Bartending can be a fun and rewarding career, but before you start mixing drinks and serving customers, it's important to know whether you need a license to bartend in the state of Florida.
In short, the answer is yes. According to the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, anyone who serves alcoholic beverages in the state must obtain a license, regardless of whether they are a professional bartender or a volunteer at a non-profit event.
The specific type of license you need will depend on the establishment where you work and the type of alcohol you serve. For example, if you work at a restaurant or bar that only serves beer and wine, you will need a Class 2 license, also known as a beer and wine license. If you work at an establishment that serves liquor as well, you will need a Class 1 license, which allows you to serve all types of alcoholic beverages.
To obtain a license, you will need to complete a state-approved training course and pass an exam. The course covers topics such as responsible alcohol service, preventing drunk driving, and identifying fake IDs. Once you pass the exam, you can apply for your license through the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco.
It's important to note that some cities and counties in Florida have their own additional requirements for bartenders, so be sure to check with your local government for any additional rules and regulations.
In addition to obtaining a license, there are other important skills and qualities you will need to succeed as a bartender in Florida. These include good customer service skills, the ability to multitask and stay organized, and knowledge of different types of alcohol and how to mix drinks. You will also need to be able to handle difficult situations, such as dealing with customers who have had too much to drink or handling disagreements between customers.
Yes… you will need to obtain a license. While this may seem like a lot of work, it's important to remember that responsible alcohol service is crucial for the safety of your customers and the success of your establishment. With the right training, skills, and attitude, you can become a successful and respected bartender in the Sunshine State.
Having a bartending license helps set you apart from many other bartenders applying for the same job position who may not have a license, or safety training.