Última actualización:
April 29, 2024

Barback: Duties and Job Tasks

Discover the essential barback duties and job tasks to keep your restaurant running smoothly. Learn how to optimize your bar operations for maximum efficiency.
Barback: Duties and Job Tasks
Bogdan Patynski
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While bartenders are the ones who interact directly with customers and make drinks, barbacks are essential for keeping everything running smoothly. From stocking supplies to cleaning glasses to preparing garnishes, it's a barback's job to make sure each service area has what it needs so that bartenders can focus on making amazing mixed drinks and cocktails. As such, a barback job plays a vital role in ensuring that customers have an enjoyable experience at the bar.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about bar back's duties– from what they do, how much they make, and the barback job description associated with this role – whether you're preparing to open a new bar or simply wanting to improve operations at your current bar.

What is a Barback?

An efficient barback is crucial to every bartender in order to help them maintain an organized and functioning great bar environment. Although they may not be as visible as some other positions in a bar setting, barbacks are crucial for a bar's success.

Not only do they make an excellent bartending experience for customers, but they also provide positive customer service. Without them, bartenders would have a significantly harder time serving customers efficiently and keeping the bar fully stocked.

In high-volume bars, it's not uncommon to have multiple barbacks working alongside the bartending team. Bartenders are responsible for making drinks and providing customer service while barbacks help to restock supplies, clean glassware, and perform other duties related to beverage preparation. Since the hospitality industry is a fast-paced environment, a bar manager and all staff members in the bar have to depend on each other heavily to keep things moving efficiently. This includes opening and closing duties.

What does a Barback do on a day-to-day basis?

A barback's responsibilities are to support bartenders before, during, and after service. The following is an overview of common barback duties, tasks, and responsibilities undertaken at various times throughout the day.

Antes del servicio

A barback job is to prepare the bar area for service. They typically arrive before their shift begins and help the bartender set up.

Barback duties and responsibilities before service:

  • Always keep the bar stocked with liquor bottles
  • Garantizar que los contenedores de hielo estén llenos y listos para su uso.
  • Recoger vasos vacíos
  • Organizar los contenedores
  • Preparación de guarniciones
  • Preparación de mezclas de bebidas
  • Replace the beer kegs
  • Colocación de vasos limpios para los clientes
  • Almacenar suministros como servilletas, pajitas y limas en cada puesto.
  • Colocación de barriles de cerveza
  • Mantener un paño de bar limpio en cada puesto de camarero.

Durante el servicio

Although they may not be as visible as the bartenders or servers, barbacks are essential to a well-running restaurant or bar.

Barback duties and responsibilities during service:

  • Limpiar las mesas y retirar las bebidas y platos terminados de los invitados
  • Vasos limpios y platos sucios
  • Ayuda a limpiar derrames de bebidas y cristales rotos
  • Ayudar a los camareros a preparar las bebidas
  • Assist in making drink orders when needed or fulfilling customer food orders
  • Servir alcohol de forma responsable
  • Asegúrese de informar al personal de seguridad de cualquier peligro potencial, como si se forma una cola fuera del local o si alguien parece estar demasiado ebrio.
  • Limpia todas las superficies, especialmente la zona del bar.
  • Assist with inputting orders into the POS system as required
  • Mantén limpia la zona sacando la basura o reciclando
  • Recoger los vasos vacíos del bar

Después del servicio

Closing duties are very important to ensure that the bar is ready for the next day. After service ends, barbacks usually assist with and/or are responsible for the following tasks:

Barback duties and responsibilities after service

  • Limpiar cualquier derrame o suciedad que pueda haber quedado durante el servicio.
  • Vuelva a colocar los vasos y platos vacíos en el lavavajillas
  • Devolver todos los suministros a sus zonas de almacenamiento designadas
  • Reponer los contenedores de hielo si es necesario
  • Limpie todas las encimeras, la estación de bar y el área de servicio.
  • Antes del turno de mañana por la noche, asegúrese de que el bar está preparado, llenando todos los recipientes y exprimiendo los cítricos.
  • Almacenar todas las entregas de licor y cerveza que lleguen durante el día.
  • Desatascar fregaderos
  • Sacar la basura o reciclar a lo largo del turno
  • Seguimiento de la apertura o cierre del inventario de botellas de licor

Common Questions about being a Barback

Can Barbacks Make Drinks?

Unlike a bartender's job, barbacks typically don't mix drinks. However, if they are of legal drinking or serving age and meet the requirements to bartend where they live, then they can usually pour a draft beer or open a bottle. To do so legally though, there are usually some local regulations in place that barbacks must follow.

How many hours does a typical barback work per shift?

The average barback works for 4-8 hours each shift, though this varies depending on the specific establishment. In addition, they often work a few days during the week as well as nights and weekends. For some bars, special shifts or events may require their bar backs to come in early or stay late.

In addition, barbacks should be prepared for their hours to vary, as they may often need to work late at night or early in the morning. Often, bar backs are also required to do multiple long shifts during busier times such as weekends and holidays.

Before committing to the job, it is important for prospective barbacks to take their own physical fitness level into account. This type of work requires both mental and physical stamina in order to be successful. Handling long hours is a key part of being a successful bar back.

What is the average pay for a Barback?

The barback paid minimum wage is around $10 - $12 per hour, depending on the state and city, with more experienced barbacks earning up to $15 an hour. The average salary for a full-time bar back working 40 hours per week can range from $20,000 to $30,000 annually. barbacks paid by the commission may make more, depending on the number of drinks they serve and the tips they receive. Additionally, bar backs are often eligible for benefits such as health insurance and paid time off.

How much do Barbacks typically receive in tips?

In many cases, multiple bars share a tip jar that the bar backs will collect from at the end of their shift. Most of these tips are shared among all the staff, including bartenders and other front-of-house staff. A bar back tip can vary greatly depending on the number of customers and how busy the night is. In addition to the regular bar back salary, bar back makes an extra $50 - $100 in tips at the end of their shift which is common for a barback's job.

In addition, some establishments may offer barbacks other incentives, or bonuses for working long hours or during busy periods. It is important to ask about these when considering taking on the job of a Barback. This can also influence how much money they can make each month.

What do you expect as a Barback?

One of the chief advantages of working as a barback is that you'll obtain first-hand experience in the hospitality industry. This can be priceless when seeking employment in this field down the road. Additionally, bar backs have the potential to gain specialized knowledge about mixing drinks, drinks menu items, and bar service operations. This experience can help you get hired for a bartender role in the future.

If you can't decide whether or not a Barback job is right for you, here are some things to consider:

Es (muy) exigente físicamente: Tendrás que estar en buena forma física para este trabajo. Un turno de noche típico incluye tareas como levantar barriles de cerveza, transportar cajas de alcohol y acarrear cubos de hielo a diferentes bares: no tendrás ni un momento de descanso desde que empieces tu turno hasta que te vayas. Si ser activo es importante para ti, este es el trabajo perfecto para ganar esos pasos de Fitbit.

It's Not Always Appreciated: A barback job requires you to have some extra patience as most of your co-workers will be asking for items from you throughout your shift. And, unfortunately, not all of them will remember their manners when they ask (especially in the beginning). Being a barback is hardly ever recognized, with bartenders, bar managers, other employees, and guests seldom expressing gratitude.

Horario: Las horas de más trabajo en el bar son los jueves, viernes y sábados, por lo que sólo trabajarías esos días. Si también vas a la escuela o trabajas en otro empleo durante el día, esto podría ser beneficioso a efectos de horario.

What experience is required to be a Barback?

Although some experience might be helpful, it isn't necessary to have years of experience under your belt to become a good barback. All you need is the willingness to work hard in a fast-paced environment and fit in with the workplace culture.

How to Become a Barback

Many aspiring bartenders take on the role of barback to learn more about mixology and build up their experience. Most bartenders will start out in this role before eventually being promoted (usually after 6-18 months), depending on how quickly they progress and pick up new skills.

The requirements to apply for a barback position are as follows: having completed a high school diploma and being of the minimum age required by law to serve alcohol. Start your job search by applying at your favorite local bar or restaurant. As part of the interview process, some places may require that you do an unpaid trial shift. Afterward, training lasts 1-2 weeks until you officially become a full-time bar back.

Essential skills and qualities for a barback

There are several key skills and qualities that a barback position needs. We've outlined both hard and soft skills needed to be a great barback:

Barback Job Description: Hard Skills

  • Debe ser capaz de permanecer de pie durante largos periodos de tiempo y levantar objetos pesados.
  • Estarán constantemente moviendo y almacenando artículos pesados.
  • Familiaridad con la coctelería y el servicio de bar
  • A menudo se paran detrás de la barra para ayudar a un cliente, ya sea tomando un pedido o respondiendo a una pregunta.
  • Conocimientos básicos de mixología
  • Any good barback will have a firm understanding of the different drinks being made and how they are prepared. This knowledge allows them to better prioritize tasks and take initiative when necessary.
  • Estar familiarizado con la seguridad de los cuchillos y tener conocimientos generales de cuchillería.

Barback Job Description: Soft Skills

Good communication skills. Professionalism and excellent customer service skills are key to performing barbacks duties when interacting with both guests and other staff members. They should be able to understand and resolve any issues that may arise.

Ability to work independently or as part of a team: Because barbacks typically work independently and potentially in high-pressure situations, it's important that they're able to take initiative and work quickly.

Able to take charge when needed: There are times when a bar manager and bartender become too wrapped up in their own duties to communicate what they need help with, a good barback should be able to take the lead and be proactive in order to ensure that items are moved or tasks completed.

Organizational skills: A major part of a barback duties is making sure the stockroom, coolers, and liquor shelves are organized and up-to-date for the evening shift. They should be attentive to expiration dates and stock levels, to ensure the bar never runs out of drinks.

Flexibility: Barbacks should be prepared to work odd hours and on holidays. Availability is key in this role, as they are often the first ones in and last ones out of the bar each night. They need to be flexible with their schedule and able to adjust quickly when needed.

Comfortable taking orders: A bartender cannot do their job properly if they don't have a good barback. If a bartender requests menu items, they should be considered a top priority and fulfilled without hesitation.

Service skills: Barbacks need to be familiar with the drinks being served, so as to assist in any way necessary. They might have to help a bartender when they are overwhelmed or take an order if there is a long line. They also need to stay focused while working in loud and high-traffic environments, so as to provide the best service possible.

Ability to prioritize: A barback is responsible for keeping the bar stocked and organized, but sometimes they will get pulled away to take orders or answer questions. When this happens, it's important that they are able to do so without harming the quality of service your establishment provides.

How to Find the Ideal barback

Before you hire a barback, the most important quality to look for is whether they want to be promoted to a bartender position. This not only will make them work harder but also your best bartenders usually come from within the ranks. Additionally, check your state’s policies as they pertaining hiring this type of position as these laws differ by state.

Por ejemplo, en algunos estados, la edad mínima para servir alcohol es de 18 años, pero esta persona debe estar bajo la supervisión directa de alguien de 21 años o más que esté presente en el lugar donde se vaya a consumir alcohol. La persona que contrate debe tener un diploma de secundaria o GED, y sería beneficioso que pudiera aportar referencias.

Por último, deben conocer la configuración del bar, comprender las leyes y normativas sobre bebidas alcohólicas y tener un permiso de conducir válido en caso de que haya que transportar alcohol a lugares fuera del local. También deben poseer conocimientos básicos de matemáticas y comprender los principios de atención al cliente.

Barback Job Description Template

Barback responsibilities may range from stocking supplies to cleaning up the bartending area, to running menu items. The ideal candidate for a barback position should be able to highlight the necessary skills and qualifications needed to excel in this role on their resume.

To help you create a posting that attracts great candidates, we've provided a great barback job description template.

Localización: [Insertar ubicación]

Tipo de empleo: [jornada completa/media jornada]

Depende de: [Insertar el nombre del Bar Manager/Head Bartender]

Resumen del puesto:

El Barback es responsable de ayudar al equipo de camareros en todos los aspectos del servicio de bar, incluyendo la preparación y el mantenimiento de la zona de bar, abastecimiento, y asegurar que todos los huéspedes tengan una experiencia excepcional. El Barback debe ser capaz de trabajar eficazmente en un entorno de ritmo rápido, manteniendo una actitud positiva y un comportamiento profesional.

Responsabilidades clave:

  • Ayudar a los camareros a preparar y servir bebidas
  • Asegurarse de que el bar está correctamente abastecido y mantenido durante todo el servicio
  • Limpiar y abrillantar la cristalería y la vajilla
  • Recuperar y reponer cerveza, vino, licores y suministros de las zonas de almacenamiento.
  • Mantener la limpieza y organización de la zona del bar, incluyendo el lavado de platos y la limpieza de superficies.
  • Siga todos los procedimientos de seguridad, higiene y manipulación de alimentos.
  • Ayudar en las tareas de cierre, incluyendo el desmontaje y la limpieza de la zona del bar.
  • Proporcionar un excelente servicio de atención al cliente a todos los huéspedes


  • Título de bachillerato o equivalente
  • Preferiblemente experiencia previa trabajando en un bar o restaurante
  • Knowledge of basic bar equipment and tools
  • Capacidad para trabajar en un entorno de ritmo rápido y gestionar múltiples tareas simultáneamente.
  • Excelentes dotes de comunicación y atención al cliente
  • Capacidad para levantar objetos pesados (hasta 15 kilos) y permanecer de pie durante largos periodos de tiempo.
  • Debe poder trabajar en horario flexible, incluyendo tardes, fines de semana y festivos.

Para solicitar este puesto, envíe un currículum vítae y una carta de presentación. Ofrecemos igualdad de oportunidades a todos los candidatos cualificados.

Barback Interview Questions

When hiring bar staff, you probably have a set of questions to gauge their personality and if they're fit for the job. But here are a few industry-specific questions to test your barback's commitment to the profession.

  • ¿Cuáles son sus objetivos para el próximo año? ¿Los próximos cinco años?
  • ¿Qué es lo que más le gusta de trabajar en un bar?
  • What are some of the reasons you want to become a barback?

¿Cómo puede asegurarse de que el bar funcione sin problemas durante un turno ajetreado?

  • ¿Estaría dispuesto a obtener un certificado de servidor de alcohol?

Barback training tips

Barback responsibilities can be quite complex and managing the bar area is no easy feat. So here are a few tips to help you train your current or new barback and ensure they can handle all that comes with the job.

As a bar manager, you are responsible for ensuring your staff knows your expectations and understands the basics of their role. Pair them up with an experienced bartender: This ensures that your barback has someone to go to if they have questions or need help.

Areas that barbacks need to be trained in are:

  • Recetas de bebidas alcohólicas, menús y medidas
  • Servicio de mantenimiento del bar
  • Atención al cliente
  • Legislación y normativa sobre bebidas alcohólicas
  • Organización
  • Seguridad e higiene
  • Utilización del TPV

It is important to have a structured training plan in place that covers all these topics and more so barbacks can learn quickly and be ready to work. It’s also important to create an environment where they feel comfortable asking questions, giving feedback, and expressing any concerns they may have.

See you ROI rise, with WISK's user-friendly inventory management software interface, barbacks can easily manage inventory, keep track of stock levels, and seamlessly communicate with bartenders and managers. WISK automates these processes, allowing barbacks to focus on ensuring a well-stocked bar and a smooth flow of service. The real-time insights provided by WISK empower bar backs to anticipate restocking needs, minimizing downtime, and helping the entire team operate more cohesively. Book a call now!


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