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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Bartending Questions

Q: How old must I be to go to bartending school?
A: you only need to be 18 years old to attend the San Francisco School of Bartending. In California, you must be 21 years of age to work as a bartender.

Q: Do you have other locations in California besides San Francisco?
A: Yes, we also operate schools in the Sacramento/Fresno areas and in San Leandro/East Bay.

Q: What is a bartender’s license?
A: A “Bartender’s License” or “Bartending Certificate” is issued to our graduates upon completion of our 35-hour Certificate Course. Our certificate allows you to bartend in all 50 states.

Q: What about online bartending courses?
A: We believe that the best way to learn the skills and obtain the speed needed to work in a busy bar environment is to train “hands-on” behind a fully functional bar. Online courses, books and videos cannot offer the type of practical bartending experience that is essential to the successful training of a bartender.

Q: Do you offer bartender job placement assistance?
A: Yes we do. The primary goal of our job placement program is to assist you in finding a bartending job as quickly as possible. By being in constant contact with bar owners and hiring managers at 100’s of Bay Area bars, lounges, restaurants, clubs and hotels we are able to learn of job openings as soon as they are posted – often before they reach the newspapers or the internet.

Our job placement counselors are available to meet with you in person, and our password protected on-line JOBS Database is updated daily. We will assist you with interviewing and job hunting techniques, and can even help polish your resume. Rest assured, short of taking the interview for you, we will do whatever it takes to assist you in finding a job!

Q: I know nothing about drinks or liquor. Will it be difficult for me to learn everything I need to know in 35 hours?
A: Most of our students start out with little or no knowledge of the beverage service industry. Almost all of our students graduate the first time through, but you have unlimited access to our facility. Basically, you are guaranteed to graduate if you wish to.

We owe our student’s consistent success to a comprehensive curriculum, modern training methods, veteran bartender-instructors, and the use of our VideoCocktailer audio-visual training program.

After just 35 hours of training, our bartender grads look and perform as if they have been working behind a real bar for 10-12 months!

Still not convinced? See what our bartender grads have to say in on our Testimonials page and then sign up to take one of our FREE Bartending Introductory Classes.

Q: What if I miss a day?
A: Not a problem. There are multiple class times for each lesson and make-up video lessons you can watch in the classroom.

Q: How long is the entire course?
A: The minimum course requirement is 35 hours. Weekday classes run 3.5 hours per day for two consecutive weeks, Monday through Friday, with multiple class time options available each day.
There is also an accelerated option that allows you to complete the course in a single week by scheduling two daily class times.

Weekend classes run 10:00am-5:00pm for five consecutive Saturdays or Sundays.

Q: When can I start a San Francisco School of Bartending course?
A: Weekday classes start every Monday.
Two week classes are held from 9:30am-1:00pm, 1:30pm-5:00pm, and 6:00pm-9:30pm.
One week accelerated courses are held from 9:30am-5:00pm or 1:30pm-9:30pm.
Weekend classes are held over five consecutive Saturdays or Sundays from 10:00am – 5:00pm. Please call or check our website for course start dates.

Q: How much does the bartending course cost?
A: Total course cost is $299. This price includes the registration fee, a nationally recognized bartending certificate, SFSOB Live, 150 page text book and all of your materials.

Q: What is SFSOB Live?
A: SFSOB Live is a weekly event that allows our students and grads to get behind a real bar with real alcohol and real guests. This amazing opportunity allows our students to successfully bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world before their first day of work.

Q: I’ve heard a lot about SFSOB’s VideoCocktailer. What is it, and will I be learning from a video screen?
A: We augment our live instruction through the use of an audio-visual program that is unique to and developed specifically for, the San Francisco School of Bartending. VideoCocktailer is a fully automated slideshow that helps to reinforce what an instructor has already taught. Our full-time instructors give all lessons and lectures live, in person, to groups of 15 or less.

VideoCocktailer provides greater consistency and structure to your training. In fact, this equipment is so effective that our graduates generally perform at a level of efficiency that is twice that of students graduating from bartending schools using traditional methods.

Q: What is the demand for bartending jobs today?
A: The beverage service and hospitality industries are still booming. See what the SF Chronicle had to say about careers in the hospitality industry. The restaurant industry alone will see another million jobs open in the next seven years – an industry that already employs almost 12 million people, making it the nation’s largest employer outside of government. Another way to look at it is this: as long as people enjoy going out to eat, traveling, and staying at resorts, beverage service and hospitality professionals will be in demand. (Statistical source: National Restaurant Association, Industry at a Glance and Restaurant Industry Forecast.)

Q: What is the average age of a bartending student? Could I be too young or too old?
A: Age is not a factor in bartending success. San Francisco School of Bartending classes include students of all ages to meet the needs of many types of bars. The restaurant and nightclub scene is younger-oriented, while the pub, hotel, and golf club scenes offer more mature environments. The minimum age to work as a bartender in California is 21. Other areas (states/countries) vary from 18 to 21.

Q: Where is San Francisco School of Bartending located?
A: We are located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our address is 1398 El Camino Real, Mountain View, CA 94040. We are located between 5rd and 6th Streets, only half a block from the Powell Street BART station.

If you are driving, you should find relatively inexpensive parking in the Union Square, Ellis/O’Farrell, and 5th and Mission Garages.

Q: How do I register for classes at San Francisco School of Bartending?
A: If you are interested in taking our course, please contact the San Francisco School of Bartending at 415-793-6465.

Registration Page

We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and personal checks.

If your question was not addressed or adequately answered on this page call the San Francisco School of Bartending at 408-594-9478.