Myth - New York Bartender License
After obtaining a caterers permit for a new client, he happily let me know that he had hired licensed bartenders for their event. Unfortunately, I had to burst his bubble and advise him that there is no such thing as a license for bartenders in the state of New York. He was flabbergasted by this as he had hired the bartenders through one of the many bartending schools in New York City.
Per Article 8, Section 100, Paragraph 2-a of the New York Alcoholic Beverage Control laws:
"No retailer shall employ, or permit to be employed, or shall suffer to work, on any premises licensed for retail sale hereunder, any person under the age of eighteen years, as a hostess, waitress, waiter, or in any other capacity where the duties of such person require or permit such person to sell, dispense or handle alcoholic beverages."
In laymen's terms, the only restrictions to being a bartender in the state of New York is that one has to be eighteen (18) years old.
Even the Frequently Asked Questions page of the New York Bartending School website answers the question, "What is a bartending license?", with, "What you are referring to is a 'bartender certification' - a diploma awarded by a bartending school for completion of the course."
There is a lot of talent in the hospitality industry with varying skill sets and attributes. There is no reason to not staff an event according to the needs of the event... as long as the staff is over the age eighteen.