7 Tips on How to be a Superb Bartender

If you are interested in becoming a bartender, or if you are already engaged in this occupation, you may well desire some idea on what you can do to better hone your craft. There are in fact seven tips that you should consider implementing in order to become a superb bartender.

Attitude if Vital

If you are sincere about truly succeeding as a bartender, you absolutely must maintain a positive attitude. No matter how your day is personally going, no matter how things are going at the establishment at which you work, you not only have to put the best foot forward, but also your best face on.

Your attitude can be best displayed with some simple techniques. Greet customers as quickly as possible when they sit down at the bar, even if you cannot serve them immediately. Even if things are not going particularly well, be pleasant and do not gripe to your patrons about anything.

Keep the Bar Spotless

Bars can become dirty in a beat. More often than not, a bar becomes messy with tiny spills of drinks and smaller pieces of trash. Although each instance of something being dashed or tossed on the bar may be minimal in and of itself, in a very short amount of time, these little things add up.

A very important tactic to employ to be a superb bartender is to keep the bar as clean as possible. If you ever sit at a bar tended by an expert, you will observe that he or she is nearly always cleaning something when not taking an order, preparing drinks, or serving them.

Suggest Libations

Many bar customers will have a specific drink they know they want. With that said, a good percentage of bar patrons might have a general category of beverage they desire, but really would appreciate some guidance. In addition, there are some people who really may want to try something new and different, but really do not know where to go in this regard.

Generally speaking, customers appreciate suggestions from a bartender. You’re the professional. This reality necessitates that you stay abreast of “things” when it comes to all aspects of mixology.

Memory Matters

If you want to garner high marks as a bartender, you need to make the most of your memory. When at all possible, you need to remember what each of the patrons sitting at the bar, or in your section of the bar, are drinking. If you can’t remember a customer’s drink, it’s not fatal by any means. However, when you do keep track of what each patron is drinking, you glean some extra points with the guests.

Anticipate Patron Needs

In addition to trying to keep track of what each of your guests are drinking, you also need to pay attention to their progress with a particular drink. You need to do your best to anticipate when a patron might be ready for another. Of course, you do not want to force drinks on your guests. However, if you do politely inquire if a guest might care for another serving before they have drained his or her glass, you make that patron’s experience even more pleasant.

Be Fair

One of the biggest mistakes a bartender can make is to make it seem like on patroon or another is favored. This can be challenging when a bartender has both regulars and newcomers around the bar, which is a highly likely scenario.

A skilled bartender makes certain not to spend too much time with one customer, even a regular, at the expense of other patrons. The natural inclination would be spend more time with regulars. But, if your regulars are reasonable people, they will understand that they cannot monopolize your time.

Verify Age

The surest way you can tank your career as a bartender is to serve to an underage individual. Of course, even if you are diligent in protecting against serving to a minor, someone can slip through even the best system and get his or her hands on an alcoholic beverage.

They key is to exercise all due diligence when it comes to screening your patrons to make sure that they are all of legal age. Keep in mind that the state laws regarding ID’ing patrons in a bar can vary. Some states require that all patrons, no matter their ages, have a valid ID on their person if they are to be served an alcoholic beverage in a retail establishment. If you have a question about a person’s age, or about the validity of an ID, err on the side of caution and do not serve.


Jessica Kane writes for TIPS Alcohol Training, offering TIPS responsible alcohol service training online for both on and off premise needs.

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