Being a bartender in an upscale restaurant has a lot of advantages. A restaurant bartender makes money from three sources:
When restaurants get busy, they go on a wait list. This is service industry terminology for times when the dining room tables are full and customers names are placed on a list. They are usually told there is a -- minute "wait". Most of these customers move in to the bar for a cocktail. These customers usually pay cash for their drinks and tips are good. Some will start a charge account referred to as a "tab". Many people new to the restaurant industry do not realize that their is an established policy that any tabs started must be settled with the bartender before the customer is seated in the dining room. This policy greatly benefits the bartender, since we receive tips on those bills also. Many of the national restaurant chains such as Applebees, TGI Fridays, Outback Steakhouse, Red Lobster, Longhorn and Lonestart Steakhouse, Bennigans, O'charleys have full benefit programs for their full-time employees. In addition to eating for free or greatly reduced prices, restaurant bartenders can expect health and life insurance, paid vacation, education benefits and a flexible work schedule. Upscale destinations restaurants such as Hard Rock Cafe, Planet Hollywood, Rainforest Cafe are usually busy seven days a week and tips can be exceptional. The Zagat survey and Bon Appetit Magazine are great resources to read restaurant reviews.