I hear so many excuses from bartenders about why they work the way they do. Some blame the customers who come to their bar, some blame their managers and others blame the culture of the brand they work for, but when push comes to shove, every single one of us needs to take responsibility for giving every single person who walks through our door the best service we personally can offer.
Now I’m not trying to pick on anyone, that’s never going to get people to keep coming back to the website and wanting to be better! What I am saying is that we all have a personal responsibility while we’re at work to not only keep our customers happy, but make them even happier than when they walked in.
We all have shifts where we just phone it in, do the minimum amount of work that we can without anyone noticing, just watching the clock for when we can leave. But consider, that you will feel like every shift is far shorter if you’re having fun, chatting to guests, making more money and getting the job done with a smile.
On Saturday night, I went back behind the bar for the first time in a couple of months. “What?” I hear you cry! Yes, that’s right, I’m not behind the bar every day of the week, on top of which my son Oliver was born 9 weeks ago (hence the fact I’ve not written as much as usual on here!) and his mom Jo runs the club I work at.
The club is not upmarket. It’s an unpretentious, 80s retro nightclub called Reflex, it doesn’t have a fancy cocktail menu, just your basics, but that doesn’t mean I can’t give the customers there a great night. Just by having fun with the customers (and a little flair) I was being asked to take pictures with the customers, I made more tips than the rest of the staff combined and the time just flew by.
Your job, in any bar where you’re working is to make money for the owner, when it comes down to it. The bar doesn’t make money, then eventually it will close and you’ll be looking for a job. One of the best things you can do to make sure that doesn’t happen is to keep customers happy and then make them more happy, so that they come back time and time again, and bring their friends. If they’re happy, your tips will take care of themselves and you’ll have much less hassle at work.
So on your next shift, don’t worry about those crazy mixology drinks, with hand smoked whiskeys and home made vanilla pod syrups, be a friend to your customers, get to know them and remember their name and what they drink, and you’ll immediately be in the top 10% of bartenders out there.