Barback Job Description: Hire the Perfect Barback with These Tips + Template

A bar is a well-oiled machine. Out front, the bartender is the star of the show, crafting cocktails and juggling orders, offering charming chit chat all the while. But every bar has an unsung hero: the mighty barback, who works their magic out of the spotlight, supporting the bartender at every twist and turn.

Barbacking may be an entry-level job, but it takes skill and perseverance to perform those duties. When it comes time to hire, craft a barback job description to attract those rare diamonds who can add sparkle to your bar’s operations

In this guide, we discuss what a barback does, what to look for in a barback candidate, and how to craft a barback job description that gets you the best candidates for the post. Plus, we’ve drafted a job description template to inspire you, or that you can customize when it comes time to hire.

What does a barback do?

A barback ensures that bartenders have everything they need to make and deliver customer orders quickly and accurately. Barbacks restock bottled or canned drinks and liquors, refresh garnishes, replace empty kegs, restock napkins and straws, empty the dishwasher, and polish glassware until they sparkle. 

Barbacks will also assist with taking and fulfilling orders from time to time, and engage in friendly chats with customers who have inquiries. Often viewed as budding bartenders, barbacks learn the craft while actively contributing to the bar’s operation, providing the essential support that keeps the bar service humming along.

What are barback job responsibilities?

Think of a barback like the engine of the bar: they’re the ones who make sure everything runs smoothly. Barback responsibilities include keeping stock levels up, preparing garnishes such as lemons and limes, and refilling ice wells.

Barbacks also handle cleaning duties throughout their shift, such as cleaning up spills, removing glassware from tables and the bar, and generally keeping the counters and tables neat and clean. 

Maintaining the bar area and ensuring it is well-stocked and clean is crucial for smooth operations. If a glass gets broken, the barback should be there as quickly as possible to sweep up the shards and prevent anyone from accidentally hurting themselves.

If the bar is in a restaurant or hotel, barbacks may also have responsibilities related to kitchen duties, such as delivering food, clearing dirty plates, and providing general customer service.

Opening and closing duties are essential parts of the barback’s responsibilities. Barbacks may come in before service begins to help prepare the necessary ingredients for drinks. At the end of a shift, barbacks play a huge role in helping to clean and close out the bar. This can mean mopping floors and cleaning equipment like taps, blenders, and coffee machines. 

How to craft the perfect bar back job description.

Fill a barback job right by asking the best interview questions.

Given how crucial the barback role is to the smooth bar operations, you’ll want to find someone who can perform this demanding job right off the bat. Crafting a great barback job description tailored to your specific needs is essential to attract the right candidates—and so is asking the right questions at interview.

Here are a few ideas for questions to ask when interviewing for a barback.

What do you hope to learn from this job? 

This is a variation on asking, “Why do you want to be a barback?”—with a twist. By focusing on your barback candidates’ hopes and dreams, you can glean a few important details, including:

  • how long the candidate hopes to stay in this position,
  • whether the candidate hopes to someday tend bar,
  • what they know about barback duties or bar operations, 
  • whether they have front-of-house aspirations or prefer back-of-house duties, and
  • whether they’re a good compliment to your existing team.

Barbacking is a tough job—both mentally and physically. It’s a good idea to look for candidates who are legitimately enthusiastic and interested in learning about bar operations. Knowing what your potential new hire is looking for may help you figure out how to support their growth within your business!

What kind of experience do you have in restaurants, bars, or customer service?

As with any position, having experience is a bonus. This said, barback is often an entry-level job. If a candidate doesn’t have relevant experience, consider asking for other details to understand why they responded to your posting.

Related questions to ask might include:

  • What excites you about working in a bar?
  • Tell me about a time you found yourself in a fast-paced environment. How did you respond to high pressure?
  • Tell me about a time you made someone’s day. How do you hope to bring those skills to this position?

Can you lift heavy objects and carry them?

This is a basic physical requirement of the barback job. Anyone who cannot lift heavy objects like beer kegs, carry crates of alcohol, or lug buckets of ice likely isn’t a good match.

Where do you see yourself in 510 years?

This is another great way to find out how long your job candidate might want to stay in the position—and whether they hope to someday move up in your organization. They may want to become a bartender, or shift into a different serving role.

Even if a candidate doesn’t have long-term aspirations in a bar setting, their answer might tell you a lot about who they are as a person. For example, if your candidate is looking for part-time work to help them through school, that might give good hints about how studious and motivated they are as workers.

Do you have any experience changing a keg, working a POS system, etc.?

Again, having relevant experience is always a plus. Other useful tasks to have experience with might include:

  • Refilling liquor bottles
  • Moving cases of liquor bottles or other heavy, fragile cargo up and down stairs
  • Physical tasks in a bar or restaurant setting
  • Stocking and preparing garnishes and accessories in a food-safe way

Again, if your candidate doesn’t have experience in these areas, that’s okay—learning new tasks is a great part of having a job! Consider other ways to find out their aptitude for learning these tasks on the go. Here are some related questions that might help narrow this down:

  • How are you with digital systems like apps and touchscreens?
  • Have you ever moved house? Tell me how you handled heavy/fragile items.
  • Tell me about a time you problem-solved moving a tricky object from one place to another.
  • Say you needed to bring a keg up the stairs. How would you go about doing that?

How would you keep yourself busy during a slow shift?

Inevitably, your barbacks will have a shift from time to time where it’s not as busy as usual. This is a great opportunity for barbacks to catch up on some administrative work, take stock, or do other chores that tend to get neglected. 

Finding someone who will have a proactive attitude will go a long way to ensure efficient bar operations. This question can provide a lot of insight into how systematically your candidate approaches their duties.

Similar questions about task-related attitudes could include:

  • If a customer stopped you to complain about a drink, how would you handle that?
  • Say it’s a busy shift. The keg needs replacing, limes need to be sliced, the bartender needs help taking orders, and dishes are piling up. How would you approach getting these tasks done?

Attract the best resumes with this barback job description template.

If you’re looking for the best candidates for the job, your job description should balance what candidates should offer you with what you can offer them. This means your barback job description should include not only job duties, but give an idea of the culture of your establishment.

We’ve crafted a sample job description to reel in those barback resumes. Feel free to customize this template to meet the needs of your own establishment, or just use it as inspiration as you craft your own barback job description.

Your free barback job description template.

Whiskey Joe’s is on the hunt for vibrant, dynamic barbacks eager to create a memorable and enjoyable atmosphere in a fast-paced environment. This support role is an excellent opportunity for a motivated candidate looking to gain valuable experience in the hospitality industry.

A barback’s core duty is to ensure the bar is well-stocked. This involves organizing the stockroom, coolers, and liquor shelves to keep everything up-to-date for the evening shift, taking inventory, and moving kegs and liquor bottles as needed.

Candidates must be aware of and meet the legal requirements and certifications needed to serve alcohol, including the minimum age and specific certifications.

Key barback responsibilities include:

  1. Ensuring coolers are clean, stock is rotated, and bars are well-stocked.
  2. Providing assistance to bartenders, offering them breaks, and maintaining cleanliness in the lounge area.
  3. Replenishing items such as ice, straws, and napkins when supplies run low.
  4. Handling unexpected situations with guests tactfully, finding solutions that ensure their satisfaction while minimizing the financial impact on operations.
  5. Contributing positively as a team member when interacting with guests and co-workers.
  6. Communicating effectively with co-workers, management, and guests.
  7. Undertaking additional duties and responsibilities as assigned.

The ideal candidate should possess:

  • The ability to adapt and work in multiple roles
  • A positive and upbeat attitude
  • A keen eye for detail
  • Strong multitasking and organizational abilities
  • A natural inclination to collaborate effectively with others
  • Availability to work during evenings and weekends

Whiskey Joe’s prides itself on its collaborative environment. Our barbacks can expect great benefits, including:

  • Competitive salaries
  • Flexible schedules
  • Job growth opportunities
  • On-the-job learning

Hire the best barbacks with the best hiring management software.

Even once you’ve posted the job description, the administrative tasks are endless. From resume management to booking interviews, there’s a lot of paperwork and appointments to keep track of! 

Fortunately, business management software can help. Software like Homebase not only allows you to track all applicants in one convenient location, but it also lets you to pose screening questions to filter out candidates who may not fit the position or your bar’s culture. 

What’s more, you can directly message candidates and schedule interviews directly in the app. And if you’re still stuck on writing that job description, Homebase offers a customizable job description template to help businesses attract suitable candidates for the roles they need.

Homebase’s all-in-one dashboard means that you can extend an offer letter directly through our user-friendly app once you’ve identified the perfect fit for your barback position. And once they accept, you can start the onboarding process from the app, too!

The benefits of Homebase don’t stop there. Use our app to schedule your bar team and make even scheduling more enjoyable. By automating scheduling and facilitating easy communication among team members and management, your new barbacks will find working at your bar fun and challenging, but in all the best ways possible.

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