What Is The Difference Between A Bartender & A Barista?

A bartender, also known as a mixologist, is the master of mixing drinks. A barista makes specialty coffee for customers in high-end cafes or restaurants.

Both are responsible for ensuring that every customer has exactly what they need when they enter their establishment: a good drink.

However, some key differences between a bartender and a barista exist that many people only realize once they get into these two fields.

Here is what you need to know about these jobs to decide which industry would be best for you.

Bartenders & Barista Job Situation And Description

Both Bartenders And Baristas Work In Fast-Paced Environments

Both bartenders and baristas work in fast-paced environments. In fact, the two jobs require you to be able to think quickly, multitask effectively, and deal with a variety of different people. 

If this sounds like something you could handle, and if it doesn’t sound like an impossible task for someone who loves coffee, then consider becoming a barista.

The Hours Of A Bartender And Barista Can Be Quite Different

The hours of a bartender and barista can be quite different. A bartender works nights, weekends, and holidays and may work at least two weekly jobs. 

A barista, on the other hand, works during the day, in the early evening hours, or sometimes all day long. They can also work in coffee shops or restaurants as well as bars, nightclubs, casinos, and cruise ships.

Both Jobs Require Excellent Customer Service Skills

Both jobs require excellent customer service skills. A bartender or barista must communicate with customers and make them feel comfortable, whether it’s through friendly conversation, a smile, or even just understanding what they want. 

Bartenders who work behind the bar are expected to multitask while serving drinks at the same time. 

This means serving more than one customer at once without losing focus on any of them. It also means having a good memory so that you are never forgotten when someone comes back for another drink later in the evening.

The pace of both jobs is fast-paced; bartenders need not just one eye on their customers but two: one eye needs to be scanning all around them while being alert for any potential issues that could arise.

Another keeps watching over any bottles behind the bar, so no one misses out because someone forgot about theirs. 

Baristas also have plenty going on during busy periods: delivering coffee trays full-speed across tables; making sure everyone gets their order right every time by ensuring everything looks perfect before pouring hot liquid into cups fresh off warming plates.

Baristas And Bartenders Cater To Different Crowds

You need to know that a barista is not necessarily the same as a bartender. A barista serves drinks in a coffee shop, while bartenders serve alcohol in a bar. 

If you’re looking for something more specific than just “bartender,” however, then look no further than our list below:


This job involves making coffee and other hot beverages (such as lattes) at an establishment that serves food or snacks. 

They use espresso machines and other equipment to make these drinks quickly so they can be served by customers who are waiting for their meal or drink order.


This type of position requires someone with strong organizational skills because it involves planning ahead for what drinks will be available at any given time.

Also important is being able to multitask without letting any mistakes slip through the cracks because once those happen, then all hell breaks loose.

Bartending Requires A Lot More Training Than Being A Barista Does

Bartending requires a lot more training than being a barista does. In fact, bartenders must have the knowledge and skills necessary to serve alcohol at their establishments. 

To get this job, you will need to be able to make drinks, run the cash register and clean up after yourself and other people.

While working as a barista may only require basic math skills and basic chemistry education, or maybe even less than that. 

The Pay For Both Bartenders And Baristas Depends On Where You Work

When it comes to wages, bartenders make more than baristas. In fact, they’re usually the highest-paid of all food service workers. 

This could be because bartenders work in higher-end restaurants and bars where they can command higher tips and be responsible for customer interaction. 

On top of that, there are also differences between what makes an excellent bartender versus an excellent server: A good bartender knows different liquors and wines; a great server has none.

Read More: Can You Major In Business And Minor In Psychology?

Difference Between A Bartender & A Barista

As stated earlier, the duties of bartenders and baristas can be quite similar. Both craft drinks from educational recipes and clearly describe flavors and products to their customers. 

Both handle almost every aspect of the customer experience, from ensuring the completeness of financial transactions to serving orders. 

The biggest differences between the two are in what they serve and the environment in which they do it. 

Baristas prepare and serve coffee products primarily in the earlier parts of the day. Bartenders work alcoholic drinks, usually later in the day, and for the crowd, they have to ensure they are of legal drinking age and not too drunk.


Bartenders are service workers who prepare and serve alcoholic beverages in bars and restaurants. Orders are taken directly from customers or from staff. 

Bartenders must feel comfortable in the social atmosphere of the bar and work long hours on their feet. Most bartenders learn their craft through on-the-job training, although beverage-making courses are available.

Bartender Job Duties

  • Ensure customers are not over-served
  • Clean and stock the bar area
  • Monitor inventory and reorder products when necessary
  • Check ID to prevent underage drinking


A barista is a worker who takes orders, prepares drinks, and serves customers in a coffee shop. 

They should be knowledgeable about the coffee beans in the store, such as whether they are organic, how they were roasted, and what part of the world they come from. 

Baristas must be comfortable working on their feet and have properly functioning coffee and espresso machines while handling long lines and complex order requests.

There are intended educational requirements to become a barista, as most training is done on the job.


Can You Call A Bartender A Barista?

The titular barista can trace its origins to long before legends like Professor Jerry Thomas changed the bartending game in the US and beyond. 

In Italian, the word barista means “a male or female “barman” who usually works behind the counter, serving hot drinks (such as espresso).

What Is Better, Bartender Or Barista?

Baristas usually have better hourly wages, more normal working hours, and less direct stress from customers (broken-in morning yuppies can be stressful but usually don’t require security to take care of them). Bartenders can make a lot more money in tips and exist in what some consider a “fun party atmosphere.”

What Is A Coffee Bartender Called?

A barista is an espresso machine “coffee maker” who has extensive knowledge of coffee and prepares, garnishes, serving to the customer. Barista (m/f) means bartender. The Italian plural form is baristi (m) or bariste (f).

Can A Barista Be A Waiter?

The difference between them is that baristas only serve customers behind the bar counters. Servers work with people sitting at tables. They also can only work with customers if they have a service desk.

What’s A Female Barista Called?

“Barista” is gender-neutral. It comes from the Italian word “barista,” meaning bartender. The current term in the United States usually refers to employees at coffee shops such as Starbucks.

What Is A Female Bartender Called?

Bartender (plural bartenders, female bartender)

Can A Barista Serve Alcohol?

The word barista comes from Italian, meaning a male or female “bartender” who usually works behind the counter and serves hot drinks (such as espresso), cold alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and snacks.

Why Is A Bartender A Stressful Job?

Bartending is a stressful job. Bartenders work in a high-visibility, high-pressure environment. They must simultaneously meet management expectations and satisfy customer requirements.

When traffic is heavy, your bartenders are normally under a lot of pressure and have far more work than time to complete it.

Who Makes More Money, The Bartender Or The Waitress?

It’s the same for bartenders, except they generally make a higher wage, usually $2 to $3.00 more per hour than servers. The average annual restaurant manager salary is $41,511. This equates to a wage of $21.00 per hour divided by hourly wages.

What Do You Call A Male Coffee Barista?

Baristo (plural baristi or baristos) (nonstandard, hypercorrect), Specifically a male barista.


So, what’s the difference between a bartender and a barista? Well, in short: it’s all about training. Baristas typically do not have the same experience or training as bartenders. 

You may also notice that the hours are different for both jobs. A bartender tends to work longer shifts, while a barista is generally only on call during rush hours or evenings when there aren’t many customers coming through their doors. 

But at the end of the day, both jobs involve making drinks for customers under pressure. We hope this article proved helpful.

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