Nashville faces bartending shortage as busy month ramps up

Students at the Nashville Bartending School learn the tricks of the trade. (WSMV)

Nashville loves to party, and lower Broadway is about to set it off!

Justin Timberlake is in town on Wednesday night, the Predators play Game 7 on Thursday night and it is less than a month away from CMA Fest.

Visitors looking to get their drink on may have trouble getting a round.

The problem is there are not enough bartenders shaking up drinks and serving them to the masses. Right now, Indeed job search shows more than 600 bartending jobs are posted.

They aren't getting filled fast enough.

At the Nashville Bartending School, dozens of students are learning the tricks of the trade.

David Edwards, the director of the school said, “We're swamped now, it's crazy.

“We've always had more job openings than we've had students. But the last four to five years, Nashville has just blown off the map.”

He adds, “Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Beale Street in Memphis, they're nothing like Nashville.”

In as little as two weeks, a student can learn what they need to know and get a job bartending in Nashville.

“Now, we have bar managers stopping by here looking for students,” said Edwards. “Nashville is not a beer and shot world, they're looking for professional bartenders.”

Jennie Alley has been bartending on lower Broadway for the last three years. She knows it’s hard work.

“There are days where it's a little more tough than others,” said Alley. “The hours, the long hours, it's a little more difficult getting off late at night.”

Despite the shortage, Alley is excited about all the business heading to lower Broadway in the coming weeks.

“We all tend to enjoy the busy season because it's fun to be busy,” she said. “If you enjoy your job, it's not that hard.”

Edwards adds, “Bartending, our worst job we pay you can make $120 to $300 easily in a five to six-hour shift.”

Something else to keep in mind, there are more than 5,500 places across Music City that sell alcohol, and the majority of those have now hiring ads out.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.



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