A good bartender knows there are holidays and then there are drinking holidays.
Drinking holidays are the days that your bar or tavern mostly likely will have a heavy flow of people coming into drink and have fun. These days can actually take a toll on the bartenders and servers. Yet they are also great days to make more money.
Survival Tip 1: Get Some Rest
Don’t go into your shift unrested. Some bartenders have tried to work on a holiday on only a couple hours of sleep and can tell you it is unpleasant. Make sure the night before a big drinking holiday that you get a full 8 hours of sleep. You are going to need it!
Survival Tip 2: Wear Comfortable Shoes
Any bartender or server will tell you, it’s a bad idea to wear dress shoes or heels on a day that you know you will be busy at work. Unless you are fine with pancake-size blisters and sore feet, wear a pair of comfy gym shoes instead. Your feet will thank you.
Survival Tip 3: Drink Plenty of Water
This is especially true if you are working on a really hot day. The last thing anyone needs is a dehydrate bartender passing out behind the bar. Also, when a customer offers you a shot, drink a shot of water or juice instead. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Survival Tip 4: Pace Yourself
It’s important to serve as many people as possible in a timely manner, but don’t allow customers to rush or take advantage of you. Pace yourself in order to make fewer mistakes and to keep your energy flowing throughout your shift. This will also help your tips to come in pretty steady.
Survival Tip 5: Don’t Be Afraid To Cut It
People tend to let their guard down on holidays and you may see many of them get too drunk. Always be the smart bartender. If someone looks like they have had enough, cut them off and offer them a cab ride home.
Survival Tip 6: Be Aware of Longer Hours
On drinking holidays a lot of crazy things happen. Bartenders call in sick, go on vacation, or some simply just don’t show up. Plus, it is busy and there may be more people than the bar may be able to handle. If you know in advance that you could possibly work longer than planned, it won’t be so much of a problem.
Survival Tip 7: Be Prepared
Make sure you are prepared before the day. Overstock the bar, prep garnishes and set up a good workstation. It’s better to be over prepared than not prepared at all.
Survival Tip 8: Look Out For Others
If you want the night to run smoothly, you and your co workers have to work as a team. If one of you is swamped, another should help out. If one of your co workers needs a breather, let them take a quick break and cover them. Working at a bar is hard work, it’s even harder when it’s busy and everyone is being selfish. Be a good team player and take care of your teammates.
Survival Tip 9: Stay Cool
Working the holidays can be very stressful. You are working and not enjoying time with your family. Sometimes your customers can be rude, obnoxious and unforgiving. No matter what the situation is you have to have patience and be understanding. Don’t let anything get to you, it’s just a job and you are there to work. If you remain calm regardless of what is going on around you, the night will go more smoothly and your tips will show it.
Survival Tip 10: Bring Protein Snacks
When you’re busy, it is almost impossible to get a break. If it’s allowed, bring peanuts, trail mix, an energy bar, raisins or a granola bar for a quick snack when you just can’t get a way. It’s important to have something that will help boost your energy and protein levels to help you make it through your shift. Of course if you get an official break, it’s important to pack a lunch. Unfortunately bartenders may not get breaks during these busy shifts so don’t forget to bring a snack.