5 problems of working in a bar

Are your shoes a little sticky?

First published on Thursday, Aug 13, 2020

Last updated on Thursday, May 11, 2017

5 min read

For many, working in a bar is part time thing, choosing to pull pints to earn a bit of extra cash whilst at University or College. For others it’s a longer term career choice, working their way up the career ladder from behind the bar to behind the scenes. Whatever route you choose you’ll know all about the camaraderie of working in a bar and that feeling when you finish the late shift. It’s a sense of teamwork that’s hard to replicate in many jobs.

But with positives, there also comes negatives. We take a look at five problems you’ll understand if you’ve worked, or are working, behind the bar.

  1. Ruined shoes

Thinking about wearing those nice new shoes behind the bar? Forget it. Spilled drinks, leaking bins, dropped lime wedges - if it's on the bar it’s going to end up on the floor at some point and all over your shoes. You feel like you’re stuck to the floor constantly, even if the floors have just been cleaned the residue from all those drinks means your shoes will now stick to anything.

  1. Social life, or lack of

Working behind a bar means your social life is on a whole different time zone to everyone else. Everyone else's night starts at around 5pm after work, yours starts at 4am when you’ve finished up and cleaned down the bar. As your friends are all posting pictures of their nights out on social media, you’re the one behind the bar serving the drinks. Even when you do have some time to enjoy yourself you’d rather not spend it in a bar, it reminds you too much of work and you feel compelled to start collecting glasses.

  1. The call from the boss

Forget snakes, forget clowns. For any bar worker, the thing you most fear is getting a call from the boss whilst you're off. ‘Was I meant to be working today’? ‘What have I done wrong now’? ‘I bet they want me to come in because they’ve messed up the rota’. You always fear the worst, so it’s no wonder you always ignore the problem.

It’s usually nothing but when you‘ve forgotten that you were meant to be on shift, that’s when the panic sets in. ‘Can I get someone to cover me?’, ‘How long will it take me to get home, get changed and get in for the shift?’, ‘Why wasn’t I told about the shift changes?’, ‘What excuse can I use this time?’

Admittedly it’s usually the employees fault but managers aren’t entirely blameless. Are the shifts being communicated effectively, especially if changes have been made? If other staff members are missing shifts on a regular basis then it could be down to your manager.

  1. The shift clash

So you’ve been given the boring Monday day shift. You’ll have to clean the whole bar and get things ready for the busy evening shift just to make the time go faster. But when you turn up someone else thinks they’re working the shift, that’s right there's been a clash. Your manager has inadvertently put two members of staff down when the shift only requires one. One of you has wasted your time, you just hope it's not you.

  1. The dreaded double shift

Nobody wants to work a double shift behind the bar. You’re on your feet for hours, your back hurts, you need to do three months’ fitness training just to get through it. By the end you're more zombie than human. What’s even worse is the double shift with a small break in between. You don’t have time to go home as by the time you get there you'll have to come back again and going somewhere else for food would take too long. It usually means you have to sit around the bar waiting for your next shift to begin.

Get your boss to sort their shifts out

As you can see, shifts are one of the main problems when working behind the bar. Your working times are never set, you always have to come in to check the rota and you’re never kept up to date about shift changes. It’s a nightmare for you and your manager. But now there is an easier way.

With BrightHR setting up a rota is quick and simple. You’re assigned directly to shifts so there's no more clashes and double shifts can be easily identified. You’re automatically notified when you have been assigned to a shift, updated instantly if the shift changes and you can request time off via our app.

No more wasting time, no more clashes, no more missed shifts. Find out more about how BrightHR can help your boss solve their rota problems.

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