Getting Your Bartending License in Kansas: An Easy Guide

  • By: BT Staff
  • Date: January 20, 2024
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Kansas, known for its bustling nightlife and vibrant hospitality scene, offers numerous opportunities for bartenders. But before embarking on this exciting career, understanding the requirements to become a bartender is essential and find if you need a bartending license in Kansas. Whether you’re planning to serve alcoholic beverages at local bars, nightclubs, or even grocery stores and convenience stores, you’ll need to be aware of state-specific regulations.

Do You Need a License to Bartend in Kansas?

No, there is no legal requirement to get a bartending license in Kansas. As long as you don’t have a serious criminal record and are 21, you can get a job bartending in Kansas.

However, some employers may require you have taken a responsible alcohol service class, so getting some training can help your career.

Employee Qualifications for Serving Alcohol in Kansas

What is the Minimum Age To Serve Alcoholic Beverages?

For on-premises establishments like restaurants, bars, taverns, and nightclubs, people can begin serving alcoholic beverages at 18. However, according to the APIS, you must be supervised by someone 21 or older while serving.

To bartend (that is, mixing and serving drinks), you must be 21 years old.

Is a Criminal Background Check Required?

Regardless of your age, you must also have a clear criminal record, meaning:

  • No convictions for a felony charge or morals charges within the United States
  • Violation of any intoxicating liquor law within the United States.
  • Two or more convictions within the previous five years for supplying liquor to a minor within the United States

In Kansas, as per the state laws, the minimum age to sell alcohol in an off-premises establishment such as grocery stores, liquor stores, and convenience store is 21.

Employee Qualifications for Serving Alcohol in Kansas

Aside from age and legal requirements, other qualifications can help your career.

Knowledge and Skills

As a bartender, you need to understand different types of alcoholic beverages, mixing techniques, and customer service skills. Local bartending schools can be a helpful resource for obtaining these skills. Also, being knowledgeable about the effects alcohol has on the body is crucial.

Alcohol Server Training

To ensure the responsible serving of alcohol, Kansas requires bartenders to undergo mandatory alcohol server training. This training often includes intervention techniques to prevent customers from overconsumption, accurately checking IDs to recognize minors and refuse service, and understanding laws about second-party sales. Online training options are available, which are convenient and equally effective as in-person training.

Legal Obligations and Responsibilities

As a bartender, you bear significant responsibilities and obligations to uphold the law, primarily preventing underage drinking and drunk driving. The repercussions for serving underage customers can be serious for the bar, including suspension or loss of the establishment’s liquor license.

Checking Identification

The first line of defence against underage drinking is checking identification, a critical responsibility for every bartender. Accurate ID-checking skills can protect the establishment and its employees from legal liabilities.

Understanding Drunk Driving Laws

The responsible service of alcohol involves being vigilant about patrons’ consumption levels to avoid contributing to drunk driving incidents. A bartender must recognize signs of intoxication and know when to refuse service.

What Is the Job Market Like for Bartenders in Kansas?

Kansas’s nightlife and entertainment scenes have consistently grown in recent years. The state’s thriving food and beverage sector, buoyed by tourism and local interest in unique dining experiences, contributes to a steady need for bar staff.

Notably, job prospects are not limited to just bars and nightclubs. Bartenders in Kansas may also find employment opportunities in restaurants, hotels, event venues, and even in non-traditional settings like grocery stores or liquor stores that offer tastings.

What Cities Are Good Places for Bartending Work in Kansas?

In Kansas, several cities present excellent opportunities for bartending work due to their lively hospitality scenes, local population size, tourism activity, and cultural events. Here are some notable ones:

Wichita: As the largest city in Kansas, Wichita offers a plethora of opportunities in its extensive array of restaurants, bars, hotels, and event venues. The city’s diverse food and drink scene and a busy schedule of events and festivals make it an attractive place for bartending work.

Overland Park: Known for its suburban charm mixed with vibrant nightlife, Overland Park’s restaurants and bars attract both locals and visitors. Bartending jobs here may offer a mix of a busy, urban feel and a more laid-back, suburban atmosphere.

Kansas City: While technically situated in Missouri, Kansas City spans the Kansas-Missouri border, and its bustling entertainment scene extends into Kansas. From sports bars serving fans on game day to high-end cocktail lounges, the city’s wide range of establishments offers various opportunities for bartenders.

Lawrence: Home to the University of Kansas, Lawrence boasts a lively college town atmosphere with various bars, taverns, and music venues. The large student population and regular campus events create a steady demand for bartenders and might be a good college job option too.

Topeka: As the capital city, Topeka offers a stable hospitality industry with opportunities in local restaurants, bars, and hotels. In addition, the city hosts various political and cultural events, offering additional bartending opportunities.

Manhattan: Similar to Lawrence, Manhattan is home to Kansas State University, creating a robust market for bartenders in the city’s active college bar scene.

How Much Money Do Bartenders Make in Kansas?

According to websites like Indeed and Intuit, the average base salary for a bartender in Kansas is $17.97 or $25,000 per year as of 2023, according to Intuit Mint’s data based on tax returns.

Summing Up Your Bartending Journey in Kansas

Becoming a bartender in Kansas is an exciting career choice that combines creativity, people skills, and a love for hospitality. By meeting all legal requirements, including obtaining a bartending license and understanding state laws and regulations, you can ensure a successful and rewarding career in the bartending industry.

If you’re interested in bartending in other American states, we’ve written an article about bartending requirements across America here.