Contrary to popular belief, even veteran bartenders don’t remember every drink known to man. However, the difference between them and a novice is that they will never admit it. Instead, they will say they are aware of several ways to make a drink, and ask what the customer prefers.
Here are 5 more practices that bartenders in Colorado use to keep the drinks flowing:
- Remain Calm at all Times. As a bartender, you will encounter a different breed of customer when compared to other hospitality establishments. Not all of them will be polite, and some may even get violent at times, especially after they have had a few drinks. Unpredictable demands can shock you but there are some tricks you can use to deal with them. Focus on the task at hand. Your job is to hand out food and drinks as the orders come in. Maintain a first come, first serve policy and ignore customers at the back waving their money around or shouting their orders at you. They can wait their turn while you address the customers in line. Treat difficult customers with respect and show patience even if they lose their patience. This will calm them down enough for you to take their order.
Treat difficult customers with respect and show patience even if they lose their patience.
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- Have ‘Flair’. Bartending has become a demanding profession nowadays. Customers usually customize their orders and are more knowledgeable about drinks. They understand spirits and they understand service. While you may not be able to meet those demands all the time, you can use flair to ensure they have a good time. By flair we mean creating a memorable and enjoyable experience for guests. You don’t have to go over the top to entertain them. Incorporate flair as part of the general service. Make people laugh, ask them about their day or ask for updates about their life. It should be something customers recognize you for and which can encourage recommendations.
- Maintain Boundaries and Keep It Clean. While you should talk to customers, you don’t need to pry into their lives to keep the drinks flowing. Set social boundaries so that you don’t get too involved with a customer, and abstain from disclosing private information to other patrons. Be cordial but polite to keep a respectful distance and remain professional. Make yourself busy by cleaning the bar if there aren’t any orders coming in. That way you will also be prepared to handle big crowds or unexpected drink orders. The more organized you are, the better you will be at your job. Customers are also more willing to drink at a bar that is clean.
- Make Suggestions. If a customer orders a drink and you have another that they will like better, don’t be afraid to suggest it. Doing so will assure them that you care about their experience and they will be more willing to return. Since you are in a better position to suggest good drinks, take advantage of that and create a loyal following. As a rule of thumb, make suggestions if the customer is taking some time to decide. Make your job easier by suggesting specials as soon as a new guest sits down at the bar. Treat regulars with respect by asking them if they will have the regular or a new drink that was just stocked. Since you are an expert, chances are they will take your advice, and that is only good for business.
- Don’t Play Favorites. It may be tempting to focus on a favorite customer at the bar, but it shouldn’t be done at the expense of others waiting for their turn. As a bartender, you cannot afford to give preferential treatment. Every customer should be shown the same amount of care and attention whether they are old guests or new ones. To prevent this habit, avoid getting into deep discussions with patrons. If there is only one person at the bar, scan the area for work you can do to distract yourself. Clean the bar, wipe the counter, make the glasses sparkle or replace napkins.
Source: TABC Blog by Learn 2 Serve