Assistant Bar Manager

The service industry can be a rewarding sector especially for those of us who are outgoing. The role of the Assistant Bar Manager is a dynamic one and it comes with a lot of responsibilities. Your main job will be to support the Bar Manager to ensure that shifts run smoothly and that employees understand their roles when it comes to service at the bar. As an Assistant Bar Manager, you should take the time to familiarize yourself with the duties of the Bar Manager and Bartender, to get a better understanding of what will be required of you. You will be expected to help resolve employee issues including scheduling rosters. In most cases, when a worker does not show up, if you cannot find a replacement you will be expected to fill in for that person. Besides bar duties, you may also have some administrative duties to fulfill. The job can be exciting if you find the right team and atmosphere. There is also the opportunity to move up the chain if you do the job well and earn the respect of both your employers and co-workers. It's always a plus to be physically fit to handle your duties as you will be on your feet for much of your job. The wage is attractive but a negative issue is getting the hours needed to make up a proper salary. You can expect to work weekends on most occasions and a typical work week can be anywhere between 20 to 48 hours a week. It is possible to find more steady hours if you can find employment with a hotel or restaurant that has set opening and closing hours.

Wage rate hourly


Typical hours

20 to 48 hours a week usually includes weekends


Personal Licence (APLH)

Total cost

Around £185 including your training, licence and basic DBS check

How to become a Assistant Bar Manager

Becoming an Assistant Bar Manager is a great way to earn some extra cash. It’s also a great way to break into the service industry and get a better understanding of the field.

Before you can be considered for employment you will have to obtain the relevant license. That license is called the Personal License. To get this license, you will also have to complete the APLH Training Course. This course will help you to become qualified to receive your Level 2 Award for Personal License Holders qualification.


Feeling overwhelmed about applying for your Personal License? No need to worry, as we have our Easy Apply Application System available. In 3 simple steps, we will have your Personal License Application sent to your Local Council, free of hassle. 


In addition to the APLH Qualification, you will likely be required to have previous experience in a Bar Staff role in order to become an Assistant Manager.

The ALPH Training course focuses on equipping you with the skills to become a Bar Supervisor. You will learn about:

  • Unauthorized licensable activities
  • Police powers and rights of entry
  • Legal and social responsibilities of the personal license holder
  • Illegal drugs, the effects of alcohol and disorderly conduct


Course cost

The Personal License Training Course starts at £119.99. The Personal License Application costs £37. This fee must be paid to your local council. It is also possible that you will have to pay around £25 when obtaining your basic DBS Check. Your Personal License does not have an expiry date.

The APLH Course is used to introduce you to the fundamentals of working as a Bar Supervisor. It is just one day and is necessary for obtaining your personal license. You will also need to pass a multiple-choice exam to obtain the Level 2 Award for Personal License Holders qualification. So in total, you can expect to spend about £181.00 to become licensed as a Bar Supervisor. The great thing is your license will never expire and is valid for life.


Legal Requirements

The SIA license requires you to: 

  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Have proof that you are allowed to work in the UK ( such as a visa) 
  • A criminal background check
  • A mental health check 
  • Have passed your SIA course

You can find out more about the mental health requirements as well as the criminal background check in other blogs on the site.

Become a Assistant Bar Manager

Start a successful career as a Assistant Bar Manager by following these steps:

Book your Personal Licence (APLH) training

This is the first step to become an Assistant Bar Manager

Pass the course

Successfully attend the 1 day course and pass the multiple-choice exam

Apply for your APLH Licence

You can apply for your licence after passing the course

Apply for jobs in your area

Once you have your licence gain experience working in a bar and work your way up to becoming the Assistant Bar Manager







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Typical job description and responsibilities

You can expect to perform many functions in addition to your support of the Bar Manager. At some locations, you may be responsible for welcoming guests and ensuring that their experience at the bar is a pleasant one. In some cases, if guests have complaints you may be the person to handle and resolve them. You will also be the person to handle staff and ensure that they follow the guidelines that have been laid down by both management and the Bar Manager. At times you may be the bridge between workers and the Bar Manager and you may be called upon to represent their concerns.


Assistant Bar Manager Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Assist your Bar Manager with daily checks of inventory and re-stocking efforts
  • Perform administrative duties and help ensure that the rules established by the bar are followed at all times by the employees
  • Oversee the training of staff under the guidance of the Bar Manager
  • As the staff’s supervisor, you will also have to resolve conflicts and other staff issues to ensure that the bar is never left without the right amount of personnel


Following training as an Assistant Bar Manager, you will be equipped with the skills to:

  • Monitor staff activities
  • Ensure all safety procedures are followed
  • Approve the sale of alcohol
  • Solve work-related issues


Assistant Bar Managers are also responsible for:

  • Training and motivating of staff
  • Helping with the recruitment of new staff
  • Staying up-to-date with licensing legislation
  • Assisting the Bar Manager
  • Basic administrative duties


Working Conditions

You can expect to be busy for large periods of your shift. Even though the job is very demanding it can be fun as well. This will really depend on how well you and your team can work together. Your focus therefore should remain on motivating your team to get the best out of them. In addition to this, you should also remember that you play an important role as a supporter of the Bar Manager. 

The job can cause you to work very strange hours. In some cases, you may not pick up your shift until around 10 pm and may not get off until closer to 4 am. If you get a restaurant setting you may find that your hours are more standard but you may have a lot more duties. You should consider the organization’s opening hours before you take up a job as this could help you maintain the right work/life balance.


Skills and personal qualities required: 

An Assistant Bar Manager also needs to be:

  • A great multi-tasker
  • Physically fit
  • A quick problem solver
  • Great at communication
  • Knowledgeable of licensing laws and health and safety regulations


Education required

There are no specific qualifications such as GCSEs required to take your SIA course. However, because all you need is your SIA qualification, you will be competing with a lot of people from countries around the world who have the right to work in the UK. You should have a very strong command of English as you will be required to listen and understand situations as well as write reports and communicate with your team.


Benefits of the job:

  • Increased earnings as you learn more about the service industry
  • Developing communication skills
  • Some bars may offer free food and drinks while you are on duty
  • Great at communication
  • Development of leadership skills


You can also expect to:

  • Learn about the Service industry
  • Learn about Management skills
  • Learn about customer Service


Life skills they would acquire

Probably the greatest asset you could gain from the job is the ability to multi-task efficiently as this could also serve you in your personal life. You can also pick up useful training in human resource management which could help you in other sectors of the service industry. You may also learn how to be compassionate as you respond to the concerns of the staff that you are responsible for. 

Here are a few skills that you will learn during your course and can hone as you get more experience on the job:

  • Conflict management
  • Confidence
  • Customer service dealing with the general public

How much does a Assistant Bar Manager actually earn

Wage rate and hours

Being physically fit can make the job a bit easier for you as you will spend a lot of time on your feet. While the wage is good for those just starting, the hours are often erratic. Bar owners tend to keep erratic hours and open their establishments according to when the most patrons come in. That means you may find an employer who opens until midnight while you could find another who only opens after midnight. You can expect to work weekends on most occasions and a typical work week can be anywhere between 20 to 48 hours a week. It is possible to find more steady hours if you can find employment with a restaurant that has set opening and closing hours.


How much does an Assistant Bar Manager earn?

Becoming an Assistant Bar Manager can be a financially rewarding start to your career in the service industry. However, the uncertainty of the hours can be a major setback since even though you get a high wage rate it is still dependent on when the bar you work for opens and closes. To correct this you can consider working for multiple employers so that you can earn a steady stream of income. Most Assistant Bar Managers start off making about £10.00 an hour. As you become experienced, the role can become very lucrative as some Assistant Bar Managers can make as much as £16.00 per hour. 

 The table below shows how much you could earn: 



Typical weekly (40 hours) 

Typical annually (40 hours per week) 


£10 to £14

£400 to £560

£20, 800 - £29, 120


£14 to £16 

£560 to £640

£29, 120 - £33, 280




£33, 280+


The salary for this position is certainly encouraging but you should bear in mind that it is a physically demanding role. Also, it may take some time to find steady hours. However, the pay rate is higher than many other roles in the service industry. If you can handle an erratic schedule and can secure up to 40 hours a week you can expect to make a good wage. That being said you can expect to start in this position making about £10.00 an hour.

 If you can get a gig that guarantees you 40 hours a week then you can expect to make about £20,000 annually. It is also a position where you may be rewarded quickly for good work and showing good management skills. With time in the industry, it is possible to start making about £16.00 an hour which could bring in at least £33,000 annually.

Which personality traits suit this career the most

  • Detail Orientated
  • Alert
  • Dedicated
  • Trustworthy
  • Team Leader
  • Strategic Thinking

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