Monthly Archives: February 2014
Not too long ago, I was asked to help write an employee handbook for a local restaurant. Here’s the portion for service behind the bar. How does this translate to your job?
Steps of Service Behind The Bar
A bar can go from a sleepy slow to a bustling, jam-packed, out-of-control place in only the blink of an eye. One way of reducing this potentially frustrating situation is to have a set of service steps you follow with each customer.
- Greet your guest(s)
- Offer service
- Prepare order(s)
- Complete transaction
- Check back on guest(s)
- Say goodbye to guest(s).
Following these steps while behind the bar can make your workload becomes more manageable, and your work shifts can be a much more productive time. I.E. You will be able to handle more guests which, in most cases, translates to more money in your pocket.
Greet Your Guests and Make Them Feel At Home.
Make your guests feel welcome in the same way you would make an old friend feel welcome at home. Smile when they arrive and make sure they know you have recognized their presence. If you aren’t able to offer service immediately, let them know you will be with them as soon as possible.
Once the guest is obviously ready to order (and you are prepared to offer service), smile and ask what he, she, or the group, would like to drink. Be prepared to make suggestions. If anyone in the party appears to be under 30 years of age, politely ask for identification before preparing the order. Place coasters or beverage napkins in front of guests before you prepare their order. Besides keeping your bar surface cleaner, this also acts as an indicator to your co-workers that the guests have placed an order.
All beverages should be prepared as quickly as possible while focusing on cleanliness, precision, and presentation. If the customer is unhappy with the result, the bartender should smilingly offer to remake the cocktail to the patron’s specifications free of charge, given the ingredients are not exceptional in cost or rarity. When presenting the drink be sure to “pose for the camera”. Pause for a moment and smile at the customer as if they are taking your photograph.
To ensure all drinks are accounted for, it is best to immediately tally them using the point of sale system. Take payment for the drinks or start the guest a tab by holding a credit card.
Check Back On Guest(s)
Checking on the customer is a key of service success. Ask these questions: “Are the drinks satisfactory?” “Is there anything else I can get for you?” “Do you care for another round?” Smile and let them know you are there to serve them.
Say Goodbye To Guests(s)
The farewell is one of the most important tools of bartending. Just as every patron should be acknowledged on arrival, they should be acknowledged upon departure. Last impressions last. Give your guests a sincere “thank you” and make them feel welcome to come back again.
Mark Woods aka TikiTender spent 9 years anchoring the bar staff at The Golden Lion in Flagler Beach, FLA. He is currently managing partner of Flagler Cigar Company (featuring fine wines, craft beers, and premium cigars at The Humidor Cigar Bar & Lounge) and owner of Fun Coast Bartending (providing training & event based bartending services). Visithttp://www.tikitender.com to find out more about him.