A bar manager or supervisor wears many hats. They know their bar inside out. They’re shrewd businesspeople. They’re empathetic people managers. It’s a complicated job that takes an impressive set of skills and a bar management guide can come in handy. So we asked the bar managers we know for the bar manager duties they think are most important. And here they are!
Let’s take a look at what bar managers do and how many hours they typically work.
What Does a Bar Owner or Bar Manager Do?
The simple answer is that a bar owner or bar manager supervise all the business aspects of a bar. Of course, some bar owners take more of a backseat. They’ll invest in the bar initially, then let the bar manager run the day-to-day operations.
What Are the Duties of a Bar Supervisor?
The duties of a bar supervisor are managing inventory, hiring, training, and overseeing staff, maintaining a budget, leading operations, conducting marketing, and driving sales.
Bar Manager Job Description
If you’re writing a bar manager job description or applying for a bar manager position, focus on all 6 of the following bar manager duties.
One of, if not the, most important things a bar manager does is decide what beverages to order based on what’s been sold. Then negotiate contracts with suppliers to buy those beverages. This process is called bar inventory management. Done consistently and accurately, it gives bar managers a look into what drinks are most popular and what drinks are most profitable. Those are two important things to know if your goal is to be a popular, profitable bar.
Hiring, Training, and Overseeing Staff
Once staff is in the door and trained up, a bar manager oversees their work every shift. That means the bar manager has written the schedule, assigned stations, and prepared the staff for the upcoming shift.
Bar operations refers to everything that needs to happen for the business to run effectively each day. This means the bar manager creates:
- Bar opening and closing checklists
- Weekly and monthly cleaning checklists
- Training materials
- Order of service (how to greet and sell to guests)
- Shift changeover guidelines
- Emergency protocols
- Employee policies (time off, rules, uniforms)
- Making sure all the necessary equipment and supplies are stocked
These are all collected in a bar operations manual.
Getting customers in the door is another big responsibility for bar managers and supervisors. That covers everything from coming up with daily specials and special events to handling the bar’s web and social media presence.
Maintaining a Budget
This is where the bar manager’s shrewd business sense shines through. Bar owners set a budget for all of the bar’s expenses. To maintain a profitable bar, bar managers must have all the expenses come in under it. Everything new hire, operational decision, and marketing tactic is viewed through the lens of the budget. A good bar manager maximizes resources, minimizes spending, and comes in under budget.
Once their marketing has paid off and people are in the door, the bar manager’s duties don’t end. They’re also responsible for how many drinks are sold and how profitable those drinks are.
After taking and analyzing their beverage inventory, a bar manager knows what drinks are the most profitable and what drinks are the most popular.
Their goal is to make the profitable drinks popular and the popular drinks profitable. The tools at their disposal are menu engineering, upselling, mixology, and supplier discounts.
How Many Hours Does a Bar Manager Work?
We asked an experienced bar manager in Chicago what their and their peers’ schedules looked like. “A bar manager can expect to work about 60 hours a week. That’s five shifts of, on average, 12 hours per day. But some people who get really good at their job are able to cut those down,” they said.
So That’s What They Do!
It sure is. Hopefully you’re more familiar with bar manager duties and responsibilities.
The reason we at BinWise created BinWise Pro is because we believe the most important bar manager responsibility is beverage inventory management.
With our bar inventory management software, bars and restaurants cut down on the time it takes to count inventory. They can also ensure accurate counts every time and immediately generate all of the useful reports that come with consistent inventory taking. Inventory usage, pour cost, par level, and everything needed to make profitable inventory decisions.
Book a demo and we’ll walk you through exactly how we can help.