How to Get a Job at a Gay Bar

Land your dream job, make money and become active part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Securing a dream job at a gay bar is not easy, but it is worth it. Working at a gay bar is lucrative, sexy, and community-building. We can’t get enough of the varied energy, whether it’s drag queens, karaoke night, or sweaty-hot-naked bodies – we love it all!

We’ve taken back shots in countless gay bars around the world in some of our favorite places: Amsterdam, The Philippines, Mexico, and Vancouver. We currently live in Torremolinos, Spain where we have 25+ gay bars (thank God!) each with an individual flair and feeling. 

We’ve met many close friends at gay bars and every bartender we’ve met at a gay bar loves their job. For them it’s more than just a way to make money – it’s a career! Working at a gay bar or club means you get to spend time in your community expressing your full self without judgment. It is a literal heaven and bonus, it pays well. But how do you know if it’s the right fit?

Is working at a gay bar right for you?

If you are like us, dancing the night away at a gay bar is more than a pastime, it’s a lifestyle. You might even be looking for a way to change your passion into a career. Hint: if you spend more money at gay bars than other establishments it’s time to ask yourself — how do I get a job at a gay bar? 

For some, getting a job at a gay bar is the best career move they’ll ever make. Are you a vivacious night-owl? Do you love being cheeky? Is it easy for you to find joy in others’ happiness? If you are a yes to all three, we think you are the one. 

Gay bars are jam-packed with interesting, sexy, and open-minded folks. They are some of the most freeing spaces filled with joy. If you have been longing for a space where you can let your queer spirit shine, then we definitely think this is the job for you! 

As part of the lbgtq+ community, working at a gay bar means you get to be yourself, your FULL self and you’ll be a pillar of the community. You will quite literally become a leader in the space. 

Working at a gay bar also means making good money, especially if you are flirty and fun. Plus, you’ll get to meet new folks all night long. Who knows, you might even meet a lover or two along the way. 

One of our closest friends, Marcel, has been a bartender at gay bars for the past 20+ years in the United States and Canada. He knows there was no other career path for him, he loves every moment he spends at his job.

After speaking with him we came up with a helpful guideline to help others get a job at a gay bar, so they too can thrive.

Top tips on how to get a job at a gay bar. 

Find your space

Look for your specific taste and we don’t just mean alcohol. Explore different bars to get a feel for where you would feel most yourself. One of the best perks of working at a gay bar is you get to be yourself, so don’t settle for something that isn’t quite your vibe. 

Go to all the gay bars in your city. Feel into what makes each place unique. Let the atmosphere of each place wash over you, and enjoy the quest to find ‘your bar.’ Find a place where you would feel safe. Envision yourself there, how does it feel in your body?

As a bartender at a gay bar you’ll be a pillar of the lbgtq+ community, so pick a bat that is just the right flavor for you. Decide on one place where it would be easy for you to shine.

Become a Regular In Your Gay Bar

Once you choose a gay bar that really speaks to you, become a regular. Show your face. Drink at the bar and become friends with the manager and other bartenders. Learn their names and greet them every time you see them. 

Sit at the bar with a predictable frequency and express your intentions. While jobs at gay bars are often coveted, share your interest often and earnestly. You want to be top of mind when something does come up. 

Top tip: Ask your favorite bartender this easy but brave question: How do I get a job at a gay bar? Or ask them how they get their job? Their insight will be informative and show them that you are interested in putting in the work. 

Have A Nice Vibe

Make some connections with the other patrons at the bar you want to work at and have a good time. Never get too drunk and or be obnoxious. Pick up how others are dressing, especially the staff, and go on a shopping spree. This should be easy since you chose a bar that fits your style, still, you want to look the part. 

Be an active member at your favorite bar. If they have a karaoke night, sing. If they host Drag Queens, tip well and get to know them. Sit at the bar with the bartender when it isn’t busy. Chat with the staff and get to know what’s going on in their life, but also know when to leave them to their work and have fun at the establishment!

It’s a unique blend you’ll need to balance. Be a part of the bar community, be friendly with the staff but not blind to their needs to ‘get to work’ when things get busy. You want to be seen as someone who blends in perfectly with the crowd, knows how to get the crowd going, but never gets too drunk. 

Born Ready – Prepare!

Prepare yourself for when the opportunity comes and make yourself even more of a catch while you wait. Look into getting a bartending license. No matter what role you end up having at the bar, you won’t be able to run drinks if you don’t have an alcohol license (in some places), so be proactive. Here are guidelines for getting a bartending license in the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand

Take a cocktail course. Knowing how to make cocktails will be an essential asset and set you apart from others. If that is not within your price range at the moment, become self-taught and learn how to make the most famous cocktails at home. Observe what the bartenders and bussers do at your favorite gay bar and learn their tricks. If they have a signature cocktail ask them what is in it and watch them make it, learn how to make this too. 

Learn to make cocktails
Learn to make the essential cocktails!

Build a glowing resume while you wait in the wings. Let the staff know what you’ve been working on while you are waiting. Show your initiative. 

The Nitty Gritty Of Working In A Gay Bar

Working at a bar requires stamina. There are long hours, short breaks, and sleepless nights. Because of this, there is often a lot of turnover. Be prepared for your moment as it could come unexpectedly. 

If there isn’t a job opening at your bar of choice, but you’ve been a patron for a while, be bold and offer to volunteer for a shift on one of their busy days to show your skills and commitment.

Prepare for your interview. They are going to ask: why do you want a job at a gay bar? Be clear on your why and what your goals are. Do you want to bartend, barback/busser, or a server? Know that you might need to start from the bottom and work your way up but share your ultimate goals with the manager so they know how serious you are. Express how you will combat the long and grueling hours and share how you’ve been preparing for this moment.

Dream Big – There Are Many Gay Bars!

If you are prepared for a fun but demanding job, you will find getting a job at a gay bar to be incredibly rewarding. There are endless opportunities to meet all kinds of people. You will be able to flirt (at work!) and get good tips. 

If you stay focused and work hard you can work your way up quickly. Once you have experience, it’s easy to move laterally to other bars and clubs. If you want to travel, you can build your resume to be able to work at a hot, gay destination like Puerto Vallarta, Ibiza, or on a gay cruise on the Mediterranean. Dream bigger and bigger as this is an amazing career with lots of opportunities. 

Summary on How To Get a Job at a Gay Bar 

Getting a job at a gay bar takes patience, perseverance, and spirit. Find the best place for you, a place where you will really shine. Become a patron, learn all the staff’s names and be friendly and likable. Take the time to build your skills. 

Be bold and tell the manager your interest in working there as often as possible (without being obnoxious). Be prepared by getting a bartending license. Study how to make famous cocktails and the bar’s signature drinks. 

Know your ultimate goals as a bartender at a gay bar, write a glowing resume and prepare for your interview. Rise up the ranks and have fun!

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