Some say bartenders are born and not made. At Trendy Bartender we would agree with this, though everyone – be it bartending beginners or professional bartenders – must start somewhere. Kickstarting your bartending career doesn’t necessarily mean signing up at a bartending school right away, or researching on cocktail recipes and bartending tricks. To help you get a better idea of the mixology scene and get you prepared for this journey, here we have compiled a list of essential bartending tips. Welcome to your very first lecture at our virtual bartending school!
- Serve not just a drink, serve an experience. Remember that guests come not only for the drink, but for the whole bar and drinking experience. Making sure they are happy should be a major priority. It is all about them having a good time, while your companion, drink suggestions and conversation with them take the whole experience to a new level. The customer is always right until they overstep the mark and you should know where that mark is.
- You are on stage and it’s your show. Though your customers are watching you, be confident and at ease. To build up your persona and own your stage, all you need is to get accustomed to making drinks in front of people. Home bartending is always a good starting point – throw some small house parties and invite a few friends over, cater to their needs and preferences. Be sure to make the drink in front of them instead of preparing ahead. Remember, the stage is yours! To get your first bartending kit or the basic barware, you can head over to our Bar web shop section for all the equipments you may need. If the bar you work at does not provide quality bar tools it’s well worth requesting for an upgrade as professional tools can reassure the fineness and quality of your drinks. Investing on a personal bartending set is also a wise option since professional bartenders would bring all their cool gadgets along while working in multiple locations.
You are on stage and it’s your show… be confident and at ease.
- Be a flirt, be professional. Know where to stop, have fun, tell stories and remember to listen.Remember your clients’ names. Simply remembering a name can make a customer feel really important.
- Practise makes perfect. You want your customers to remember you and your signature drink, so always push yourself to refine your drinks and look for ways to improve. Would this proportion of liquor and punch be better? Can we further enhance the flavours and scents? Is your drink presentation appealing? These are some pointers that you can always reflect upon. (Wanna know more about the science behind a perfect cocktail? Find out here) If unsure about a drink then look it up, be honest with the client and maybe make a trial run for free. You learn, they gain and are more likely to revisit your bar!
- Be precise with change. Make sure you take the right amount of payment and make the correct change. If there is a service or door charge, make sure your client is well-informed as they sit down.
- Bartending is a long run gig. The more experienced and professional you become, the more tips you will gain, the more bar trades you are likely to make and the more you are likely to get a pay raise. It is a long term game, so don’t panic and learn all the way.
- Be in control. Like we said above, the customer is always right until they overstep the mark. You need to be able to control your environment. It is you the bartender, not your client, who runs the bar. When it comes to the bar ambience, song choices and playlists are always great for setting up the mood and bringing in your like-minded customers, but bear in mind that music should not be too loud. Air conditioning and heating should be just right as this will affect how long your customers stay in the bar.
- Impressions count. Keep a neat, tidy clean bar and washroom. If people think you don’t care then neither will they, it is that simple.
- Silence is gold. When it comes to client-serving, sometimes it is better to keep your opinions to yourself. Avoid topics that are too sensitive or heavy, offer subjective advice or dominate conversations. Talking about your personal problems with your customer is not professional, either. Leave them at the door before you enter the bar and turn on your charm!
- And just have some fun! Finally, and most importantly, enjoy what you do! Be the bartender you would like to be served by.