Bar Manager

If you enjoy meeting new people in a usually vibrant atmosphere you may want to consider a career as a Bar Manager. Even though there are fun elements to the job there are also many responsibilities that you will be tasked with. Bar Managers generally manage other employees and ensure that they follow the protocols established by the bar owners. They are also responsible for ensuring that there is enough stock at any one time by making sure that proper inventory is taken. One of the most important duties that a Bar Manager has is making sure that personnel are well-managed so that the bar during a particular shift runs smoothly. This means having to figure out how to manage your human resources including things like scheduling issues. You will also be expected to keep the alcohol license of the bar up-to-date and also make sure that the rules of serving alcohol are strictly followed.

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 Bar Manager

Becoming a Bar Manager is a great way to earn some extra cash or if you should choose, it can be a lucrative career.

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 a 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 Manager. 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 Manager. 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 Bar Manager

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

Book your Personal Licence (APLH) training

This is the first step to become a 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 Bar Manager







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Typical job description and responsibilities

A Bar Manager has a lot of responsibilities.

Bar Manager Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Perform daily checks of inventory and know when to re-stock
  • Figure out how to use a budget for re-stocking
  • Ensure that the rules established by the bar are followed at all times by the employees under your supervision
  • Address issues such as rowdy customers or customers that harass your staff
  • Ensure customer satisfaction
  • Find replacement if an employee falls ill or takes leave due to an emergency
  • Fulfill the duties of an employee in case of emergency if there is no replacement


The job is fast-paced due to the number of responsibilities that you are given. On any given shift you must have the ability to multitask as any issues concerning the bar, staff or customers will fall on you. Bigger establishments usually operate with a team of managers but smaller to medium bars may require just one manager. 

The job can become easier with experience in the industry. Motivating your staff is probably the only way to ensure that your job goes smoothly. Some bars offer wonderful perks besides financial compensation that can make the job much more fun. For those with a particularly outgoing personality becoming a Bar Manager is a great fit.


Following training as a 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


Bar Managers are also responsible for:

  • Training and motivating staff
  • Recruiting new staff
  • Staying up-to-date with licensing legislation
  • Making sure stock such as wine and beer are stocked correctly
  • Making sure health and safety rules are followed


Working Conditions

Working as a Bar Manager can be a fun job if you have the right team and can motivate them. Even though you will spend a lot of time on your feet if you can get the best out of your team you may find that the job is not as stressful. There are many different aspects of the job that you will be expected to be knowledgeable in and it is a good idea to keep learning about the industry. 

Probably the most uncertain thing about becoming a Bar Manager are the hours that you will have to work. It’s best to understand what your schedule would be like before accepting employment. In some cases, you can be a Bar Manager for a restaurant and in that instance, your hours may not be as erratic but your hourly wage may be a bit less.


Skills and personal qualities required: 

An 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

This job has so many different aspects that you will have to be a great multi-tasker. This could help you in your personal life as well. There is also the fact that you will learn how to become an effective leader to get the most out of your staff. This can help you to learn the finer points of diplomacy. As we’ve mentioned it will also challenge you to remain physically fit as you face your duties.

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
  • Teamwork

How much does a Bar Manager actually earn

Wage rate and hours

Becoming a Bar Manager can be financially rewarding if you are able to learn quickly and adjust to the bar’s environment. You should be physically fit for this role as you can expect to spend many hours on your feet during a shift as you attend to your various duties. Probably the biggest challenge of this job is the fact that you will be expected to work very erratic hours. That’s mainly because typical bar hours can be very random. Some bars operate from around midnight into the early morning hours while others open earlier in the day and may cater more to after-work patrons. Some bars only open on certain days so you may find that you have to work an entire weekend in shifts. It depends on the company that hires you. Most bars will offer between 20 to 48 hours of work.


How much does a Bar Manager earn?

Starting as a Bar Manager can be financially rewarding. However, since it largely depends on the hours that you can secure you may find that you don’t make as much as those who have more experience in the field. That being said you can expect to start with a wage of about £12.00 an hour. As you become experienced the role can become very lucrative as some Bar Managers can make as much as £22.00 per hour.  

The table below shows how much you could earn: 



Typical weekly (40 hours) 

Typical annually (40 hours per week) 


£12 to £15

£480 to £560

£24, 960 - £26, 880


£15 to £22 

£560 to £ 880

£26, 880 - £42, 240




£40, 000+


The salary for this position is encouraging for those thinking about making a career as a Bar Manager. It would be wise however to think about all the challenges that you may face. For example, you can expect to be on a pretty erratic schedule and you may not get as many as 40 hours a week. That being said you can expect to start in this position making about £12.00 an hour. If you can get a gig that guarantees you 40 hours a week then you can expect to make about £25, 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 £22.00 an hour which could bring in £26, 880 annually.

Which personality traits suit this career the most

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

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