mixing success: top 10 reasons hands-on bartending trumps classroom theory

By Toronto Bar School, 09/25/2023

Try to think of 10 key skills you learned in high-school that you still use today. It’s not easy is it? 

I’m not saying a classroom education is worthless, but it has many limitation.

In the bartending world, the value of classroom theory is even less than what you learned in high-school.

The best training courses are hands-on, working is real world situations.

How do you learn to make great cocktails mixing colored water in a classroom? Easy answer, you don’t.

At Toronto Bar school we’re strong believers that hands-on bartending trumps Classroom theory. Here are 10 reasons why.

reason #1 : you'll learn practical skills

When you’re learning hands-on behind a real bar at live event you’re learning practical usable skills right away.

You’ll be mixing real cocktails, learning which garnishes to use and interacting with real patrons.

There’s no need to imagine scenarios in a classroom. You’ll be working with all of the tools of the trade behind a working bar.

reason #2 : you'll gain real world experience

Learning to mix cocktails is just one small part of becoming an expert mixologist instead of just another bartender. You also need to know how to react in a fast paced atmosphere, working with real patrons. You won’t get that in a classroom.

In our course you’re immersed in the true hustle and bustle of a busy bar at live events.

You’ll come face to face with those difficult customers and other unexpected situations.

reason #3: Hands-on bartending training helps to build confidence

A few years back I took a course in enterpeneurship. When I was finished I thought I knew everything I needed to know to launch my own startup. Boy was I wrong!

That classroom theory only went so far. I had a lot more to learn in the real world. I won’t say my confidence was shattered, but it took a hit.

The more you work and learn in a real bar setting, the more your confidence will grow. With the Toronto Bar School System you’re exposed to everyday bartending challenges right away.

You’re learning to deal with them as you go and that builds confidence. That puts our graduates light years ahead of traditional bar school graduates at the completion of their program. 

Bartending is already trending in the gig economy, in fact the industry as a whole is expected to grow by as much as 18% by 2031. We’re just taking it to another level.

reason #4: you'll develop better interpersonal skills

Another key component on your bartending journey is developing your interpersonal skills. Let’s face it, bartending are expected to be the life of the party!

You just can’t learn that in a classroom.

When you take our course you’ll be dealing with patrons of all personality types right away. That will help to improve your communication methods and help you practice your customer service skills.

Even the best teacher will have trouble recreating common bar situations in a classroom. Living the real thing helps you learn how to read the moods of your customers. That will make their night more enjoyable and prepare you for working live events with grace and tact.

reason #5: you'll be able to adapt quicker

Working a live event behind a bar can be unpredictable. You never know what the night can bring.

You need to be adaptable, able to adjust quickly to anything that might be thrown your way.

Whether it’s navigating a loud boisterous crowd or handing an unusual drink request, you’ll see it all as you work your way through our course.

You’ll be able to think on your feet and react quickly. These are skills you’ll never be able to develop in a classroom alone.

Reason #6: hands-on bartending training will help you develop speed and efficiency

If you’ve ever seen the movie Cocktail, you’ll know how fast an expert mixologist can move. You won’t learn that behind a desk.

A classroom can’t recreate the crazy atmosphere of a real bar. If you want to take home the big bucks in tips, you have to be fast and efficient. 

There’s no better way to learn that than behind a real bar with the drink orders flying in fast and furious.

Our hands-on bartending course will expose you to this every step of the way and better prepare you to handle it. That will happier customers and more cash in your pocket.

reason #7: real world practice makes you a better cocktail crafter

A true mixologist is a cross between an artist and a mad scientist. You have to be creative and innovative.

Part of that comes out of you naturally, but it also depends on your mentors and the environment you learn in. Our experts show you what it’s like to make amazing cocktails in a busy atmosphere without missing a beat.

There are many fledgling bartenders that can mix a decent drink in a classroom or at home, but only a select few can do it under pressure behind an actual bar at a live event.

If you can master your techniques in the real world without sacrificing your creativity, you’ll be able to earn top money as a freelancer bartender working events with Toronto Bar School.

Reason #8: You'll start networking on day 1

Connections are everything in the bartending scene. If you can market yourself as an expert and prove it with your actions, doors will open. 

As a student bartender taking our course you’ll interact with your mentors, other students, various events staff and event organizers, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

From day 1 you’ll begin to meet people from all walks of life. People you’d never have the opportunity to meet anywhere else.

You never know if the next person you serve behind the bar will be a networking opportunity of a life time.

We run private events for people of all backgrounds and their guests each have their own story.

A casual friendly chat with anyone of them could lead to industry insights for your day job, new job openings or business opportunities. 

Reason #9: Exposure to more ingredients and techniques

The world of bartending is always evolving. You never know when someone’s going to come up with the next great drink idea.

When you learn bartending in a live environment you’re constantly exposed to these new ideas. That doesn’t happen in a classroom. 

Did you know that most classroom based bartending schools don’t even real alcohol for practice? Nope. They use colored water as a simulated substitute.

How can anyone learn the bartending craft using colored water? Simple answer, you can’t. At least not well anyway. 

When you learn bartending at Toronto Bar School you’ll be experimenting with a mixture of different types of alcohol, mixes and garnishes. 

One more thing.

reason #10: fast feedback and course correction

Human beings learn better by doing. Sitting behind a desk is more likely to put you to sleep than to teach you anything you need to know about mixology. 

With our hands-on approach you’re receiving instant feedback. Believe me, if a patron doesn’t like the drink you’ve mixed, they’ll tell you all about it!

Don’t worry, we won’t leave you to the wolves. Our expert mentors will be there beside you to provide advice and help you course correct so you make a tastier cocktail the next time around.

All of this real world practice and opportunity to perfect your craft behind a real bar will leave you well prepared to start your freelance bartending side hustle when graduation day arrives.

start shaking up your bartender training today

Real bartenders are made behind a bar, not in a classroom. You need to train with experts in the real world. That’s what we bring to the table.

Our hands-on training system gives you the best chance of success in the exciting and competitive world of mixology.

If you want to stand out from the crowd and turn heads because of your cocktail crafting expertise. Toronto Bar School has you covered.