Why freelance bartending is the perfect side gig for extra cash flow

By Toronto Bar School, 09/14/2023

If you’ve tried a few side gigs in the past without a ton of success, freelance bartending may be the answer.

As a bartender on the side you can make plenty of extra cash to help keep up with rising costs, have fun meeting new people, work only the events you want to and network with influential people. 

Think about it. 

You can still attend amazing events on Saturday night, you just won’t have to pay to get in or run up a large bar tab. It doesn’t get better than that! 

Best of all when you sign up at Toronto Bar School you’re already well on your way to earning if you have the right stuff and you’re reliable.

We’ll help you launch your freelance bartending career with exclusive access to private events and hands-on training mixing real drinks for real customers.

By the time you’re finished the program, you’ll be a Mixology expert with almost unlimited earning potential.

Read on to discover all of the reasons why freelance bartending really is the perfect side gig to boost your income and expand your horizons. 

is bartending a good way to make extra money?

The great thing about freelance bartending is that there’s never a shortage of work. 

In a big city like Toronto there are events happening every weekend and that means plenty of opportunities to make money. 

You won’t find a more flexible and profitable side gig.

is bartending on the side worth it?

The answer is resounding yes.

Freelance bartending on the side is a great way to make extra cash and you have the flexibility to work only the hours you want to work.

It also happens to be a great way to meet interesting and influential people, making it a great way to network as well.

If that doesn’t sound like a great way to spend a weekend and make money at the same time, we don’t know what does. 

do you make more money as a server or a bartender?

While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to who make more money, on average bartenders do make more. People just tend to tip more at the bar and in many cases a bar bill is bigger than a food bill. 

Even if the tip rate is the same, the larger bar bill will normally mean more in the bartender’s tip jar at the end of the night. 

Besides, who’s the coolest person on staff at any event? Why, it’s the bartender of course!

freelance bartending as a side hustle

By definition, freelance bartending means you don’t have to stick to a fixed schedule. You can pick which gigs you want to work and when you want to make yourself available.

What a perfect way to pad your pocket book!

There’s a great deal of independence with this type of work, but still a ton of earning potential. 

That combination of benefits is what makes this type of work so attractive. According to Upwork more than 36% of the American workforce has tried their hand at freelancing since 2019 and the numbers continue to grow. 

Here’s a quick breakdown of what makes freelance bartending such a great way to earn, even if it’s just a side hustle:

  • You control the schedule
  • With event based work, it’s always a new and fun experience
  • It’s flexible so it never has to interfere with your day job or personal life
  • Each event offers different networking opportunities
When you work freelance bartending as a side hustle on our team it’s all private events.
That means exclusive access to some influential people you’d probably never have the opportunity to meet in everyday life. 
If you work at the local bar on weekends you might make decent extra cash, but not what you’ll make at these events.
Worse yet you’ll be tied down to set schedule. Who wants that after a busy week grinding it out at the 9 to 5? 
More often than not you’ll also be serving the same people every weekend. Your networking possibilities will be more limited as a result.

the benefits of freelance bartending

Getting started with freelance bartending is the hard part and we help you with that every step of the way.

By the time you complete our training you’ll be an expert mixologist. You’ll be able to wow patrons with the countless exotic cocktail concoctions you can make. 

That will lead to better tips and more frequent job offers. Good bartenders get repeat gigs and more requests. 

We’re not talking about the host of the party either. At the private events we staff, every attendee is a potential future client!

Every attendee is a potential future client!

If they hire hire us because of how impressed they were with your skills and friendly demeanor you can bet we’ll be giving you first right of refusal for that next gig. 

That means higher income both hourly and through tips. Best of all as a freelancer you can sit one out anytime you need to when you have a scheduling conflict. 

It doesn’t get much better than that!

You may find you have a true passion for bartending and want to turn it into a full time career or as a springboard to bar ownership in the future. The possibilities are almost endless. 

As a freelance bartender you’re always networking as well. 

You’ll meet professionals from almost every industry and learn from experts. 

Who knows what opportunities will open up to you just because you chose bartending as a side gig!

how to become a freelance bartender

If you’ve decided freelance bartending is definitely something you want to explore it’s a good idea to consider what makes a great bartender. That way you’ll know for sure if it’s a good fit for you as a side hustle. 

Make no mistake. It’s not for everybody. Events are busy, loud and demanding. 

You know what else they are? Absolutely worth it! If you have what it takes. 

We developed the list below so you can use it as a reference to decide if it really is a road you want to travel. The recommended qualifications and skills for a freelance bartender are:

  • Some basic knowledge of beverages and mixing techniques
  • Good customer service and interpersonal skills
  • A cool and calm demeanor
  • A basic understanding of the legal obligations of a bartender
  • The ability to stay no with tact when a customers had too much to drink
If you’ve read through the list above and you still think you have what it takes to succeed as a freelance bartender then Toronto Bar School can be a great fit.
Before you sign up though we want to be completely upfront with you..

Challenges of freelance bartending

Freelance bartending can be hard work. There’s a ton of prep work to do before every event, the atmosphere is loud and the action is continuous all night.

It can also be seasonal to some degree. Events are available all year around, but there are more opportunities when the warm weather hits.

We don’t say this to scare you. It just makes sense to know what you’re getting into before you invest time and money. 

You’ll get a lot more out of freelance bartending than you put into it as long as you’re dedicated. 

If you’re still convinced that it’s how you want to make money on the side we can set you up for success. 

We don’t train run of the mill bartenders. 

Our graduates are expert mixologists who know how to work a room and their tip jars are always full at the end of the night. 

Made Up Your Mind?

While personally, I love bartending, I recognize that it’s not for everyone. If you’ve decided that you’re ready for the challenge, why not begin your bartending training at Toronto Bar School?