Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to pay a deposit to reserve a spot in the course?

Yes, we require a $100 deposit to hold your spot. The remainder is due the first day of class. We accept all major credit cards and Visa debit cards. If you are not comfortable using your credit card online, we are happy to take your information over the phone or we can also accept E-transfer or PayPal.

Your spot will not be confirmed until you pay the deposit and receive a confirmation email. 


I don’t have a credit card. Is there any other way to pay for the deposit?

Yes, you can send an E-transfer or a PayPal transfer to I will need your name, email, phone number and which city you’re located in, along with the date and time of the class you want to take. You can write in the message box of the transfer or email it to me separately. I need this information, so we can manually register you into the system.

Your spot will not be confirmed until you pay the deposit and receive a confirmation email. 


Are there any hidden costs?

No, the price quoted includes everything; Textbooks, course materials, and your certificate along with all the taxes. Optional shaker sets are available for an additional $39.


Do I receive a certificate after completing the course?

Yes, you receive a BarKeep 101 gold seal certificate after completing our Intro to Bartending course. Our certificate shows prospective employers that you have 20 hours of bartender training.



Do Bartenders make a lot of money?

Yes, it is possible! Bartender positions are usually wage plus tips and most bartenders can make several hundred dollars per night in tips. The tips are how they make majority of their earnings.

At the start of your bartending career you want to focus on getting your foot in the door and improving your speed and efficiency. Once you have been bartending for a year or two then you can start working your way into higher paying bartending jobs like night clubs and fine dining. In these types of positions, it is not uncommon for bartenders to make several hundred dollars per night.



How big are the classes?

Usually we only have 3 or 4 students per class, the average is exactly 3.56. Our max class size is 12 for Winnipeg and 8 for Saskatoon and Halifax. This provides an excellent student to instructor ratio, for maximum learning potential.



Is the certificate recognise worldwide or by other organizations?

There is NO universally recognised, worldwide standard for bartender training. However, BarKeep 101 School has set the standard of training in Canada and has trained over 20,000 bartenders since 1973. Our certificate is the most recognised, well-known certificate in the industry. More owners & managers recognise our name than any other.



I have an important appointment during one of the classes. How do I make up the time?

This is generally not a problem. The most important day is the first day of class. If your appointment is not on the first day of class, we should be able to make it work. We can stay a little later one day and or start a little earlier a different day until your caught back up.



I have absolutely no experience in the Bar/Restaurant/Hospitality industry.  Will this course be hard for me?

NO! Not at all, our course is designed for people with no experience. We pride ourselves in taking customers with zero experience and transforming them into a comfortable and confident bartender that can make the best long island ice teas in town.   



What do I need to bring with me to class?

You should bring an open mind and a smile, we will supply the rest. Our textbook has room in it to write small notes. If you learn by writing notes, then feel free to bring a notebook as well. Also, don’t forget that smile and willingness to learn.

We recommend closed toe shoes. Please, no flip flops or sandals.



How much of the time will I be making drinks?

You will spend most of your time up behind the bar practising drinks. The key to becoming a fast and efficient bartender is to learn muscle memory. The best way to learn muscle memory is by practise. We aim to have you behind the bar for about 90% of the class. The other 10% will be spent on responsible service, employment tips and writing the test.



Will this course help me get a job?

Yes, you get a competitive advantage and you have 20 hours of behind the bar training. You will feel comfortable and confident behind the bar which will make your job hunt much easier. You'll also have the skills and knowledge to ace your first shift. 

Students that follow our methodology for finding a bartending job tend to be very successful at landing a job. The hospitality industry has a very high turn over rate. While bars rarely advertise for staff we know that they are always looking for good employees. 




Is it easy to get a bartending job?

NO, it is hard to get into bartending when you have no experience. It is possible to become a bartender without taking the course, but the course helps fast track everything. Let me describe the two common ways people end up getting bartending jobs.

1) With no course

To bar tend with out taking the course, it is very time consuming. Unless you know some people, you’re going to have to literally apply to 30 or more places and take whatever job you can. Most likely bussing dishes or coat check. After you do that for 6 months to a year AND IF you’re in the right spot at the right time where a bartender MIGHT not show up and IF the boss likes you then they might throw you behind the bar. AND if you somehow manage to do good that night you MIGHT get an chance at another bartending shift.  As you can see there are a lot of "if"/ “and” / “might” in this scenario.  It takes a long time to become a bartender. 

 2) With a bartending course. 

After the course you'll still have to go out and apply at bars but you will have the skills and confidence needed to get hired and you'll start as a bartender. After you work there for 3 to 6 months you can start moving into high paying spots like clubs or fine dining. 



Will I be guaranteed a bartending job after taking the course?

No, I'll never guarantee that every student who takes the class will get a job. So much depends on personality, work ethic, and attitude.  If you come in with a good head on your shoulders, you put a good effort in to learn the popular drinks and go hustle a bit then there's no reason you can't nail a job.

Students that follow our methodology for finding a bartending job tend to be very successful at landing a job. The hospitality industry has a very high turn over rate. While bars rarely advertise for staff we know that they are always looking for good employees. 



Do I need a bartending certificate to be a bartender?

No, it is not mandatory to have a bartending certification to be a bartender.

Owners & managers DO recognize that the training you receive in a bartending school replaces months of costly on the job training.

You should have a serve it right certificate. Find more info here



Is it a hard course?

No, the course is a very fun, interactive, hands on type course.  We have developed the course over 40 years to maximize what you can learn in a short amount of time.  It does require some work to be an excellent bartender. At BarKeep 101 our goal is to have all our students graduate as excellent bartenders.  You will be expected to memorize 20 drinks, but you’ll have a lot of fun doing it.

It’s like most things in life, you get out of it what you put into it. We provide some of the best training in the business by the best instructors around. Those who follow our course curriculum will be successful.  We have a 97.3% pass rate.



What if I don’t feel confident or want to repeat the course?

I guarantee that you will feel comfortable and confident behind the bar. If you don’t feel 100% confident; you can re-take the course at any time, free of charge. No questions asked…. Except your name and which city, you’re in.



Can I visit the school?

Yes, you are always welcome to visit our school. BUT please please please call or email me first so I can let you know when the class will be there. My email is cmccaig@barkeep101.comand my number is 1-800-781-1790.



I am hoping to travel and bartend in a different country. Will your course be helpful with this?

Yes, bartending is a great skill to have if you would like to see the world. We have graduates bartending all over the world. Here are some of the places I know my graduates are bartending in; Germany, Peru, England, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico, Australia and counting. I am sure I have at least one grad that is working somewhere on a cruise ship. If you’re a graduate working on a cruise ship, please let me know so I can officially add it to the list.



Do you have to be 19 to take the course?

No, you can take the course as long as your birthday is six months or less to the legal drinking age in the city you are taking the course. 


Do I need a High School Diploma? Are there any prerequisites required to take the course?

No, there are no prerequisites. We don’t care if you dropped out of grade 10 or if you’re new to Canada. If you want to learn bartending, we will teach you.



Does BarKeep 101 include a Smart Serve or Serve It Right with the gold seal certificate?

No, not at this time. We do cover responsible service and we have been trying to get the Serve It Right ticket incorporated into our course, but the red tape associated with the provincial governing bodies is proving to be very difficult to get through.   

We suggest to all our students to get their Serve It Right tickets. 

Go here to find all the information on the serve it right tickets.