From the back of the house to the front, running a bar is a smooth operation that is designed to keep you happy and keep the cash flowing in. Most bar patrons really don’t know what goes on behind the scenes unless they’ve worked as a bartender or similar position previously.
To help you learn more about how bars are run, here are 5 things you should know.
1. Bar Layout: Dining Vs Drinking
A good bar layout makes the experience of spending time in a bar more enjoyable. As a result, most bars follow these general tips when it comes to layout. Dining areas are for guests who are ordering food and the bar area is for patrons who are just ordering drinks. So if you want faster service, even if you plan to sit down later to eat it’s advisable to walk to the bar to grab a drink.
2. Bars Focus on 5 Menu Categories for Food
When it comes to the menu items for bars, they generally tend to fit into one of the five categories:
- Appetizers: This type of bar serves the small plates that are served before the main meal in a restaurant. In some bars, appetizers are the only thing on the menu.
- Tapas: Tapas are snacks or small plates in the Spanish tradition. Sometimes, these plates can be fusion foods or just tiny portions of exceptional dishes.
- Full-blown Menu: Many bars offer a full-bar restaurant menu these days. It may include pub favorites as appetizers but also includes other items such as salads, entrees, deserts, and even a kids’ menu.
- Happy Hour: Some bars only serve food during their happy hour promotion, which is when they offer special pricing and other promotions on drinks as well.
- Pub Favorites: These types of pubs serve only the foods that are the most popular bar food options, such as wings, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, burgers, chicken fingers and more.
When you walk into a bar, you should be able to immediately tell what type of bar it is when it comes to the menu to help you decide if you’d like to dine in or just stick with drinks.
3. Security Is Always on the Lookout
Bar employees watch out for patrons who come to bars to get drunk and cause trouble. So they typically look out for the signs such as a patron drinking too fast, chain-smoking, spilling drinks or disrupting others, and more. As a result, at most bars the troublemakers are typically already headed on a path out of the door before you even start to notice what’s going on.
4. Bars Mix It Up on the Week Nights
In addition to happy hours, bar owners know that they can’t survive on the weekends alone when the bar tends to be the most packed. To encourage customers to come in during the week, nearly all bars have a schedule of regular promotions and events, such as karaoke or game nights. If you want to mix it up and check out a different scene, look out for and get notified when these events happen.
5. Ask for the Signature Drink
Almost every bar has one. If you really want to try an awesome drink that the bar spent a lot of time on, order their signature drink. It just might mean the start of a great night!