North Carolina Bartending Requirements

  • By: BT Staff
  • Date: January 20, 2024
  • Time to read: 7 min.

This comprehensive guide sheds light on North Carolina bartending requirements and the importance of complete responsible alcohol seller server training in creating a safe and successful bartending career.

The bartending industry in North Carolina is thriving, offering exciting opportunities for those looking to enter this dynamic field. However, ensuring responsible alcohol service is a crucial aspect of this profession.

Key Takeaways

  • North Carolina does not have a bartender license requirement.
  • Bartenders must be 21 to sell liquor and serve alcoholic beverages. Wait staff can serve drinks at 18.
  • The North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission regulates alcohol sales in the state.
  • Understanding the legal requirements and responsibilities associated with alcohol server permits and responsible alcohol service is essential for anyone aspiring to build a successful bartending career in North Carolina.

Does North Carolina Require a Bartending License?

No, you don’t need a bartending certificate in North Carolina to work as a bartender, waiter, or waitress. However, many restaurants will want you to have taken a responsible alcohol seller program, and you need to meet the age requirements.

Minimum Age To Serve Alcoholic Beverages in North Carolina

In North Carolina, the minimum age to serve alcohol and liquor is 18; however, to bartend, you must be 21, according to the APIS.

To order a drink in North Carolina, you need to be 21 or order.

RASP: Balancing Excellent Customer Service while Ensuring Legal Alcohol Sales

Bartenders in North Carolina face the challenge of providing top-notch customer service while adhering to strict alcohol service regulations. Achieving this balance is essential to creating a safe and enjoyable environment for patrons. Bartenders must skillfully navigate this fine line between exceptional service and the legal obligations of responsible alcohol service.

Although not mandatory, North Carolina’s ABC Commission provides a free 2-hour Responsible Alcohol Server/Seller Training Program (RASP) for both on-premise and off-premise businesses, covering essential topics through interactive sessions. You can find more information here.

In North Carolina, the responsible alcohol server training program is designed to educate individuals involved in selling or serving alcoholic beverages. The goal is to ensure that alcohol service is conducted responsibly and complies with state laws and regulations.

These programs cover various topics, including checking IDs, recognizing signs of intoxication, understanding legal responsibilities, handling difficult situations, and promoting responsible alcohol consumption. The aim is to equip individuals, especially those working in the hospitality and alcohol service industry, with the knowledge and skills to maintain a safe environment and prevent issues related to alcohol misuse.

Restaurant Jobs That Require a Bartender’s License

The requirement for a bartender’s license extends beyond traditional bartending roles. Various positions in the hospitality industry necessitate employees holding a valid alcohol server permit. From bartenders to servers, understanding this aspect is crucial for anyone considering a career in the restaurant industry in North Carolina.

Options for Obtaining a Bartending License in North Carolina

Aspiring bartenders have several avenues for obtaining a bartender license in North Carolina. Options range from in-person training at a certified bartending school to online courses. Each method has its merits and is designed to impart the necessary skills and knowledge for responsible alcohol service.

“Make the Right Call” to Reduce the Risk of Alcohol-Related Incidents at Events

The responsibility of a professional bartender goes beyond mixing drinks; it includes the obligation to prevent alcohol-related incidents. Following responsible alcohol service practices and intervention procedures is essential in public or private events. Bartenders must exercise vigilance to minimize risks and ensure the safety of patrons.

Skills Learned During Bartending Training

Completing a bartending training program equips individuals with a host of valuable skills. From the art of mixology to effectively handling intoxicated persons, the alcohol training, curriculum is designed to prepare bartenders for a successful career in the industry while emphasizing responsible alcohol service.

How Much Does Bartending Certification Cost?

Understanding the cost of obtaining a bartending certification is a practical consideration for aspiring bartenders. Costs may vary based on the training provider, the type of program, and whether it is an online or in-person class. Evaluating the investment against the potential benefits of your bartending career is essential.

What Is the Job Market Like for Bartenders in North Carolina?

The job market for bartenders in North Carolina is generally favourable, reflecting the state’s thriving hospitality industry.

Factors contributing to the demand for bartenders in North Carolina include:

  • Tourism and Events: Popular tourist destinations, festivals, and events in cities like Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Wilmington create a steady need for bartenders to cater to residents and visitors.
  • Diverse Food and Beverage Scene: North Carolina boasts a diverse culinary scene with various eateries, craft breweries, wineries, and cocktail bars. Each establishment often requires skilled bartenders to mix drinks and engage with customers.
  • Urban Development: The growth of urban centres and suburban areas has increased dining establishments and bars, driving the demand for bartending professionals.
  • Economic Growth: North Carolina’s overall economic growth and population increase contribute to consumer spending on dining out and entertainment, further boosting the demand for bartenders.
  • Event Hubs: The state hosts many weddings, corporate events, and conferences, requiring bartenders to handle beverage service efficiently.

How Much Money Do Bartenders Make in North Carolina?

According to websites like Indeed and Intuit, the average base salary for a bartender in North Carolina is $16.64 or $27,000 per year as of 2023, according to Intuit Mint’s data based on tax returns.

What NC Cities Are Good Places for Bartending Work?

North Carolina offers several cities with vibrant hospitality scenes ideal for bartending work. Here are some of the top cities in North Carolina known for their bustling nightlife, tourism, and diverse dining scenes, making them excellent places for bartending opportunities:

  • Charlotte: Charlotte is a major city with a bustling nightlife, numerous bars, restaurants, and event venues. The city’s growth has led to a high demand for bartenders catering to locals and visitors.
  • Raleigh: Raleigh, as part of the Research Triangle (which includes Durham and Chapel Hill), has a thriving food and beverage scene. It hosts various events and festivals, providing ample opportunities for bartenders.
  • Asheville: Asheville is known for its vibrant craft beer scene, local breweries, and a diverse array of bars and restaurants. It’s a popular tourist destination, particularly for those interested in the arts, music, and outdoor activities.
  • Durham: Durham is experiencing significant growth and urban development, leading to an increase in dining establishments and bars. The city’s revitalized downtown attracts a diverse crowd, creating a demand for bartending professionals.
  • Wilmington: Wilmington, located on the coast, is known for its beach culture and lively nightlife. The city has a mix of beach bars, upscale cocktail lounges, and restaurants, offering a range of bartending opportunities.
  • Chapel Hill: Chapel Hill, home to the University of North Carolina, has a vibrant college-town atmosphere. The city’s lively social scene and diverse demographic make it an excellent bartender location.
  • Greensboro: Greensboro, one of the state’s largest cities, has a growing food and beverage industry. It hosts events, conferences, and concerts, creating a steady demand for bartending services.
  • Fayetteville: Fayetteville has a diverse community and growing dining establishments. The city’s mix of military personnel, residents, and visitors contributes to a consistent bartender need.

These cities offer a mix of opportunities in terms of clientele, atmosphere, and types of establishments, allowing aspiring bartenders to find a setting that suits their preferences. Additionally, considering factors such as cost of living, job market conditions, and lifestyle preferences can help make an informed decision about where to pursue bartending work in North Carolina.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a responsible alcohol server certification, and why is it important?

A responsible alcohol server certification in North Carolina verifies that an individual has completed the required training to serve alcoholic beverages responsibly and in compliance with local laws. It’s vital for ensuring the safety of patrons and minimizing the risks associated with alcohol service.

Are there specific happy hour laws in North Carolina?

North Carolina has specific regulations regarding happy hours. Promotions related to alcoholic beverages must comply with the state’s laws, which often regulate the timing and nature of these events to maintain responsible alcohol service.

What agency is responsible for alcohol laws in North Carolina?

The regulation of alcohol sales in North Carolina falls under the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (website). Established in 1937, this state agency oversees various aspects of alcoholic beverage control to ensure responsible sales, consumption, and possession within North Carolina.

Can individuals with a felony conviction work as a bartender in North Carolina?

No, as long as you’re not under probation with specific restrictions barring you from alcohol, drugs, or being in the presence of individuals who use them, you should be able to take a bartending job. (source)

A felony conviction may affect an individual or business’s ability to obtain a bartending license in North Carolina. Each case is considered on an individual basis, and the severity and nature of the conviction may influence the decision.

Are the bartending license requirements in North Carolina different from those in other states?

Yes, North Carolina bartending requirements may differ from those in other states. It’s essential for individuals pursuing a bartending career to understand the unique regulations and requirements of alcohol courses in the state in which they intend to work.

By following the prescribed North Carolina bartending requirements and prioritizing responsible alcohol service, aspiring bartenders can carve out a fulfilling and safe career in the vibrant bartending world.

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