Many early twenty-somethings want to become a bartender, whether for the social atmosphere, the extra cash or any other reasons making this field more popular. The job field for bar tending is growing at 12 percent rate every year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, two percent higher than other food and service jobs across the nation.
Just like other trades or professions, those interested in pursuing bartending can attend classes to learn the ins and outs. These students learn the proper ways to mix drinks as well as other necessary tools of the trade. The problem graduates often face in this fast growing field is what to do after graduation.
“The course itself is very important,” said Tony Mamo, director and founder of the Main Line Center for Bartending. “We also stress our help with job placement advisement in helping to get our graduates jobs in their respective areas.”
The Main Line Center for Bartending, located on Baker Street in Manayunk, is a certified school where people have the opportunity to become a licensed bartender.
In addition to their 40-hour course, which teaches students the knowledge they need to become a bartender, the center also helps to procure jobs for their recent graduates.
“We work with a lot of places in the tri-state area to help find our graduates bartending jobs,” Mamo said. “We talk to the bars and restaurants in their area to try to get them situated comfortably where they want to be.”
In addition to assisting graduates find jobs in the areas they are comfortable in, the Main Line Center for Bartending tries to help their students become comfortable behind the bar as well.
This led to the development of “bar night” within the class. A one night special occasion where graduates spend a night bartending at a local bar in Manayunk. All the students are supervised by an instructor during the night, as they perform the duties and services of a staff bartender.
“Bar night is something that is really exciting for everyone,” Mamo said. “The students always invite all their friends and family out for the event. It creates a great, comfortable atmosphere where the students can put into practice what they have learned. Also they get to even keep all the tips they’ve made throughout the night.”
Once the students have completed the class, they are free to enter the workforce. A process, Mamo said he hopes he can make easier.
“We work hard to try and find jobs for the recent grads,” Mamo said. “We are constantly keeping in touch with places all across the country. Its rewarding when a business wants one of your students.”
-Photos and text by Matt Snider