Bar Service

Study bartending online. Learn how to mix drinks, studying a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks; as well as learning general service skills to manage a bar.

Course CodeVTR204
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Learn how to manage a bar

Do you have an outgoing personality?  Are you dedicated, committed and flexible?   Bar staff are employed in restaurants and bars all over the world.  This is a great way to travel the world and adventure as you earn.

  • Learn the skills and knowledge you need to work anywhere in the world.
  • Gain great employment skills.
  • Study at home in your own time and pace.
  • Start your own bar.

This course provides foundation knowledge for those attending a bar or working as a drinks waiter or waitress. In this course you will:

  • become familiar with alcoholic drinks such as wine, spirits, beers and cocktails
  • learn how to make non-alcoholic drinks including cappuccinos, chai lattes and other specialty teas
  • learn how to provide quality service to bar customers
  • mix a range of cocktails and other drinks and
  • learn the fundamentals of wine appreciation.

Lesson Structure

There are 7 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Industry orientation
    • Presentation
    • Bar equipment and layout, etc.
  2. Alcoholic Product orientation
    • Become familiar with the range of alcoholic products found commonly in a bar including spirits, beer and wine.
  3. Non Alcoholic Drinks
    • Become familiar with the range of non-alcoholic drinks that can be found at a bar; different coffee and tea types.
  4. Service Procedures
    • Protocol
    • Dealing with customers
    • Food handling
    • Tray service
    • Accounts, etc.
    • Learn the service procedures for a range of situations from an a la Carte restaurant to a bar and grill.
  5. Mixing Drinks
    • Develop an ability to mix a range of cocktails and other drinks in a bar.
    • Learn the art of flairing and how to make a Tequila Sunrise.
  6. Wine Appreciation
    • Understanding and appreciation of different wines.
    • Learn which wines go best with seafood, meat and cheese platters.
  7. Establishing a Bar Service
    • Consolidate skills so far developed to establish or improve the management of a bar service

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • To develop a broad understanding of the industry
  • Identify and describe the range of alcoholic products found commonly in a bar.
  • Identify and describe a range of non alcoholic drinks available at bars.
  • Develop an understanding of how to provide improved service to bar customers.
  • Develop an ability to mix a range of drinks
  • Identify and describe a wide variety of different wines.
  • Consolidate skills so far developed to establish or improve the management of a bar service.

What Do Bar Staff Do?

Bar staff often have duties segregated from food service staff; although in many restaurants, the same person might perform both duties. Essentially food service staff are responsible for meals and bar staff for drinks and light snacks. Menus can vary significantly depending on the type of establishment. In today’s ever changing world, there is increasing innovation, and the rules of traditional bar service are increasingly broken. As such, bar staff may very often find themselves performing various food service duties.

This course provides general knowledge for anyone who wants to work behind a bar or as a drinks waiter. In this course you will develop a broad understanding of the industry. Through this you will:

  • become familiar with alcoholic drinks such as wine, spirits, beers and cocktails
  •  learn how to make non-alcoholic drinks including cappuccinos, chai lattes and other specialty teas
  •  learn how to provide quality service to bar customers
  •  mix a range of cocktails and other drinks and
  •  learn the fundamentals of wine appreciation.

More than Just Drinks!

Working at a bar often involves more than just serving drinks. This is a job that can involve a lot of interacting with people (customers). Bar staff may find themselves being engaged in conversations about anything and everything. The "relaxed" environment combined with pharmaceutical affects of drinks (alcohol or even caffine), and alter the way in which customers relate to a person serving them. 
At times, the affects of drinks may create problems (eg. if a customer becomes intoxicated), and the bar staff do need to be capable of dealing with such difficult situations.
Dealing with Alcholics
Bar staff will inevitably encounter at least some customers who abuse their drinking. Dealing with such patrons starts with understanding them.
People with mental health problems are more likely to suffer from alcoholism and alcoholics are more likely to develop mental health problems. Diet is an important in the treatment of alcoholism and general treatment advice includes:
  • Treating malnutrition – a high percentage of alcoholics are malnourished either because they tend to have poor diets with too few calories and nutrients, or because alcohol can affect the body’s ability to absorb these nutrients. Dietary treatment for alcoholics will, therefore, require sufficient nutrients and calories to correct deficiencies.
  • Including good food sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants are important at helping to reduce the toxic effects of alcohol on different parts of the body especially on the brain and liver.
  • Taking additional B vitamins. Vitamin B deficiency is a very common side effect of alcoholism where deficiencies result from a variety of reasons such as low dietary intakes, impaired absorption in the small intestine and decreased storage capacity. B12 deficiency is a particular concern amongst alcoholics again due to poor diet and also due to the fact that low levels of stomach acid reduces the body’s ability to absorb this vitamin. Untreated vitamin B12 deficiency can cause anaemia, nervous damage and neurological disorders.
Dietary advice for alcoholism must also meet the requirements of any other conditions linked to the disease e.g. pancreatitis (an inflamed pancreas), mental health problems such as depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancers including those of the mouth, esophagus and liver), stomach and liver disease such as fatty liver, hepatitis and cirrhosis.


Bar service courses are often much shorter than this and more limited in both what they teach and how deeply they teach you.
This is a more serious course. It covers some things that other bar service courses might not cover; and because it is longer, it helps you to achieve more solid learning.
Graduates from this course will have a broader understanding of the scope and nature of bar work; and will have a raised awareness of the opportunities that exist to manage a bar.
Graduates may use this course to:

  • Expand the scope of what they can do working at a bar
  • Get a job or improve employment prospects
  • Get a background for starting their own bar, or buying and operating an existing bar
  • Broaden their understanding of beverage services in any area of hospitality

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Karen Lee

Nutritional Scientist, Dietician, Teacher and Author. BSc. Hons. (Biological Sciences), Postgraduate Diploma Nutrition and Dietetics. Registered dietitian in the UK, with over 15 years working in the NHS. Karen has undertaken a number of research projec
Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head fo
Barbara Seguel

Teacher and Researcher, Marine Scientist, Tourism and Outdoor recreation guide, Health and Safety Coordinator & Production Manager for Fisheries, National Park Staff/Farmer, Laboratory technical aide, Zoo, Wildlife and Marine Park assistant. Barbara has w
Jade Sciascia

Biologist, Business Coordinator, Government Environmental Dept, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Recruitment Consultant, Senior Supervisor in Youth Welfare, Horse Riding Instructor (part-completed) and Boarding Kennel Manager. Jade has a B.Sc.Biol, Di
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