Star Bartenders Institute – Frequently Asked Questions
1) How old do you have to be to work as a bartender?
In New York State, the law states that you have to be 18 or over to serve alcohol.
2) What is Star Bartenders Institute?
We are a vocational school for beginner to intermediate bartenders to learn and practice being a current fast and efficient bartender. You will learn the cutting edge essentials of bartending and be able to take these skills anywhere in the USA.
3) What is a bartending school?
Well unfortunately not all schools are the same. Most are for only beginners and or teaching what bartending was over 40 years ago, which is a shame and it is what gives a negative stigma to bartending schools. A quality bartending school should be licensed by the Education Department of whatever state the school is in. Most importantly, the curriculum should be current and versatile so the students are prepared to be able to work in any type of venue. The goal is to make a knowledgeable fast and efficient bartender in every facet and versatile for any environment.
4) Do I need to be licensed to work as a bartender in New York or any other state throughout the United States?
You do not need to be licensed in New York State or any other state. Bars need to be licensed. Schools need to be licensed. Bartending Schools that are licensed award a bartending certification after you complete the program and pass their exam. Most establishments do not teach you how to bartend, they expect you to know how to bartend. The ones that do train are training you their style of how they want their bar run–and some barely do that. As a graduate of Star Bartenders Institute, you will have a solid foundation on bartending that will bring you to intermediate/advanced status of bartending, depending on how hard you practice and study. This certification shows employers that you have been trained professionally. Star Bartenders Institute has a real bar where our students can get hands on experience making the most modern cocktails.
5) Why is there so much negative stigma with bartending schools?
There is so much negative stigma with bartending schools because there are a lot of them all over the US that are teaching ridiculously out of date drinks and give you no preparation… Seasoned bartenders can even spot people that went to one of those schools because they are the only ones that will come to you bar and ask for a grass hopper or pink squirrel. No one orders these! These schools offer poor quality curriculum which does not provide a solid foundation on every facet of the job. I have interviewed over 300 graduates from different schools when I lived in New York City, Los Angeles and South Beach for bartender positions and I could tell which ones went to a solid bartending school and which ones went to an outdated one or who trained properly and who wasn’t trained properly from certain venues, which was very unfortunate. In upstate NY we have amazing people and establishments and I got frustrated that so many bartenders or waitresses that are in charge of making drinks and have no idea what they are doing. This frustration made me devote myself in creating my own curriculum from all the core principles in bartending along with all my personal experience to give to Star Bartenders institute students. I also called it a bartenders Institute because there are so many present day bartenders that are not solid. They just got the job because they are hot or they know someone or it’s good enough for where they work. This Institute will bring you to a high level of professionalism with a solid foundation that will completely take your skills to an ultimate level that you will be a speed demon. You don’t just memorize drinks you become a solid liaison between the brands and the establishment. You learn setting up and breaking down the bar, how to be fast and efficient, multi-tasking, customer service, and confidence. You’ll be prepared for all types of establishments from your neighborhood bar, night clubs, sports bars, restaurants, fine dining and in any state you work. This is a huge advantage.
This can be taught by a seasoned professional with a solid background in bartending in all types of establishments.
6) How much do bartenders make?
This will totally depend on the venue you work at, where it’s located, and what shifts you have there. Also, it depends on if you tend the bar alone or with other bartenders or tipping out your bar backs. In the capital region area you can most definitely make on average around $100 – $150 on a slow shift to up to $300 – $400 on a great shift or more. The best part is that most of your tips are cash tips–you always go home with all your tips, unless you are working in a major city in a high volume night club where your tips are paid on a later date. Bartending is a very lucrative job across the board.
7) What makes Star Bartenders Institute different?
The course we offer goes in depth of being a successful bartender. We do not just touch on areas–we completely teach you them. Just some of what you will learn are all the hottest drinks, shots and shooters, martinis, manhattans, rob roys, flavored martinis, margaritas, frozen drinks, specialty drinks, extensive knowledge in beer, wine customer service, food ordering, point of sale, all liquor categories, liqueurs, whiskies, real speed drills that if you went to any high volume bar people would order, how to tap a keg, and how to change soda bag in a box. We have 5 bartender stations in our complete assimilated bar. Our bar is completely set up as a real bar so you will treat it like you are working at a real bar and it will allow you to become a strong bartender. You will have pouring stations set up as well so students are constantly making drinks, and practicing their pour. We will have real in class demonstrations on certain cocktails. We also will help you with your resume, how to prepare for your interviews. We will be working diligently on contacting all venues for job leads. You will always have access to our help after your completion of the course. Once you join our institute, you will be part of our network and online forum where we all discuss bartending and off help to each other. Star Bartenders Institutes goal is to create a network of professionals for this mega industry.
8) Do you guarantee employment?
There is no school, regardless of the trade, that can guarantee you a job. We do have a job placement assistance program where we contact local businesses in the capital region area that have bartender positions and will have direct relationship with them on getting our students employment. We will help you with writing a resume, cover letter, provide interview tips, and set-up mock interviews. We will work diligently to prepare you and build your confidence to make you an asset to someone’s business. We will do our best on our end to help you find employment, but it is ultimately up to you. You have to be prepared, have a good personality, and be able to sell yourself. In any career, you need to put in the effort and hit the pavement, so to speak, to find a job.
9) Is Star Bartenders Institute licensed?
Yes. We are licensed by NYS Education Department.
10) Wouldn’t it be better to try to get a bar back job or waitress position and then just learn bartending?
I love this question!
Not all bars are willing to invest the time it takes to train someone and teach a solid foundation of bartending. Additionally, there are many bars where the General Manager or Bar Manager does not have any knowledge of bartending, yet they are in charge of hiring bartenders. This leads to inconsistency, and pretty much a free-for-all. If you decide to go that route, you may be taught incorrect ways of doing things, pick up horrible habits, and you might never actually get to bartend. When I was a bar manager, I taught all my bartenders a solid foundation in bartending, from pouring to drink recipes to the exact measurements of martinis, and shots and shooters to prevent over pour.
11) Will I receive a certificate upon completion of the program?
Yes. Testing will be on the last day of class and if you are happy with your score we will submit to you your certificate. If you are not pleased we will give you an additional try at no cost. You will get 2 times to complete all 3 parts of the exam. All additional tries will be a cost of $20 per part.
12) Can I visit the school before I decide to enroll?
Absolutely! We encourage that and you can sit in on a class for an hour or so to get the feel?
13) How much does it cost to attend Star Bartenders Institute?
Basic Package is $400.00; this includes the textbook, note cards and materials and the 40 Hour Course.
Premium Package is $500.00; this includes the textbook, note cards and materials and the 40 Hour Course and up to an additional 20 hours of practice time Monday to Thursday 3:30pm to 6:00pm, during the enrollees scheduled class period.
14) How often do you offer classes?
Monday – Thursday 6:00pm-11:00pm (2 weeks 40 Hours)
15) How is attendance recorded and can you retake the course?
The class instructor maintains the attendance registers. The attendance register is kept at the school at all times. In the event that a substitute instructor is used, the substitute must initial the day’s attendance.
Attendance will be taken in the following manner:
1. Approximately ten minutes after class begins
2. Approximately ten minutes before class ends
If absent a first and second time, that student will be contacted by phone and or email and the results will be recorded on the Absence/Drop Record Form. The student will initial the Absence/Drop Record form the next class time acknowledging the absence. If a student misses up to 2 classes the hours need to be made up along with proof of the chapter quizzes they missed. Classes may be taken out of order, but each lesson must be completed in order to receive certification
If absent a third time the student will be considered as an automatic drop and recorded in the Absent/Drop Record as dropped. The student will be contacted by telephone and in writing to formerly advise the student of this status and a copy of the same letter will be given to the student the next time the student comes to class at which time the student must sign the Absence/Drop Record Form acknowledging receipt of the letter. Students will be given the opportunity to restart the course one (1) time at their convenience, up to one year from original enrollment date.
16) What sort of services do you provide for students and alumni?
Once you join, Star Bartenders Institute is here for you and you will always get me Elda Abate to help you with interviews, resumes advice on anything that is job related. All graduates will have access to our private Job Resource Page in our private face book group. In addition to being your teacher, I am also your mentor.
17) Can I retake the final exam?
You are given 1 additional time for all 3 parts: Written, Pouring and Practical, after that it is $20 for each part and testing is only on the last day of classes so you will have to schedule with the administration beforehand.
18) What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover.
19) If you don’t use real liquor, how do you know how the drinks will taste?
All ingredients are measured. Measuring ensures consistency in drinks.
20) What is the difference between a bartender and mixologist?
Many bartenders don’t know why they do things when making mixed drink cocktails. They are simply following a recipe. A mixologist is a bartender who understands why specific things are done or not done to make great tasting drink recipes. This knowledge allows a mixologist to perfect great new drink recipes.
21) What is your refund policy?
To request a refund, please submit a written, dated, and signed request to the administration in person during normal business hours or class time.
A) Any student who cancels within seven (7) days of signing the enrollment agreement but before instruction begins shall receive all monies returned with the exception of the non-refundable registration fee.
B) Thereafter, a student will be liable for
1. The non-refundable registration fee,
2. The cost of any textbooks accepted,
3. Tuition liability as of the student’s last date of physical attendance. Tuition liability is determined by the percentage of the program offered to the student.
If termination occurs school may keep
Depending on package chosen
0 – 15% of the program 0% – $0.00
16 – 30% of the program 25% of tuition
31 – 45% of the program 50% of tuition
46 – 60% of the program 75% – of tuition
After 60% of the program 100% – of tuition
C) The student refund may be more than that stated above if the accrediting agency refund policy results in a greater refund.
D) Although placement assistance service is provided, the school cannot guarantee a job to any student or graduate.