The bartender position is not as common as the waiter position, but it is quite a popular position, especially during the summer season, when there is more work and not enough people. The profession is gradually gaining prestige, and people stay in that position much longer. But the problem of finding a good bartender is still relevant, many even start looking for candidates before they open their own bar. That’s what we want to talk about in this article.
And another thing, in order not to lose data on sales, to keep track of the most marginal cocktails, to protect yourself from theft, underpouring, and quickly conduct random inventory, we advise to install a system of bar automation.
Types of bartenders
Conventionally, we can identify two types of bartenders that restaurateurs most often encounter in interviews and internships: the “silent master” and the “talker.” The first type is a professional, mixing the most complex cocktails flawlessly and knowing why certain ingredients are used. But often he lacks communication skills and the guest only has to watch his silent manipulations with the shaker.
“A chatterbox is a bartender who can talk about anything and as much as he wants, but his cocktails come out with a different flavor every time. Of course, any experienced bartender has a certain amount of skill from each type, but which one he develops more is another question.
The bartender’s duties
Here very much depends on the format of the institution. There are two kinds of bars: contact and non-contact. With non-contact everything is simple: the bartender prepares drinks and gives them to waiters for distribution to the tables. It is much more interesting and complicated to work in a contact bar, which we are all used to: with a bar counter, heart-to-heart talks, etc.
Standard set of bartender duties:
- Arrive at least half an hour before the start of the shift to prepare the bar for opening, check the remains in stock, clean dishes, etc.
- Maintain neatness. Every proprietor has a different take on workwear style, but no matter how holey your jeans are, everything should be clean and fresh.
- Filling out invoices, making out invoices. Very often the bartender has to take the goods himself, in addition there is a constant work with finances, accepting cash, etc.
- Serving customers: greeting, offering and mixing drinks is something every bartender should know.
Requirements for a bartender
Besides their regular duties of making cocktails and tending bar, they need to be interesting conversationalists and appreciative listeners who are eager to pour their hearts out. Visitors come to your establishment for a variety of reasons, and the right bar atmosphere suggests that you can show up without company.
Here, the guest can find solace behind the bar when they are lonely and want someone to talk to. Despite the workload, the bartender must prioritize correctly: someone to give more attention, to understand the situation or the problem with which the customer came. At least he should leave the bar in a better mood than when he came in – it doesn’t matter if it was positive or not.
If the bartender defiantly neglects the client or, even worse, ignores him, it is likely that this guest will not come to you again. But there is another side to it, when the bartender annoyingly tries to chat up the visitor, and he simply came for a drink after a hard day’s work and wants to be alone with his glass and his thoughts.
In such a situation, it would be extremely inappropriate attention. The bartender is a psychologist at the bar, he must feel the mood of the guests, be able after a couple of phrases to understand why they came, and play along with them. If you have such a bartender you will have a good flow of customers.
One of the main requirements is that the bartender must be able to sell. In-depth, at the level of an experienced waiter, understand the menu and be ready to recommend dishes to the guest. Know about all the promotions in the institution and be able to offer them to different types of guests.
What requirements do you set for candidates when hiring? What should a novice bartender know?
First of all, the bartender must be a “talker”, because in a contact bar there is nothing without it. Willingness to work at night: the bar is open from six in the evening until four in the morning, sometimes longer. It is also important what interests a person, what hobbies they have – a bartender should be an interesting conversationalist. Also the desire to learn and develop in the bar business.
How to find a bartender
To begin with it is worth asking if colleagues have someone in mind, and post a vacancy in their social networks. When hiring a bartender, always check references. Recommendations are great, but since you are working with this person, it doesn’t hurt to check them out. Ask your staff questions: what they think about the quality of his work, how he joins the team and how he proved himself during the internship. They can give you more objective information than most references from former employers.
Interview questions for the bartender
Be sure to ask the future bartender to describe the environment of his former workplace. You need to understand how much his previous bar was similar to yours. Perhaps that type of establishment is drastically different, and it will take the bartender quite a while to get used to working with a different crowd. Feel free to ask tricky questions to the bartender when hiring, he should answer any question, your guests can ask him anything.
How to control the bartender
Stealing and undercharging are the most serious and frequent sins of barmen. It is good when you have a small place and you can personally supervise the work of the staff and know what the restaurant guests do not like. But what happens when you don’t have your finger on the pulse?
It is very difficult for a restaurateur to control the entire staff, to be in all places at once. But still you need to watch how the new bartender works – you shouldn’t pass this on to your senior bartender or head bartender. You yourself should make an opinion about the person and his skill level, and then supplement it with third-party feedback.