Bartending is all about interacting with guests, serving great drinks and making people happy. One of the most important aspects of the job is serving your customers.

bartenders better serve customers

 

Here are several tips to ensure you are serving your customers with the best possible care.

 

Be Prepared

 

Come to work prepared for the day. You can not serve your customers very well on only a few hours of sleep. This also applies to your work area. Make sure everything is in it’s proper place and the bar is well stocked. Customers hate it when you say that you are out of something they want. If you are well prepared it will really help you serve your customers to the best of your ability.

 

Anticipate Problems

 

Many problems can be prevented if you pay close attention. If a customer has their glass too close to the edge of the bar, or a customer seems to have had too much to drink, you can fix the issues before they become a problem. This also applies to things like running out of ice, or not having enough clean glasses for drinks. If you pay attention to your surroundings and foresee possible problems you can keep things running smoothly.

 

Know The Menu

 

As a bartender you should know the menu at your establishment even if you only serve drinks. If you are knowledgeable, you come off as more credible to your customers. Keep in mind a few things on the menu that are great for recommendations when helping a customer decide what to order. Don’t just hand your customers a menu and let them review it themselves. Tell them about specials and things you like on the menu. This will build up good rapport with your customers and regulars.

 

Work Fast and Efficiently

 

Bars get busy. If you want to better serve your clients you have to be willing to work fast without dropping the ball on your customer service. Customers do not like to wait, so it is important to get to them as soon as possible. However, if you are fast but messy, you are more likely to give poor service and upset customers. So, you need to find that happy medium.

 

Pay Attention To Customers

 

If your customer’s drink is almost empty offer to refill it. If their meal is almost finished ask if they want the check. It’s in the little details of your service that makes you a great bartender. Customers will come back if you are paying attention to their needs. If you make their experience personable and have things ready even before they ask you will be rewarded with loyalty.

 

Shhhh...

 

There are things that are okay to talk about and then there are things to avoid. Knowing when to tell a good joke or when to see yourself out of a conversation are key. Keep in mind you are there to serve and be there for your clients but there are also lines you can’t cross. A good rule of thumb is to always stay away from topics on politics and religion. Also, don’t over assert your opinions or push ideas onto your customers. It’s okay to play the role of a good friend and listener, but it’s not a good idea to get into controversial material.

 

Keep Your Work Area Clean

 

Nobody wants to order drinks at a dirty bar. People go to bars to have a good time and escape life for a while. So your bar has to keep up with the illusion of a fun place to be. Also, a messy bar poses health risks, so be sure to keep it clean. Your customers will appreciate it.

 

Control Your Environment

 

A lot goes on at the bar. In order to serve your customers you have to be mindful of the atmosphere. Is it too cold or too hot? Is the music too loud? Is a customer upsetting another customer? Are your customers into the television show that is on? If you control what’s going on you will make your customers more comfortable and be able to serve them better. Also keep in mind there are things you can not control like the weather. But you can always find a way to make the best out of things you can control.

 

Good Money Handling Skills Are Key 

 

A good bartender knows how important money is to people. The way you handle people’s money or credit cards ensures that you have satisfied customers. Take the time to make sure you are giving correct change every time and don’t count your tips until you are off work. Serving your customers also means handling bar tabs and bills with great care.

Pros and Cons of Bartending vs. Serving



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Are you unsure when to stop serving drinks?

If you are a bartender, you will come across some interesting people who are pretty difficult to deal with.  You have the customers that will repeat things over and over to the point that it becomes extremely annoying. Then you have those who will expect you to read their mind, and then get mad at your drink recommendation.  

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Have you ever wonder why people love the bar so much?

 

People Love the Bar

 

Being in my late 20’s I’ve come to realize that there are two different types of a ‘night out’. There’s the one where you put on one of your better dresses. You do your hair and makeup just right and go to a club where you and your friends dance with strangers and drink the night away. 

 

Then there’s the night where your clothes consist of comfortable jeans and a stain free shirt. Your hair is in a messy bun as you walk into your favorite bar to relax for the evening. It probably comes as no surprise that I prefer the second type of night.

There is something cozy and homey about bars. And after spending time visiting ones from all around the world, I’ve come to realize a few things about why people love the bar so much.

 

 

Fact #1: Variety 

 

 

No matter your lifestyle there is always a bar out there for you. From the upper class that serves prohibition style cocktails. To the dive bars where country and rock pour from the jukebox. There is a bar for everyone. Personally I prefer the Irish pubs, where the main drinks are Guinness and Heineken while Dropkick Murphy’s plays in the background.

 

Fact #2: Want to Talk, Don’t Want to Talk?

 

Have you ever had one of those days where you don’t really feel like talking to anyone? But you don’t necessarily want to be alone.  The wonderful thing about bars is that they are always full of people and there’s no obligation to talk. Sometimes it’s just nice to be a part of a collective conversation and too just nod your head along. And sometimes it’s just nice to be surrounded by quiet chatter while you reflect over your drink.

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Fact #3: A Place to Vent

 

Being in a bar, it’s almost a requirement to share the details about something that may not be going great in your life. Here no one is passing judgment because they may be going through a similar experience.  It’s not all bad news because the bar is also the place to have a shot to celebrate a birthday or toast to a new promotion.  The bar is the place to express yourself through the good or bad times.  

 

Fact #4. Introvert, Extrovert? We Love Them All!

 

Bars are definitely the place where everyone can come and find themselves at ease.  An extrovert is a friendly person who truly enjoys talking to and being around other people.  If you’re an extrovert there will be plenty of people to talk to and swap stories with.  It’s not as easy for introverts to make new friends because it takes up so much energy to get to know someone.  So introverts will most likely be the one listening to the most outrageous stories.     

 

Fact #5. Comradery

 

If you’re lucky enough you will find a bar that becomes your home away from home.  You know the one where you know the owners, all of the bartenders know you by name. And they have your drink poured as you walk through the door.  The other patrons warmly welcome you and probably know details about your life that no one else knows. It is in these bars where stories and advice are doled out over beer and anyone can be dragged into a conversation.

 

People Love the Bar

 

The thing I personally love about bars is the ease of the atmosphere. No one cares where you’ve been and no one cares about your mistakes, everyone is just looking for the same thing - a cold drink and a fun story to listen to.

 

 

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Would you please stop bullying at the bar? 

We've all encountered them; overzealous bouncers and security at bars and clubs. They range from not very friendly (which we can deal with) to blatantly disregarding your rights and your property.

Of course, the vast majority of security are professional, gracious, and, quite frankly, deserving of sainthood for all they put up with. However, there are those who cross the line of not just politeness, but the law. Read on for what you may encounter, and how to respond.

 

Stop Bullying

 

What Are Bouncers and Security Actually Allowed to Do?

 

 

First of all, you need to know what bouncers are allowed to do by law, and it's probably less than you think. Legally their job does not have any special provisions about physical force. They are allowed to ID you and refuse you entry if you're too drunk or aren't complying with the establishment's policies in some way. They can also ask you to leave for the same reasons. But, as far as fights go, bouncers can break them up and respond to aggressive behavior with equal force only. So, if you instigate a fight, they can respond in kind.  

 

What They Can’t Do

 

Ok so that all makes sense right? Now let's cover the things that bouncers cannot do. Most importantly, they can't use unwarranted physical force against you. This includes physically throwing you out of the bar, striking you, or using a weapon of any kind. They also can't confiscate your ID.

Now, whether you want to argue this with a bouncer is entirely up to you, but legally they can't take it. What will most likely happen is they will turn it over to the cops, who can confiscate it. They also cannot take any of your property without your consent. If you are carrying an item that isn’t allowed in the bar however, they can refuse you entry.

 

Searches

 

This is a slightly confusing topic, legally speaking. Bouncers can search you to a reasonable extent, but only if you consent to it. So, if you are comfortable with a pat-down style search then they can perform one. This doesn’t mean that they can perform a strip search or any other invasive procedure and it is absolutely your right to refuse any kind of search. However, they can then deny you entry into the establishment if you do not consent to a search.

 

What to Do If You Encounter a Problem

 

Stop Bullying

If you come across a bouncer who is simply rude, there may not be much you can do. Conduct yourself in a courteous and polite manner so you don't give them any reason to cite provocation. You can then inquire within the establishment about the company they work for in order to file a complaint. If they are hired privately by the bar, it’s best to take it up with management.

If you are hit by or otherwise physically assaulted by a bouncer, there are several steps you should take.  

If you suffer serious injury you could potentially sue the bouncer or the company that employs them for damages.

While we hope you never have a bad interaction with security, we are neither lawyers nor cops. If you think a bouncer has crossed the line, contact your local PD.

 

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Bartender training is a tough job. It takes time to develop the relationships and workflow that make any service industry gig worthwhile. Sometimes, by the time you get a new job, you may not have the luxury of stressing over whether it’s a good “fit” or not.

 

Bartender Training

 

Of course, if you’re super hard up for money, you may have to take what you can get. That said, we don’t want you to accept a job that will ultimately make you miserable. Here are some things to look out for during your bartender training shifts that can give you a better overall idea about the establishment and the position as a whole.

 

How do the Managers and Staff Interact?

 

This is a big one, and thus, number one on the list. Every bartender or server knows that the difference between a crappy job and one you love; many times comes down to management. So, during your first few shifts, take a look at how the staff reacts to their higher-ups. Do they roll their eyes when the boss walks away? Are they comfortable and relaxed, yet remain respectful? It has been my experience that my relationship with a manager can make or break a job.  

If the staff seems comfortable approaching the boss with problems and mistakes that need fixing, and the manager reacts in an understanding and professional way, that’s a good sign.

 

 

What are the Shifts Like?

 

It’s important to understand what you’re getting into as far as shifts go. I’ve seen many a place where they sort of “feel” like they need someone else, but in reality they’re overstaffed. This leads to a lot of tension between colleagues, and possibly less money for you.

Ask some relevant questions like, “What will my shifts be?” and “Is it a set schedule?” You obviously want to do a great job and it may be an amazing establishment to work for, but if there’s not enough shifts, or more shifts than you feel you can handle, it might make sense to walk away sooner versus later.

 

Who Cuts Who and When?

 

In every place I’ve ever worked except one, getting cut is a huge source of stress and frustration for the staff.  It can range from the downright unreasonable to the totally inconsistent. So, if you’ll be on the night shift, try to figure out who gets out when and who makes that decision.  

Being released at an appropriate time may mean the difference between a good night’s rest and an insufficient one. It also can affect your wallet. It may be super busy for happy hour, but if you’re tipping someone else out until 3 am, the money may be a disappointment.

 

What’s the Food Like?

 

This one’s pretty simple. This is, most likely, the food you’ll be eating almost every day, sometimes twice a day! If it sucks, that could be a real bummer for your stomach and your health. Similarly, if you have to keep apologizing to customers and comping their bills because of subpar fare, it could turn into a real drain on your paycheck.

 

 

Speaking of Paychecks…

 

Please don’t let this be a mystery to you. You have a right to know how much you’ll be making (including training) and how often. Will your tips come in a check? How do they tax you? These are all things to keep track of and fair questions to ask an employer before you start the job.  

Restaurants and bars often give the impression that being asked to train is not the same as being hired. If that’s their attitude, then you should take the necessary steps to train them in and see if it will be a good fit for both of you.

 

Want to connect with people at your bar in a whole new way? Download the BOTY App on iTunes or Google Play for free!

 

 

 

There are several things bartenders can teach you.

It’s been one of those days where all you want to do is have a drink. But unlike George Thorogood’s famous song, you don’t feel like ‘drinking alone.’  So instead you make your way over to your favorite bar where the bartenders know your name. And can tell by the expression on your face exactly what you need.

 

Bartenders Can Teach

 

Before you even manage to sit, there’s a drink waiting for you and a smile on the face of the bartender. You take a sip and suddenly things fall into place. And all is right with the world once again.  This is what I love about bars.

Being in my mid-twenties I have visited my fair share of bars and have spoken to many bartenders from all over the world.  I have come to realize that bartenders can unknowingly teach you valuable lessons about life.

 

1. Bartenders Can Teach about Alcohol

 

Bartenders are obviously exposed to the world of liquor at many different levels. If you ever have a question about any type of alcohol or drink, the best person to ask is a seasoned bartender.  They can tell you about the best liquors and what to avoid.  

 

 

2. Bartenders Can Teach about Limits

 

Dealing with intoxicated people comes with the territory of the job.  As a bartender gains experience on they job, they become excellent at determining what someone’s limit is. This is great for anyone to learn in order to keep themselves and their friends safe from alcohol poisoning and getting themselves out of trouble.

 

3. Diffusing

 

There are always going to be those incidences where bartenders are going to have to diffuse a situation between two patrons. Bartenders will rarely use physical force for this, only if necessary and more commonly use different verbal methods to rein the situation under control.

 

4. Storytelling

 

If you are a writer or someone who wants to be able to learn how to tell a great story, ask a bartender to tell you one. You cannot work in a bar and not have some juicy tales to spill, and for some reason bartenders just have the charisma that allows them to be exceptional storytellers.  Maybe it’s the drinks.  

 

5. Patience

 

If patience is a virtue then bartenders are the holy saints of it. In a bar you deal with people from all walks of life. And while that makes for an interesting work environment, it can also be pretty frustrating. There are always going to be those nasty customers who are rude, disrespectful and very critical right from the start and a bartender has to take it all while providing good service and timely drinks.

 

6. Understanding People

 

Bartending is one part providing and creating drinks and one part people watching. If you work in a bar long enough, you will figure out someone from the moment they step through the door.

 

 

7. Maintaining Stamina

 

People don’t think that bartending is a physically demanding job and they are completely wrong. You are standing/running around for up to 12 hours shifts with barely any breaks. Bartenders definitely know some tricks of the trade when it comes to keeping their stamina.

 

Bartenders Can Teach

 

Next time you go to a bar don’t just think of your bartender as someone who lives to serve you. Think of them as a teacher, a Jedi perhaps, who can teach you some valuable life lessons.

 

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Have you ever just sat back and observed the different personalities that come in the bar? People are fascinating and when alcohol is involved they become even more so. From the hip, trendy bar customers to the every day regulars, there is never a dull moment at the bar. 

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Bar Customers

 

Here are 7 different types of bar customers.

 

The Sophisticated Drinker

 

These bar goers are usually easy to spot. Their high-end clothes and trendy personalities usually shine through. A sophisticated drinker is typically into top of the line drinks like scotch, bourbon or dirty vodka martinis. However, they also may like a good red wine or a craft stout beer. Bartenders seem to like a sophisticated drinker.

It always impressed them when you order a good, classy drink. So, if you want to score points with your bartender, order their favorite scotch on the rocks or a gin and tonic. But a word of caution, being a sophisticated drinker is not cheap. It costs money to sling back those expensive drinks all night.

 

The Manly Drinker

 

A manly drinker is your beer drinker that frequents bars during big sports games or any other big event. Typically he never drinks alone. A manly drinker will have three to five of his buddies or co-workers with him. Drinking for them is so much more fun when you have buddies with you.

The manly drinkers will most likely hog one side of the bar or a pool table, but preferably they will be on the side of the room where they can see a television. In the eyes of a manly drinker nothing is better than a cold beer and big game. It doesn’t matter what type of beer they are drinking, as long as it is beer. Occasionally, when the game is going well they may order a round of shots.

 

The Lover of Wine

 

These are most oftenly beautiful ladies who have a good palate and a taste for high-end drinks. There are three different types of wine lovers:The Red Wine Drinker: The red wine drinker typically will only like deep red, full body wines. They seem to have a passion for life and are very loyal to their friends.

-----The Red Wine Drinker: The red wine drinker typically will only like deep red, full body wines. They seem to have a passion for life and are very loyal to their friends.

-----The White Wine Drinker: The white wine drinker is usually a somebody who just started to take an interest in wine or the girl who is mainly likes sweet drinks. This wine lover is a lot of fun to hang out with and a bit of flirt.

-----The Wine Connoisseur: Now the wine connoisseur is a true wine drinker who will order a fine wine regardless if it’s red or white. This type of wine drinker knows what goes into a great wine and will test your knowledge of the wine.Also, The wine connoisseur has a great palate and knows what he or she likes.

No matter what type of lover of wine a person is, one thing is for sure they tend to enjoy the finer things in life and they tend to not rush through life haphazardly.

 

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The Shot Master

 

This type of bar goer loves to have shots. It doesn’t matter what the shot is. He or she is a thrill seeker and knows the fastest way to a buzz is a by downing few shots. The shot master is always the life of the party. They love anything from Irish Car Bombs to a shot of Jack or even the popular Jaegar bomb. You have to watch out for these guys though, like that saying goes,‘1 tequila, 2 tequila, floor’, too many shots can mean trouble.

 

The Girlie Drinker

 

The girlie drinker is your average woman who likes a good daiquiri, margarita or a good mixed drink. Many of these drinkers love their vodka and red bulls or Tequila Sunrises. These are usually the fun ladies at the bar and can typically be found in the corner surrounded by 6 or 7 of their closest friends, giggling and having a good old time.

 

The Big Spender

 

This guy is usually harder to spot in crowd, at first. He tends to blend in well and starts out drinking slowly. However, after a few drinks he starts buying rounds for everyone while he flaunts his money. He quickly can become the life of the party until his money runs out. This is the guy you want to be friends with, because everyone likes free drinks.

 

The Drunk

 

This is a bartender’s least favorite customer because they know sometime by the end of the night they will be babysitting this bar goer. The drunk has no real preference to what he is drinking as long as he is drinking. As a drunk starts drinking they got louder and more rambunctious. They eventually lose all ability to think with common decency and will hit on anything in a 5-mile-radius.Often times they can become argumentative and start fights. Beware of the drunk. He could be a regular or he could be the new guy, you never know. Either way his nights always end in disaster.

Bars are filled with many different personalities. This is the reason why bartending is such an interesting job. Everyday you get to meet people, with different personalities, preferences and experiences. Everyday is a new, interesting day as a bartender. 

 

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Bartenders actively listen to your customers to have a productive and lucrative career in bartending. 

Bartending is a skill that incorporates more than slinging a few drinks together. It really involves actively listening to your customers and responding appropriately. If you do not have great communication skills you will need to learn some in order to have success in the profession.

 

Bartender actively listen to your customers

 

Make Good Use of Your Bartender Time

 

So, what does it mean to actively listen to customers? Actively listening is an acquired skill that involves:

 

 

 

Bartender Actively Listen by Understanding the Right Cues

 

 
Nonverbal Cues

 

On any good Friday night a bartender is rushing about looking for customers who need refills, greeting customers who just walked into the establishment, paying close attention to how much customers are drinking and finally watching for any bad situations that may arise in the bar.

With all this going on, a bartender has to be mindful of the verbal and nonverbal cues around him. Nonverbal communication makes up 90% of all communication so it plays a big role in bartending. Important nonverbal cues include:

 
Verbal Cues

 

Verbal cues are anything your customer says. It’s important to listen intently to their likes and dislikes. If a customer offers a complaint. It’s a good idea to paraphrase what they said and offer a solution as quickly as possible. For example, a customer complains that it took so long to get a drink. You could paraphrase it back this way and add a solution:

“ I understand that you had to wait a bit longer than usually for your drink. Your next drink is on me.”

Now in the world of bartending we can not give everyone free drinks when they have to wait.This is just a quick example of how to paraphrase in order to let your customer know that you understand why they are upset. If you understand your customers needs nonverbally and verbally you are on the right track to actively listening. 

 

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Making Appropriate Eye Contact 

 

When learning to how to actively listen to your customers it is important to have appropriate eye contact. This can be tricky for some. Too much eye contact can scare your customers, while too little eye contact can make your customers feel like you are not interested in what they have to say.

A good rule of thumb is to look at your customers when they are speaking to you. Once they have gotten their point across you can continue doing what you were doing.

 

Having Good Posture 

 

Posture says a lot about a person. Standing erect with your shoulders back says that you are very confident in yourself. Slouchy or leaning on the bar can come across as either laziness or self-doubt. Your customers want someone they can rely on. Always be aware of your posture while serving drinks.

 

Listening Without Being Distracted

 

In a busy bar this is easily said than done. However, it is important to let your customers know they are important to you. With that being said, take care of one customer at a time and carefully listen to each one. Multitasking is important but not at the expense of your customers needs.

 

Asking Good Questions

 

A great bartender who actively listens will ask appropriate questions when trying to help their customers. Sometimes the question is a simple as, would you like ice with that?

And sometimes the questions can be a bit more complex. Either way, being able to ask the right questions at the correct time will allow you to better serve your customers. When asking your customers questions:

 

 

Asking good questions is practically common sense. Yet so many people don’t ask the right questions or misinterpret what their customers are saying. In order to actively listen to your customer and serve them you really need to learn how to ask the best questions.

As a bartender we tend to be a counselor, caregiver and public servant to our customers. It’s important to actively listen and have good communication skills in this field.

I implore you to start implementing good actively listening skills into your job and to continue learning new communication skills that will help with your customer service. Your customers will be happy that you took the time to really take care of their needs.

 

Want to connect with people at your bar in a whole new way? Download the BOTY App on iTunes or Google Play for free!

 

 

 
 

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