Barback: job description, salary, training, and latest mission offers
Barbacks and bar staff play a vital role in bars, restaurants, hotel F&B operations, and pubs. Find out more with our Barback job description, including salary ranges, training, and the latest mission offers from Brigad.
Barbacks work behind the bar, usually in back rooms and collecting drinks in bars that are fast-paced environments, especially on Friday and Saturday nights in busy bars, pubs, restaurants, and hotels.
Barbacks don’t normally serve drinks for customers at the bar and those being waited on by front-of-house staff, such as waiters and waitresses, as that work falls to bar staff and bar team members. Instead, barbacks do all of the work required to ensure that bartenders can serve drinks and customers more effectively.
What is a Barback ?
Barbacks keep bars clean and tidy, ensure there are enough glasses clean for the number of customers, work in a team, and mainly work directly with bartenders, bar staff, and are supervised by the bar manager.
Ensuring glasses, bar areas, and stockrooms are clean and organised are amongst some of the most important duties of a Barback.
What does a Barback do ?
A Barback is responsible for keeping a bar running smoothly. In busy and larger bars, when there’s enough work for multiple bar roles, barbacks do everything that bartenders don’t have time for.
Barbacks keep an eye on stock levels behind the bar, including draft and bottled beers, ales, lagers, wines, and spirits. Barbacks also manage bar snack stock levels and keep the whole bar area clean, neat, and tidy.
Barbacks need to maintain hygiene standards, and will also change over casks when they’ve ran out, take deliveries of drinks, play a role in ensuring a bar is clean, closed down, and ready for the next day, and coordinate with other team members as per the demands of the job.
What qualities define a Barback ?
The qualities bar managers, front-of-house, or restaurant managers look for in barbacks is an attention to detail, ability to work in a fast-paced environment, and being a team player.
Barbacks need to ensure everywhere behind the bar is clean, tidy, and organised, and that used glasses are cleaned and ready for use again.
Most of the time, barbacks work with bartenders (also known as bar crew members, bar team members, crew members, or food runners) to keep a bar running smoothly, with barbacks doing the bulk of the cleaning and glass clearing work.
The latest offers for Barbacks across London
If you're a Barback looking for short-term work and flexibility, follow these three simple steps to begin receiving mission proposals:
- Register as self-employed Barback before signing up for Brigad.
- Download the app and sign up in minutes; it's free, and there's no commitment required.
- Create and personalize your profile to start receiving mission proposals.
You're free to decide whether to accept or decline them.
How to Find a Barback with Brigad?
If you're a bar, restaurant, hotel F&B operation, or pub looking for a new Barback, Brigad makes it easy, fast, and efficient to connect you with talented Barbacks and other catering professionals in London.
To hire a qualified Barback using the Brigad app, 3 steps are sufficient:
- Create an account on the Brigad app or website (free registration and no commitment)
- Set up your missions in a few clicks specify the required skills, dress code, equipment, duration, payment method, and more.
- Submit your mission and let the algorithm handle the rest!
Once you set up a mission, it's sent to Barbacks with the relevant skills in your area.
When a talent accepts, you'll be notified and can then connect with them directly.
All Barbacks and other hospitality professionals undergo a strict vetting process to ensure the best match.
UK companies that are hiring Barbacks using Brigad app
Trusted by over 10,000 businesses to reinforce their teams, Brigad is widely used by both large groups and independent businesses (restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars, hotels..) in every sector of the hospitality industry.
The platform offers a connection with thousands of highly qualified, self-employed hospitality professionals such as Barbacks.
UK barback salary ranges
UK barback salaries vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the type of establishment. In London and Birmingham, and nationwide chain bars, restaurants, and hotels, bartenders will earn more than working for smaller pubs or restaurants in rural areas.
On average, barbacks can earn anywhere from £21,000 to £23,000.
How to become a Barback?
Becoming a barback is an entry-level role in the hospitality industry. You don’t need formal training or qualifications, and any training is usually on-the-job. Once you’ve mastered being a Barback, then you could be promoted to a Bartender, serving customers, instead of being behind the scenes.
How to Become a self-employed Barback?
To become a freelance Barback, follow these essential steps:
- Register as a Sole Trader with HMRC: This is a crucial first step, requiring minimal paperwork and enabling legal self-employment.
- Obtain a UTR Number from HMRC: Secure your Unique Taxpayer Reference number, necessary for tax purposes and identification as a sole trader.
- Meet Eligibility Requirements: Ensure you're eligible for self-employment in the UK, especially important for non-EU international students who may face restrictions.
- Manage Your Tax Affairs: Be responsible for submitting an annual self-assessment tax return based on your income and expenses.
- Maintain Accurate Financial Records: Keep detailed records of all your income and expenses for tax purposes.
- Understand Tax Obligations: Familiarize yourself with tax bands and VAT requirements as they apply to self-employed professionals.
As a self-employed Barback, you have the opportunity to explore diverse working options. This includes the ability to combine freelance projects with long-term contracts, providing a varied and dynamic career path. You also enjoy significant work flexibility, allowing you to select your work schedule and locations that best align with your personal goals and preferences.
Additionally, it's important to stay informed by regularly consulting official government resources for any updates or new information related to self-employment.
Why choose the position of Barback?
Working as a barback is a great way to progress in the hospitality industry and gain some experience that could help you get promoted to be a bartender, and even progress into more senior managerial positions if you want a long-term career in restaurants, bars, or hotels.
How to be a good Barback ?
The best way to demonstrate your skills as a barback that can lead to promotions and higher salaries or self-employed missions through Brigad is working hard as a barback and doing your job well every day. Keeping a clean and tidy bar, ensuring stock levels are always maintained, and bar staff are supported well are valuable skills and qualities.
What are the working conditions for a Barback?
Barback working conditions vary depending on the establishment. Barbacks often work long hours, and it’s not unusual to work from before a bar, pub, or restaurant opens until after it closes, as long as 12 or more hour days.
Weekend work is often required as that’s when restaurants, pubs, and hotel F&B operations are usually busiest, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.
Typical working hours of a Barback
Barbacks know that bar work comes with long, irregular, and unsociable hours. Depending on shift patterns and the number of staff, you might work a shorter shift, or be present for opening and after a bar closes.
If you’re looking for a change of pace, more flexibility, and a better work-life balance (so you’re not always finishing work at midnight or later!) then Brigad could be the answer you're looking for.
Brigad can connect you with missions that better suit your lifestyle and what you want to earn as an independent self-employed barback.
What career progression is Possible for a Barback ?
Barbacks with some experience behind them are perfectly positioned to move into more senior positions, such as Bartender, Bar Manager, Restaurant Manager, Food & Beverage Manager, or group manager positions (for restaurants or F&B) in larger, chain, culinary establishments.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Barbacks make drinks ?
No, Barbacks typically do not make drinks directly for customers. Instead, their primary role is to support bartenders by ensuring the bar is well-stocked, clean, and organized. This includes tasks such as restocking liquor, replenishing ice, washing glassware, and keeping the bar area tidy. While they assist with various aspects of bar operation, making drinks is typically reserved for bartenders who interact directly with customers.
How old to be a barback ?
The minimum age requirement to work as a Barback can vary depending on local labor laws and the establishment's policies. In many places, the legal working age is typically around 16 to 18 years old, but it's essential to check with your specific location and potential employers to determine the exact age requirements for barback positions. Additionally, some bars or venues may prefer Barbacks who are at least 18 or 21 years old due to the nature of the environment and the tasks involved.