I know not everyone is built to be a great bartender or even just a good one—most especially when it’s Friday or Saturday because there are a lot of people coming in. And there’s always a way to work that out. So let me help you enjoy your shift even on a busy night; here are some super simple tips to make your night enjoyable:
TIP #1: Always Put A Smile On Your Face
Start It Yourself
Did you know that when a person smiles, it affects some muscles on your face that make you feel happy? A study shows that when certain muscles are hit when you smile, your brain sends more happy signals (in these case endorphins). Endorphins functions as a neurotransmitter and is produced by the pituitary glands. You don’t have to smile with your teeth exposed. Just smile without your teeth flashing out.
Smiling is Contagious!
Did you know that when you smile, it may also rub off on your customers? When you feel that your customer is having a bad day, cheer them up by flashing them a smile. A smile is so powerful that you can brighten up the whole room by smiling. Lighten up the mood and instantly make more happy (and repeat) customers out of your guests. Keep on smilin’!
TIP #2: Stay Calm and Don’t Freak Out
I think most of you noticed that a lot of good bartenders are calm and relaxed even when tending to a lot of people. It’s because they are. It’s a skill most newbie needs to learn. But this skill needs a lot of time, understanding and practice on your part.
How Can You Stay Calm?
There are a lot of ways to stay calm and mostly it depends on how well you can handle stressful situations. If you noticed that you lack focus on a certain skill, you need to improve on that by doing it over and over again (with confidence, too). Make a list of the things that makes you lose focus. This will help you identify the things that you need to improve so that you can address the situation very smoothly.
Make A System… Practice… Be Faster
For example, there are a lot of customers usually on a Friday night at the bar and your list of to-dos seems to pile up and up with a lot of customers calling you to make them a drink. You’ll need to have a system to make sure that everyone will be tended and still give great service. You might want to start left to right then right to left. This way you can accommodate as much people as possible and less travel time. You can also try making the simple drinks first then the harder ones. This will help you work faster.
Another thing to look into is when people look at you when you are working. Don’t be intimidated. They are just looking. Make yourself calm and do it regardless if they look at you. If you can’t throw away the thought, try to focus on the drink that you are making. Don’t look around until you’re done.
Forgetting How To Make A Drink or Don’t Know How to Make Ordered Drink
There might be times that you are asked to make a certain drink that you haven’t heard before or forgot to make. Don’t freak out. You can honestly tell the customer that it’s the first time you’ve heard of it and that you would like to know the details of that drink. Most of the time, that particular drink is just another version of a popular drink which goes by another name.
Learn How To Size Up Your Guests
There are times when a customer doesn’t know what to drink. A great bartender knows just what to recommend them. It will be a difficult task but sizing up your guest will help you make better drink recommendations. Observation skills are needed if you want to make this work.
Handle Difficult People Smoothly
There are some situations when there are certain people that are really hard to handle. If you are the kind of person who is quick with a defensive or sassy remark, you need to learn how to contain your emotions. If you are facing a difficult person, two things can happen: Your blood pressure can go up and you’ll have high levels of stress. And in case you didn’t know, cortisol, a hormone the body releases when you’re stressed, is bad for your health. As a bartender, you need to know how to properly react to this kind of guests. Making yourself indifferent towards this kind of behavior gives you an advantage over the situation. Being neutral can help you be calm and relax and think better of what to do.
TIP #3: Don’t Put Up A Wall. Be Approachable.
There is a myth that people who go to bars just want to get laid. Well that’s not entirely true. Most people are there to take a time off, meet with friends, celebrate an event, or just want to grab a drink for a nightcap. You’ll encounter a lot of people who’d want to strike up a conversation with you. Don’t put up a huge wall between you and your guests. Do not assume that they just want to take advantage of you. People just want to have someone to talk to or just want to hear other people’s view on something. Getting along with guests will get your bar more repeat customers and make you the favorite bartender in town.
TIP #4: Enjoy The Night
Yes, plain and simple. Enjoy the night. Being a bartender can be really stressful at most times, I assure you that. You will meet a lot of guests that will cause you many a big headaches but by psyching yourself up and staying positive, you can genuinely enjoy your work.