This post is directed toward folks who are looking to get into bartending at an amateur level, but they don't know where to start. If you're a beginner bartender, you have so much exciting knowledge to soak up and it can be overwhelming to get started, so we arAle here to help!
Whether you're looking to get your first bartending job, or you just landed your first job, these tips will help you get started in your bartending journey! Congrats!
1. Know the basic drinks
We have another blog post here, about the main cocktails that every beginning bartender should know. We also recommend finding 2-3 cocktails that are simple, but different enough that you could wow a guest who is looking to try something new.
A good rule of thumb is to have something sweet and fruity up your sleeve, as well as a unique whiskey based cocktail, and something a little weird, but also delicious. Consider the New York Sour that is extremely underrated and will always illicit an eyebrow raise from anyone who hasn't tried it.
Don't worry if you still have to look things up on Google, just be discreet and don't let the guest know you have no idea what they just ordered. OR just tell them it's your first job and you'd love to bestow upon them the honor of tasting the first Boulevardier you've made.
2. Practice your techniques
Bartending is all about creating an experience for the customer, and a huge part of that experience will be the presentation of the drink. So take your time. Don't hurry TOO much and deliver a $15 cocktail that looks like garbage. Show it some love and take the time to perfect the details that make the drink special.
Work on pouring the correct amounts, every time, and practice, practice, practice, we all have to start somewhere. You can purchase cheap bartending tools to practice your pours and shaking at home!
3. Stay organized
This is so so so important.
Clean as you go, put lids on after you use the bottles, and take the time to put the bottles back on the shelf. A bar can get extremely crowded and messy in on a busy night, so it's crucial to take a few seconds here and there to tidy up, reset, and take on the next few tickets.
Plus, you don't want guests to be sitting in your sticky, garbage ridden mess of a bar, it's just rude.
4. Learn to multitask
A busy bar can get chaotic, and it's essential to know how to manage multiple orders simultaneously. Keep track of the orders, prioritize them, and handle them as quickly and efficiently as possible.
This doesn't always mean that you will make every ticket in order. Sometimes it makes more sense to pour two beers before starting on a ticket with 5 craft cocktails. Don't let servers bully you into making their tickets first. You're the boss of the bar, so work to keep your ticket times under 3 minutes, 5 tops. This will help you provide prompt and excellent service, making your customers happy.
5. Keep your customers happy
As a bartender, it's your job to create a positive and enjoyable experience for your customers. Be attentive to their needs, listen to their orders, and engage with them whenever possible. A friendly smile and excellent customer service go a long way in building a loyal customer base.
Don't be the asshole that is too cool for school. Just don't do it. I don't care how many tattoos you have. Have empathy, be kind, share your knowledge.
6. Do NOT overserve
As a bartender, you're serving alcohol, and it's essential to be responsible with your customers. Avoid over-serving customers and keep an eye out for any signs of over-intoxication. Remember, you're the boss, you decide who's had enough. Protect yourself, your establishment, the guest, and the guests around you.
7. Never stop learning!!
The bartending industry is always evolving, and it's essential to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques. Attend workshops, read industry blogs, and network with other bartenders to learn new skills and gain knowledge. This habit will help you grow your career and stand out in the competitive bartending industry.
We are so excited that you've decided to take on this journey, and we know you're going to be great. Check out our other blogs for tips on bartending as a beginner and bartending from home, and good luck!! Cheers!