The bartender is one of your bar’s most powerful and important components. Finally, they are the face of your company and the key interfaces between your company and its most valuable asset: its consumers. Many entrepreneurs I know think that your most valuable asset is not your consumer, but how you engage with them. With this in mind, I cannot emphasize enough the necessity of improving your bartenders’ “behavior” for them to get the most out of their employment – notably their attitude to customer service, productivity, and hence profitability.
I can also say the same thing about waitstaff – they, too, are frontline powerhouses for your restaurant, and I recommend that you treat them similarly to your bartenders in terms of customer service and upselling training. Waitstaff, on the other hand, is selling your goods at the customer’s table (rather than the bar) and have more impact to upsell things (they’ll have more time to deliver a sales presentation, and they won’t have to shout as much!). However, keep in mind that your bartenders are more likely to be expected to handle higher loads of clients, so if you have a training budget, prioritize it for your bartenders.
If you need a method to persuade your employees that ‘customer service training’ would significantly enhance their tip income, tell them it will. This essential motto should be covered during the induction process — you can shape the mindset of your new employees from the start. Organize customer service and upselling training for your frontline personnel, as I’ve recommended in previous chapters – you could even learn a useful skill yourself.
A competent bartender will also have a cheerful attitude and a willingness to offer their all while always learning new skills. A competent bartender will have confidence, attitude, and personality, but will always respect their clients, coworkers, and venue. A competent bartender will be proud of their look and enthusiastic about their profession.
As I said during the trial portion of the induction process, a Bartender Resume should have the following fundamental qualities:
- Has a good rapport with consumers.
- Under strain, it performs admirably.
- Exceptional customer service abilities
- Easily navigates around the bar,
- Produces high-quality beverages, shows initiative and takes responsibility for their work.
- Interacts nicely with current employees.
- In a bar machine, there is a ‘groove.’
- Works nicely with service systems.
- Has a strong feeling of urgency (this is very important)
- Superior nonverbal customer service abilities
- Smiles! Smiling is also essential!
A skilled bartender will also do the following:
Pay attention to what consumers are saying. Pay attention to what they are requesting. Pay attention to what they’re saying. Listen for cues about the condition of their situation: if one client informs another that they need a glass of water or a drinks menu, a smart bartender will bring it to them before they ask for it. This will get the bartender a million points (hypothetically, of course) and considerably increase the odds of receiving a tip. This also applies to other employees — a competent bartender will instinctively assist other employees with their drink orders and work as a team to provide individual drink requests.