Bartenders mix and serve drinks to customers directly or through wait staff.
Bartenders typically do the following:
Bartenders fill drink orders either directly from patrons at the bar or through waiters and waitresses who place drink orders for dining room customers. Bartenders must know a wide range of drink recipes and be able to mix drinks accurately, quickly, and without waste.
Bartenders also are responsible for checking the identification of customers seated at the bar to ensure they meet the minimum age requirement to buy alcohol and tobacco products.
Some establishments, especially busy establishments with many customers, use equipment that automatically measures, pours, and mixes drinks at the push of a button. Bartenders who use this equipment, however, still must work quickly to handle a large quantity of drink orders and be familiar with the ingredients for special drink requests.
Bartenders in some establishments also may use carbonated beverage dispensers, cocktail shakers or accessories, commercial strainers, mist or trigger sprayers, and ice shaver machines.
In addition to mixing and serving drinks, bartenders stock and prepare garnishes for drinks and maintain an adequate supply of ice, glasses, and other bar supplies. They also may wash glassware and utensils, and serve food to customers who eat at the bar. Bartenders are usually responsible for ordering and maintaining an inventory of liquor, mixers, and other bar supplies.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition