Bartenders are a significant part of the dining experience for many customers. In some restaurants, a bartender is simply the person who makes the drinks for the servers to bring to the table, while for more pub-like establishments, customers can order food directly from the bartender. Customers may enjoy bartenders the most, though, when they get a chance to talk with them. Bartenders can listen to a customer's problems or just chat about the local football team. In addition to good conversation, there are a number of other habits that bartenders can get into to be better at their jobs and please the customer.
Dress and act professionally
Serious Eats explained to bartenders that being behind the bar is like being on a stage. You should be acting nearly the whole time you're up there, no matter how busy the bar is. This doesn't mean singing and dancing, but it does mean good posture, attentive questions and a presentable look. You're not just representing the bar or restaurant – you're representing yourself.
Practice safe habits
Bartenders aren't just drink pourers. In many places they keep other people safe. Whether it's wiping up spills or preventing someone from dancing on a table or drinking too much, bartenders are good at watching out for customer safety.
It's also a good idea for bartenders to be cautious about themselves. The area behind the bar can be particularly slippery and dangerous, so it's always a good idea to wear proper work shoes. Slip-resistant shoes can be the difference between a serious injury and filling that next drink order.
When a bar or restaurant gets busy, it can be difficult to think of patience. However, as Art of Drink explained, too many people expect to be a good bartender the moment they start working. It can take years before people really get the hang of this unique job, but that shouldn't turn anyone off of the job. The skills they build can be used for future bartending jobs and many other hospitality or food service careers.
Keep clean and organized
Creating an organized space can prove invaluable when the restaurant gets busy and everything feels like it's descended into chaos. A clean bar and behind-the-bar area doesn't just make your work easier – it's much more attractive to customers. Nobody wants their elbows to stick to the bar, the glassware to be dirty or the bar to look messy.
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