A barback or runner, as they are commonly known in Europe, is a bartender's assistant. Bar-backs work in nightclubs, bars, restaurants and catering halls, and usually receive a portion of the bartender's tips. At high volume bars, the tips are divided where more than one bar-back is present.
They are often under the tutelage of bartenders and work their way into the job. They are there to simplify a bartender's job; being involved in the bar preparation through stocking the bar with liquor, ice, glassware, beer, garnishes, and so on, during the night bussing tables, changing kegs and dishwashing, and afterwards, packing up. In some establishments, bar-backs may also be responsible for the safety of the bartender.
While the legal drinking age in the United States is 21, the minimum age to work as a bartender or bar-back varies from 18 to 21.
- Tunstall, Chris. "What is a Barback? The Ultimate Guide to the Bartender's Sidekick". A Bar Above. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- Ville, Cooper (2013). Straight Up: A Guide to a Better Bar Experience (First ed.). LuLu Press, Inc. ISBN 978-1-300-88262-6.
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