October 1, 2021

Top 5 Qualities to Look For in a Bar Manager

With demand and competition increasing for bartender jobs in 2021, let’s take a look at what it takes to rise up the ranks from a bartender to bar manager.
Angelo Esposito

With demand and competition increasing for bartender jobs in 2021, let’s take a look at what it takes to rise up the ranks from a standard bartender to bar manager.

Bar managing is not an easy job, there are common physical and emotional tolls from late nights to carrying heavy loads and managing unhappy customers. It can also be an incredibly rewarding job, though, when in the right hands.

So, what makes someone the right fit for a bar manager position? Read on to see the top five qualities to look for when hiring or promoting.

1. Organized

Above all, the most important quality a bar manager can have is organizational skills. Bar managing involves asset tracking, correctly using inventory management software, managing employees and interacting with customers. In addition to juggling all these responsibilities, bar managers must be able to accurately track key metrics to keep your business profitable.

Looking for ways to support even the most organized bar manager? Create a customized inventory spreadsheet to simplify your processes or, better yet, invest in a bar inventory app.

2. Disciplined

Bar managers often pull late nights, working a shift at the bar before moving on to administrative tasks in the early morning hours. It takes discipline to stay focused and friendly through long shifts and even more discipline to patiently and carefully conduct inventory control.

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3. Personable

Speaking of friendliness, bar managers must have good interpersonal skills. They’ll not only regularly interact with customers and vendors as the face of your business, they’ll also be central to the happiness of the rest of your staff.

Friendliness and professionalism are key qualities to be able to perform these duties effectively.

4. Creative

As mentioned, there are a number of tricky tasks assigned to bar managers. Inventory management can be simplified with creative hacks, like finding easy-to-use inventory trackers online, and handling difficult customers takes not only tact but creative problem-solving abilities.

While many of these problems might need a team effort to solve, it helps to have a creatively-minded bar manager leading the way.

5. Reliable

Reliability is an important quality to have in any position; it’s certainly not unique to bar managers. However, it is especially important to this role. A reliable bar manager sets the standard for the whole team and will save your business time, money, and unnecessary stress in the long run.

When hiring, be sure to ask for specific examples of when your candidate displayed these qualities to assess fit. And, if promoting from within your existing staff, look for displays of these qualities early and often. Once you've found the perfect hire by following the guidelines above, the next step is helping them build the right staff for your bar. Overall, finding a bar manager with these qualities is tough, but absolutely necessary in the long run.


Taking inventory should not take hours.