In our most recent edition of 2-Minute Tuesdays, Sr. Manager of Customer Education Trevor Bernatchez, talks about some valuable skills you should have when pursuing a career as a bartender. Read on to learn more, or watch the whole video (~2 mins) above.
As a bartender, your role is diverse and fast-paced. There’s a lot going on during any given shift, and in order to be successful in your role, you’ll need to learn how to master these essential bartending skills to become the most valuable asset behind your bar.
You don’t necessarily need encyclopedic drink knowledge. However, you should remember how to make common cocktails and the drinks featured on your bar’s cocktail list. If you constantly have to ask customers for clarification, you risk wasting time and looking unprofessional.
It’s important to remember regular customers. They will generally make up the majority of your bar’s business and they need to be taken care of. To create and maintain regular customers, it’s essential to know their names and what they usually like to drink.
Throughout your entire interaction with a customer, you’re expected to remain calm, polite, amiable, and collected, even if you’re frustrated, overwhelmed, stressed, exhausted, or dealing with personal problems. It matters how you carry yourself, what facial expressions you make, and what energy you’re giving off.
Different customers require different types of service. Your service style should also cater to both the group of women casually sipping margaritas and chatting on a Thursday night and the crowd of college students looking to drink cheap beer and watch the game.
It’s great if you can craft a high quality cocktail. But, can you make the same cocktail 50 times a night for six shifts a week? Unlike your varying styles of service, your drinks should always be consistent. It’s important that you correctly portion the right amount of ingredients, with no variation in taste, volume, or appearance between drinks.
Bartending is about the full customer experience, which means cleanliness is crucial. If your bar is sticky and smells of stale beer, it’s bad for business. Patrons will naturally assume if the front of the house is unsanitary, the back of the house is, too.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a bartending vet, you should constantly work to improve your bar technique to impress your manager, bring in tips, and keep customers coming back for more.
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