Choosing a Quality Bartending School
When choosing a bartending school, remember that you are considering investing in an education and hopefully, a new full or part time career. All of our listed schools are brick and mortar facilities. We do not recommend any online or learn at home program for bartending.
Bartending is a professional and hands-on trade that is best learned behind an actual bar with professional instruction and supervision. You cannot learn bartending on your computer or at home sitting on the couch!
A quality bartending school will have professional offices and reception areas for business purposes and classrooms that are setup just like a bar or cocktail lounge. These classrooms should include all of the latest equipment such as ice machines and cocktail units, three compartment bar sinks, soda gun dispensers, blenders and professional glassware.
Most all bartending schools mix colored waters to look exactly like the intended alcohol. If done correctly, you cannot tell the real cocktails from the artificial!
An education and career should never be purchased sight unseen, over the phone. If a school pressures you to sign up or give a credit card over the phone without ever seeing their facility, you should be wary and cautious.
It is our suggestion that before you make the decision to attend bartending school or pay over the phone, that you take the time to tour the school in person. Meet the staff and assess their professionalism and knowledge of our industry.
Ask the staff to see an actual class in session if possible or at least walk through the classroom. The classroom should be clean, neat and look like a real bar. If the school has spent quite a bit of money on the classroom, you can usually depend on them being serious about the quality of their training. Many of the bottom of our industry simply throw up ply wood bars and linoleum or painted wood bar tops. They will use plastic bins instead of stainless steel 3 compartment bar sinks. You'll probably never work behind a bar like that!
Just like any other purchase that costs a few hundred dollars or more, you should check out the school in person and then make your decision. Tuition at a licensed school is set at a current rate and will never offer "specials" or "deals"! Have you ever heard of Harvard or a state college running a "special"? If they offer specials and deals, you will never know if you paid more than the student sitting next to you. If you do make the decision to attend, ask the other students how much they paid to attend. Everyone should have paid the same tuition!
In summary, take the time to check out any schools in your city and choose the one that impresses you with their quality the most. Cheapest is never the best! If you save one or two hundred dollars by attending a cheaper school and never get a bartending job, your money has not been well spent!