After I had been laid off, finding work was not easy in San Francisco. I decided that my best bet was to get training as a bartender. I had always wanted to do it and what better time to try. I trained with the San Francisco School of Bartending. The school and teachers were incredibly professional. I had learned the fastest, most efficient way to pour and serve a drink. I learned how to make about 200 drinks (hot, cold, shots, cocktails, you name it). The school is set up exactly like a bar. Each bartender has their own speed rack, sink, ice, and you share glasses and higher end “liquors.” We didn’t use real spirits, instead we used colored water which we filled each bottle with at the end of our shift.
They have a unique way of prepping students to serve a lot of drinks in a small amount of time. In front of the bar are a few computer screens that hang from the ceiling. The instructors set up different levels of drinks it’ll show. At level 1, you’ll get shown a drink, say Rum and Coke.
It’ll give you about 30 seconds to make the drink, then will show you what ingredients go into a drink. With each level increase, the more drinks it’ll list, more complicated, and in a shorter amount of time. Pretty genius.
The classes are offered 3 times during the day, most students take classes 4 hours each day, for 2 weeks. I did the intense class, 8 hours a day for a week. Totally nuts. I was very stressed but determined to meet my goals and I did. I got almost a perfect score on the final test.
The school also has a resume building class and workshop classes on how to find work. The problem is, right now, everyone is looking into hospitality. Even with the tricks they had shown me, I just could not land a job in SF. However, I’m now both LEAD and TIPS trained which will make me more appealing to hire in other locations. Plus, I did get to do guest bartending at a few bars in the SF area because of the school. Either way, I’ve got another tool in the ol’ belt.