positions. Post detailed job listings highlighting the specific skills and qualities you're looking for in bar staff.


Tap into your professional network and spread the word among industry contacts. Attend hospitality events, conferences, or local meetups where you can connect with potential candidates or get referrals from trusted peers.

Social Media

 Leverage the power of social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram to advertise job openings and engage with potential candidates. Share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your bar's atmosphere to attract applicants who resonate with your brand.

Recruitment Agencies

 Consider partnering with specialized recruitment agencies or bar staff agencies that can streamline the hiring process for you. These agencies often have access to a pool of pre-screened candidates and can match you with individuals who meet your requirements.

Exploring Temporary Bar Staff Solutions

In addition to permanent hires, there may be occasions when you may just need to hire temporary bar staff for events or to accommodate peak season. Here are some options to consider:

Temporary Staffing Agencies

Partner with reputable temporary staffing agencies specializing in hospitality to fulfill your short-term staffing needs. These agencies can provide trained professionals on short notice, saving you time and effort in recruitment.

Gig Economy Platforms

The gig economy is on the rise as it offers workers the flexibility to choose where they work, when they work, and how much they work for. Hospitality-focused platforms such as shiftNOW, Qwick, and Instawork enable businesses to connect with a pool of hourly workers with experience across various shift types.

In-House Training

 If you anticipate the need for temporary bar staff during busy periods, invest in cross-training your existing team members to handle additional responsibilities. This not only prepares your staff for flexibility but also fosters a sense of teamwork and camaraderie.

Setting Up Your Bar Staff for Success

Finding and hiring bar staff for events or your restaurant requires careful consideration of your specific needs and the hiring resources available to your business. Whether you're seeking permanent hires or temporary solutions, prioritizing qualities like professionalism, hospitality, and adaptability will ensure a positive experience for both your staff and patrons. By leveraging online platforms, networking opportunities, and specialized agencies, you can assemble a team of skilled bar staff capable of delivering exceptional service and enhancing the overall atmosphere of your establishment. Cheers to building a vibrant and successful team!