To be a successful bartender, you need to have charisma and savvy and a good understanding of the drinks. Your personality is just as important as your skills behind the bar to succeed in this job.
You will need to be a mixologist, a server and an organizer. Because tips make up the majority of your income, customer service is essential. Here are some things you should remember when working at the bar.
A positive attitude is key.
This is hospitality, and every bartender must remember this. You must have a positive attitude, no matter how difficult your day maybe, and treat all customers equally.
Simple gestures such as greeting patrons when they sit down and thanking them for their business can make a big impression.
Keep the bar high
A dirty bar is a sure sign of an unprofessional bartender or someone who doesn’t care. It can make a big difference in the experience of your patrons.
- Wipe down the bartop with clean towels whenever you come across water or spills.
- You can keep the back bar straightened if you put bottles back exactly where they were taken.
- Empty glasses, straw wrappers and napkins should be thrown away as soon as possible.
- Regularly replace cocktail napkins.
These seemingly small things can make a big impression, and they can often be completed on the way back to your tap. It’s a common saying that you’ll hear from your boss, but it is true: “If there’s time to lean, there’s time to clean.”
Customers will notice that you care about them when you suggest drinks.
- You can suggest something if you notice someone looking at the cocktail menu for quite a while.
- Set a cocktail napkin at the bar when greeting someone. Tell them about the drink specials of the day or about a cocktail that you are excited about.
- You can offer something different to a customer accustomed to the same thing or the same drink with a new spirit.
Eight out of ten customers will take your advice because you’re an expert. Customers will often give you a better tip to show their appreciation.
Training Your Memory
There will be wait staff shouting drink order after drink order and bar guests who don’t like empty glasses in front. You also have about 20 items that you need to verify stock. A good short-term memory is a key to being a successful bartender. This helps to keep busy bars under control.
It is important to be able to retain:
- Multiply your drink orders, and you can associate them with the party so that they all go out together.
- Remember what everyone at the bar is drinking to get the next round.
- Please keep track of the names and other personal information of your regulars, as well as which drinks they like.
Keep a lot of drink memories. Start by learning about the most popular and local favorites, then learn new ones as you go.
You can anticipate everything.
Bartenders need to be well-informed and prepared for anything.
- What is the state of your lemons and limes stocks?
- Do you need to clean your glasses or have the beer restocked?
- Are the ice bin or keg getting low?
- How about the drinks at the bar? Ask the customer if they want another drink if you notice that the drink has gone down to its last sip.
Everything will run smoothly if you anticipate the needs at the bar.
Human nature is to prefer one person to another. However, a bartender must stop doing that. Bartenders should show the same level of attention to all patrons, new and old.
Do not engage in a lengthy conversation with just one patron. While working, keep an eye out for empty drinks, broken napkins, or tabs that need cash. You will be judged if you don’t pay attention to one person.
Each person who enters the bartender’s door is trusting you with providing a pleasant experience. It is one of the most dangerous things you can do to destroy that trust.
Overcharging and underpouring will quickly lead to a poor reputation, which could cost you your job and impact your prospects. It is not acceptable to inflate tabs for cash or drinks for friends.
Do not fixate on tips.
Your bar tips are likely to make up the majority of your income. It is possible to be obsessed with receiving the best gratuity (or the usual 15 percent to 20% gratuity) every time you go.
If a customer leaves $1 on the bar after ordering three mixed drinks within two hours, and you look disgusting, others will notice and not like you.
Use the tips that you’re given and do your best. The pay will soon add up. You can’t help but be stingy with some people. Others customers may be more perceptive and will try to compensate.
Card, Card and Card
It is your responsibility to ensure that everyone who drinks in your bar is legal to do so. Ask for the ID of anyone you think might be 21. If they are under 18, it’s an easy question that will save you lots of trouble.
- Although you might not initially think this is a customer service issue, it ensures everyone at the bar has a great legal time.
- Serving a minor can have serious consequences. This can result in significant financial losses for both you and your business, as well as a loss of employment.
This request can often be offensive to younger drinkers. You can counter this by explaining that it is part of your job. This can be flattering for older people who appear a bit too young.
Above all, be professional.
You must present a professional appearance and attitude. If they have a positive experience, customers will be more likely to trust you.
Maintaining a friendly atmosphere, dressing inappropriate clothing for the establishment, and a professional attitude will help create a welcoming environment that patrons and management will enjoy. Even if it is only a temporary job, bartending can be considered a career.