Serving drinks is just one aspect of a bartender’s job. As a professional bartender, you will find yourself talking to customers, working late hours, organizing inventory, cutting garnishes, and ensuring the bar remains clean.
Rather than learning on the job and compromising thousands of dollars worth of drinks and equipment, consider a training course. Here are 5 of the best practices you can learn to become a professional bartender.
1. Make Eye Contact
Like any good customer service, the first thing that needs to be established is eye contact. By looking them in the eye when they approach the bar, you can make a connection with your customers instantly. The aim is to reassure customers straight off the bat via a non-verbal welcome.
Smile or add a nod to acknowledge that you have seen them, especially if you are busy with others. This way, they won’t feel ignored. This trick will come in handy during Happy Hour, anytime the bar is full and/or if you are short on wait staff.
2. Maintain a Friendly Tone
After making eye contact, the next step is to greet the customer. A friendly tone will make a positive impression, and set them at ease while a sour disposition might make them turn away from the bar. This will be easier to do if you have a smile on your face.
Therefore, try to leave personal matters at the door and greet every customer the way you would want to be greeted at a bar. Remember, they will be looking for a willing ear to listen to their troubles. Give them this, and you will make loyal customers fast.
3. Don’t Ignore Your Guests
Just because you served them a drink doesn’t mean you should ignore them later. Rather than spending more time than necessary cleaning glasses, start a conversation. Besides acting as their server, you may also have to become a sympathetic listener when the drinks kick in.
However, while you are making a connection, never pry into their personal lives. Just listen to their troubles and try not to give advice. By listening to their issues, you will create loyal customers and that is always good for business.
4. Be Flexible
Your customers will be like the drinks you serve – no two will ever be exactly alike. The key to good service is to match your approach accordingly. For instance, if a group of businessmen visit a packed bar, focus on their needs and try to get through their order quickly. Similarly, if the bar is not crowded and you have a couple of women sipping margaritas, feel free to chat with them.
As a professional bartender, your goal should be to maintain a balance between customer care and sales. By learning how to deal with different customers, you can maintain that equilibrium and ensure the bar never runs dry. This will take practice but after a while behind the bar, you will be able to anticipate your customers’ needs with pinpoint accuracy.
5. Master Free Pouring
If your bar prefers the free pouring method, master this skill early. Without practice, you could either over-pour and lose hundreds of dollars or under-pour and shortchange customers. Neither of these scenarios will make you popular.
To pour just the right amount, pour 3 or 4 ounces per glass. This is easier said than done if you don’t practice. The best way to perfect this skill is to practice free pouring in shot glasses. That way you will be able to determine how many ounces you are pouring in a larger glass accurately. Test yourself regularly to ensure that the count remains accurate.
Oregon Alcohol Seller/Server Training Course
You need a license to serve alcohol and to work as a bartender in most states. Learn to serve behind a bar and become a professional bartender in Oregon by signing up for 360Training.com’s Oregon Alcohol Seller/Server Training Course. The course has been designed by experienced beverage and hospitality professionals and covers foundation knowledge and practical techniques.
Take the course online as per your convenience and download your completion certificate at the end. Receive round the clock support from our efficient customer service reps if you run into an issue during your studies. Sign up today.