Bar Supervisor

Bar supervisors have a lot of responsibility when it comes to the efficient running of the bar. Typically they have to oversee staff including bartenders as well as the waiting staff. They also have to account to management for staff and make sure that health and safety protocols are strictly followed at the bar. Some supervisors will also have to help out with the bar’s budget and also make sure that enough stock is always available. At some bars, you will also be expected to work in the office as well as the bar. You are required to be hands-on for this job and may have to help out with various issues that affect the staff from time to time including scheduling issues. You will also be the person to support initiatives implemented by the Bar Manager or the Assistant Bar Manager. There may also be instances when you have to respond to customer queries and resolve small issues that they may raise. Bar supervisors can look forward to working in the service industry at different types of locations including hotels and resorts. It can be a financially rewarding job and if you get the right environment it could also be a lot of fun.

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 Supervisor

Becoming a Bar supervisor is a great way to start learning about management and the service industry. It’s also a great way to 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.

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 Bar Supervisor

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

Book your Personal Licence (APLH) training

This is the first step to become a Bar Supervisor

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 Supervisor







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Typical job description and responsibilities

A Bar Supervisor has many duties that vary depending on where you find employment.

Bar Supervisor Duties and Responsibilities:

  • At most bars, you will be expected to help with hiring staff
  • Aid the recruitment process since new staff will be working under you and you may be asked to assess their skills
  • Assist with the management of schedules to ensure that there are no conflicts. This means you will have to be on top of public holidays, sick leave and vacation days to make sure that you always have the right amount of staff to run the bar
  • In some cases where a staff member is not able to work, you may have to fill the gap while still performing your regular duties
  • You may also have to represent your staff’s needs and concerns to management in some instances
  • Help with making sure that the bar remains well-stocked. That means being on top of inventory and passing on the bar’s needs to the Assistant Bar Manager or the Bar Manager.


You’ll also be the person to try and calm angry customers who may not like the service that they are getting. Your role will be to try and assess and deal with the situation before it gets to management. To do this you should have great conflict management skills. At times you may have to sign orders coming to the bar and perform other administrative duties including staying up-to-date with budget allocation. 

Following training as a Bar Supervisor, you will be equipped with the skills to:

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


Assistant Bar Managers are also responsible for: 

  • Assisting the team of staff that you are managing
  • Assisting the operation that you are managing
  • Basic administrative duties


Working Conditions

As you can imagine this is a job that will have you on your feet for most of your shift. As such you should try to maintain your physical fitness so that you can keep up with the many and varied responsibilities that you will face during your shift. Your staff’s morale will also be very important and if you can get your team motivated, your job can become a little easier.

You will also have to be able to deal with long and sometimes irregular hours that can be mentally taxing. The job can be fun if you can get your team to perform well. You will also have the opportunity to meet new people almost every shift. This also means that shifts can vary greatly depending on your duties and the people that you have to interact with.


Skills and personal qualities required: 

A Bar Supervisor also needs to be:

  • A great multi-tasker 
  • 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 at least a 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 drinks and food while you are on duty
  • Development of leadership skills


You can also expect to:

  • Learn about working in the Service Industry
  •  Learn about management skills 
  • Learn about customer service


Life skills you will acquire

You may learn new multi-tasking skills that could help you in your personal life. You could also learn how to develop concentration techniques as you will be responsible for a lot of moving parts during your shift. You may also develop a deeper understanding of management issues which could help you if you decide to tackle another part of the service industry. 

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 Supervisor actually earn

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.


How much does a Close Protection Officer earn?

If you are looking to gain experience in the service industry, becoming a Bar Supervisor is a great place to start. You can earn a fair wage while learning about the industry. As mentioned, finding regular hours is somewhat of a setback but there is a very good chance that it can be done. Most Bar Supervisors start off making about £10.00 an hour. As you become experienced the role can become quite lucrative as some Bar Supervisors 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+


Besides the fact that the starting salary is good, the job can be an exciting one as you figure out your duties and learn more about the service industry. You will have to consider how best you can find work to ensure that you get a good wage. Once you do you will find that you meet a lot of interesting people that make the job fun.  The pay rate is considered higher than many other roles in the service industry as long as you can secure up to 40 hours a week. You can expect to start in this position making about £10.00 an hour. If you can get a job or jobs that guarantee 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

  • Flexible
  • Dedicated
  • Trustworthy
  • Team Leader
  • Empathetic
  • Quick Thinker

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