An aspiring bartender can’t become a completely savvy and successful bartender overnight. It’s an art – like painting except instead of brushes you have beer taps, liquor bottles and cocktail shakers. You also need to be proficient at multitasking and being obsessed with the multiple facets of managing a bar and people.
- Keep a positive attitude – No matter how your day is going, keep a positive attitude when you’re serving bar patrons. Your day may not be going well, but some of their days may be going even worse. Simple things like smiling, saying thank you and maybe even a little friendly banter can help cheer someone up and make them want to spend more time at your bar.
- Keep your bar areas clean – A dirty bar isn’t only unappealing to any potential customers – it’s potentially unsanitary and unhealthy. Wipe down the bar routinely and clean-up any spills as they happen. Dispose of any straws, napkins, loose pieces of paper, empty food plates (if your bar serves food) and remove any glasses that people are finished with. A bar full of empty beer bottles and shot glasses isn’t very attractive to a group that may have just walked in.
- Make tasteful drink suggestions – Assisting someone with their drink choice and making them happy that way is one of the ways to make a great tip. Using your drink expertise to find a drink that might fit their personality and preference is almost as an integral part of being a bartender as mixing drinks.
- Memorize and anticipate – A fantastic short term memory will be your best aid as a bartender. Remembering what each patron and party ordered as you’re filling other drink orders or while you’re interacting with the waitstaff is crucial. That memory can help you anticipate the next drink orders from patrons. This is so when you see a glass that is close to empty or that’s already empty, you can confidently go up to the patron and guess what their refill will be – or even suggest a complimentary drink order. This memory and anticipation can also be your pathway to more and better tips.
- Give equal attention to all patrons – Even if your old buddy from college walks in and you want to catch-up on good times, you have to give all of the patrons at the bar equal attention. Someone could be waiting to cash out on their tab or waiting for their next drink order and every minute you spend entrenched in a conversation and not serving those customers is a minute where potential tips and return customers can be lost. Avoid this by splitting up time equally; you don’t have to cut someone off mid-sentence to serve another person drinks, just be mindful. And even though you could get some good tips…
- It’s not all about the tips – Tips will most likely make up most of your income, but if you turn it into a life or death scenario when you get a stingy tip, it might show on your face, in your service or in your attitude. You are going to get customers that are completely stingy and that make you mad. You’ll have to learn how to let it go because you’ll also have customers who tip generously because of your great service and that might come back.
If you have any questions about Bartending or wish to register for an upcoming class, please contact the Maryland Bartending Academy by calling 410-787-0020 or visit MarylandBartending.com today!
Maryland Bartending Academy is not only Maryland’s oldest bartending school, but we also offer the most comprehensive curriculum around. We will have you ready for your new career in two weeks and then we will help you find bartender jobs around Maryland and DC! We have trained and placed thousands and thousands of bartenders into some of the busiest bars throughout not only Maryland and DC, but also the entire nation.