Whether you are pursuing a career as a bartender or bar tending to support your career, you should consider the unique set of skills you have to offer. Let’s face it, bartenders are a dime a dozen. If you want to excel, you have to rise above the competition. Do you have what it takes to stand out in this competitive food and beverage industry? Find the answers to your questions and more. Explore these bartending basics and discover how you can add your own unique spin on the tips and tricks of the trade.
As a bartender, you have to be cool with the busy and buzzing environment that comes with the territory. This includes the crowd cont
rol behind the counter as well. A lot of people are moving around a small space, so you need to have good spatial awareness or you will quickly end up on coworkers’ bad sides. Learn from the more seasoned bartenders, how to be efficient at working in small spaces.
Tip: Watch seasoned bartenders work in the busiest times at the bar. Take note of what they do to keep service flowing smoothly. No matter how busy the bar may be, keep up with the cleaning or glasses and menus will pile up quickly. A messy bar is bad for business.
The crowds will come and go throughout your shift. When things slow down, you can stay busy by managing tasks behind the bar that can help save you time for when the bar is bustling with people. If the bar gets slow, find out how you can help the rest of the staff. This will earn you the respect of your coworkers and employers. You might even find yourselfmaking a positive impact on the morale of the employees you work alongside. This might be one of the most valuable tips you’ll learn along the way!
Bartenders who easily engage in conversation with customers will, undoubtedly, attract tips. On the other hand, bartenders who have a knack for listening and making customers feel valued, are more likely to reap the rewards than someone who just talks a lot. Some customers will talk your ear off, so be careful to show consideration for everyone at the bar. You may break away from a talkative customer by telling them that you have to go take care of something/someone else, but you will be back. Most people will appreciate your consideration for other customers. Another strategy is to slowly back away while talking to let a conversation fizzle out. Body language communicates far more than your words do.
Tip: During peak hours, be mindful of people waiting for you to take their order. Sometimes, just a friendly glance or nod to acknowledge a waiting customercan diffuse the building tension of impatient customers.
You never know when you might be talking to a customer who turns out to have just the right connections to help you advance your career. Many people work as bartenders while also pursuing other careers or attending school. Keep in mind, every customer you serve might very well bring you closer to realizing your dreams.
Tip: Developing positive relationships with customers leads to your establishment developing “regulars.” Returning customers, or regulars, will help you build a name for yourself and your establishment. Therefore, be friendly, be personable, and intentional in your interactions. You might be surprised to see your tips skyrocket!
Bottles will spill. Glasses will break. Messes will be made. The important thing is to quickly and effectively clean it up. Do not let customers clean up broken glass! The last thing you need is to have a legal issue on your hands as the result of an injured customer. Promptly remove glass and clean the spill. If glass breaks near the ice machine, for safety purposes, all ice will need to be removed. Play it cool, but clean it up immediately. Managers, especially, will appreciate you looking out for the safety of the customers, the establishment, and it’s reputation.
Any number of situations can arise in a restaurant/bar atmosphere. Most people are looking to relax and have a good time, but occasionally there may be ornery customers. Be prepared and rely on your training to help you remain calm in the event of a hazardous situation. Take a course that can prepare you for situations such as how to refuse service to intoxicated customers, how to handle safety concerns for intoxicated individuals, and proper procedures for addressing disruptions in the establishment.
Tip: Your calm demeanor will soothe any anxious customers and keep them cool with staying put and having another round. Use humor to lighten the mood. Keep the worries low and the spirits high!
Tip: Be sure that you always follow your establishment’s rules for dealing with customers. These may go above and beyond what’s stated by your state’s laws, so be aware! Always be prepared to ask your manager!
Know the menu and be prepared to make recommendations. Also, know that people will order off-of-the-menu too! You can give the tips about what you personally have tried and that’s always appreciated. Study classic cocktails and be familiar with current trends. You do not want to be caught off guard when someone orders a drink that is not offered on the menu. Customers will appreciate your versatility and ability to accommodate them. Happy customers will leave positive reviews and tips!
Tip: Put your own signature on drinks. Be creative by dedicating attention to the presentation of the drinks you serve. Customers consume with their eyes first, so make the first impression a good one.
Tip: Are they with a party? Ask if they’d like to share what you’re having with another person. It engages the customer, allows them to show off a little and you possible get another person that likes your offering and will tell others!
It is important to pour just the right amount for the drinks you serve. Pour too much and your boss will not appreciate you costing more money by filling glasses to the brim. On the other hand, customers do not want you to be stingy on your pours either. You won’t get tips pouring too little, pouring too much you probably won’t either! Watch this video to learn more about how to pour the right amount and sign up for course that will prepare you for the bar license exam.
Are you looking to start a new career as a bartender? Are you eager to learn about what you can do to expand your knowledge and bartending skills? At Train4Less, we offer a variety of courses designed to suit your needs and fit your schedule. Get your alcohol seller/server license and seize the new opportunities that await you. For more information about available courses check back often!