Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:27 am Post subject: Bartending with a young face?
First post here. I'm a 20 year-old male uni student. I'm fairly confident and sociable, and I have a year or so of experience in hospitality, though little in bartending. 20 is above the legal age in Australia, by the way. I'm thinking about trying to get into bartending as a good, portable kind of part-time job to do alongside university. It looks like more fun than waiting tables and I don't mind the late hours.
The problem is, I have a really young face. My height is average, 5' 10" or so. I have some muscle but I'm relatively slim, about 155lb. I get asked for ID every time I go to a bar, liquor store or club here in Australia, often by both the bouncer and the bartender, and people tell me I could get away with saying I was 16. It's probable that I'll look underage for at least another four years. Working in hospitality, I get compliments on my looks often but they're frequently in the nature of "Aww, so cute" from women.
In your experience, is looking young likely to make bartending a difficult prospect? Would drunk customers be more likely to screw with you if they thought you were too young to stop them getting away with it? Further, would bar owners be unlikely to hire you because of this, or because they thought it reflected badly on their bar to have someone who looks too young to drink serving alcohol?
Advice would be great from people who have been in a similar boat. Thank you.
That's a hard question to answer. I guess it's all in how you carry yourself. At one of my bartending gigs, I was the only male bartender. The uniform was a tuxedo shirt, tie and comber bond. Unfortunately the color was bright pink.
Did guys give me a hard time at first? Sure, but I was able to handle them and gain respect.
If you know how to handle people (not through muscle, that doesn't work) it doesn't matter how young you look.
Don't let things you can't control stop you from controlling those you can.
if you are professional and knowledgeable the respect will come ....if people try to take the piss they probably would try and find something to go on about anyway, if he keeps on get your manager and move on to your next customer with a smile!
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