All American Bar and Casino Trainers

Located in the affluent city of Farmington Hills in Metro Detroit’s suburban northwest, All American Bar and Casino Trainers is the area’s original – and best – bartending school, covering the greater Michigan region and Canada.

Founded in 2004 and owned by company president Daryle Costello – although now operated under the auspices of parent company ABC Bartending, which itself has decades of experience in the trade – the American Bar and Casino Trainers business model offers training in multiple disciplines, and is essentially a ‘one-stop shop’ for anybody seeking to learn the art of tending bar, how to work the tables in a casino, or both.

With the mantra ‘we don't just help you get a diploma. We help you get a job’, American Bar and Casino Trainers (ABCT) has a roster of highly-experienced staff, with all of their tutors boasting at least fifteen years in the hospitality industry working across a broad range of disciplines and in various types of establishment – from busy bars to high end hotels. Their goal is to impart their hard-earned knowledge, and deliver excellent training to students who will be expected to develop the four qualities deemed essential to a successful career: competence, confidence, proficiency and a professional attitude.

Classes take place in a mock-club environment for bartending or a full-size casino room if taking part in the casino curriculum. All courses are immersive and hands-on; bartending students will learn behind a fully-equipped bar which contains soda guns, speed racks, sinks and glassware, while casino pupils will enjoy the use of multiple tables, including roulette, blackjack and craps. ABCT wants you to graduate with the skills and confidence to obtain employment in any establishment around the world, and maintain their record of placing students in prestigious places – for example previous casino alumni have taken positions in Detroit’s MGM Grand, Las Vegas and even participated in the World Series of Poker Tournament.

ABCT offers numerous courses, with the largest being its ‘Bartending Program’, a forty hour mixology course which costs $599. This comprehensive package will teach you drinks ‘mixology’ and various recipes for creating contemporary and classic alcoholic beverages, as well as working with – and knowing the history of – numerous wines, beers and spirits. Students will learn all about bar equipment and jargon, how to set up and close down a bar and improve selling and cash handling, the talents required for proper garnishing to make drinks look professional, and the etiquette and people skills required for exemplary customer service. A four hour mixology course is also available for $150, where you will practise the mixing of fantastic cocktails under the watchful eye of the tutors, while the Flair Bartending workshop will have you tossing bottles and juggling glasses to the delight of paying customers. Finally, TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) Certification is also offered, which teaches you how to serve and use alcohol responsibly, and deal with problem customers.

The casino side of the school is varied and offers some particularly wide-ranging and lengthy courses: the roulette program alone, for example, is one hundred hours in duration but will give you state and national certification as a Roulette Dealer. Other sections available include poker, mini baccarat and Let It Ride, the latter of which is a thirty hour course for $350 – this again offers full certification and covers everything from basic strategies to game protection, hand rankings and in-game customer service.

All courses run by the school have a variety of schedules, with daytime, evening and weekend classes, one week accelerated courses, two week programs or even bespoke schedules designed in conjunction with the staff. The school itself is Better Business Bureau accredited (with an A Plus rating) and licensed by the Michigan Department of Education, while for veterans the news is even better – the company is VA Approved and veterans can use Education Benefits towards any of the courses.

For all graduates, ABCT provides lifetime ‘job placement assistance’ at no extra cost, along with free refresher courses at the school – or any of its affiliates – for life, no matter how long ago you completed the course. Its website also has a number of extremely helpful pages, especially warnings about scam online schools, interviewing tips and hints, a thorough guides to the history of various drinks and a look at the equipment and terminology you will encounter when working behind a bar, while the school itself offers individuals and companies the opportunity to hire ‘casino events’ and bartending staff for private parties.

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