The art of mixology and careers as a bartender

Have you been out for drinks recently and watched the bartenders curate the perfect cocktail, and admired their work? As an experienced bartender, you will have developed the art of mixology, great interpersonal skills and a flair for providing a show to all guests. 

If you have ever considered a career behind the bar, or learning how to create amazing drinks, you’ll want to find out what those in the industry have to say!

After recently winning the Be At One ‘Best in Glass’ competition 2023 and attending the Diageo finals in Brazil, we spoke to the talented Oskar Wozniak, General Manager at Be At One Newcastle. 

Credit: Oskar Wozniak

Oskar moved to the UK for university, where he studied pharmaceuticals and alongside his studies, worked in bars. These part-time jobs inspired Oskar to pursue a career in this field, as it was something he enjoyed and found interesting. 

From leaving university, Oskar worked in various bars learning the vital skills to be the best of the best behind the bar. With the support from industry professionals and the drive to keep learning, Oskar entered the Be At One world and started working in management roles. 

Working in Be At One venues around the UK, Oskar worked his way up the ladder from Duty Manager to General Manager, now working with new site openings. 

Oskar commented: “I have carried out a number of roles in hospitality, from restaurants to bars, and I knew deep down I was more passionate about this field and wanted to explore opportunities. It has been great learning from experienced individuals who have helped me get to where I am today, and I thoroughly enjoy working alongside like-minded bartenders who have a passion for what they do.”

Oskar’s roles as a bartender and manager, require him to focus on a range of skills. On the bartender side, he is always working to perfect the act of service, ensuring all guest experiences in Be At One are exceptional and memorable. As well as service, the art of mixology is continually being developed, from drinks knowledge and techniques to presentation and showmanship. 

Credit: Oskar Wozniak

“Working as a bartender really allows me to be creative in a fun environment” Oskar added. “Every day I am able to expand my knowledge of our menu and spirits and come up with new creations. As a mixologist exploring is important, and that is why I love coming up with new drinks, focusing on flavours and how to use every part of an ingredient in one drink.”

Oskar’s top tips for starting a career in mixology and bars are: 

  • Follow your interest and passion for drinks, service, and creativity by starting out in smaller cocktail bars and venues. 
  • Always have the attitude to progress and learn. Begin as a barback and then with the support of the company and your team, you can work your way up to behind the bar, creating drinks. 
  • Most importantly make sure you enjoy what you are doing!

As a manager, you are responsible for growing the business and your team as well as wanting to thrive and succeed. In Oskar’s role, he advised as a GM he carries out a range of responsibilities but will always support the team when needed, especially on busy weekends. 

Oskar’s top tips for stepping up to management roles are: 

  • Enjoy watching others in your team group progress and thrive in their careers. 
  • Ensure that you are level-headed at work. 
  • Set yourself high standards so you can reach targets and operate successfully. 

Oskar will continue his role as General Manager, but is looking to enter some more competitions, showing off his skills and creative flair. He will also be working with Diageo in the upcoming months. 

After hearing Oskar’s story and advice, if you are inspired to pursue a career in mixology and bars, do check out our employer’s page. Also, if you are local to Be At One Newcastle, why not visit and watch Oskar at work!

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