Bartender Best Practices

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calstars, Wednesday, 31 May 2017 22:18 (three years ago) link

1: When the customer pays with a $20, place his change face-up so that if he decides to leave, there's less of a chance he'll notice or remember the $10 at the bottom

calstars, Wednesday, 31 May 2017 22:19 (three years ago) link

2: to maintain a regular customer's anonymity upon greeting, refrain from using familiar phases like "nice to see you again" and instead prefer generalities like "how's it going"

calstars, Wednesday, 31 May 2017 22:20 (three years ago) link

3. http://i.imgur.com/uyM4phJ.gif

i n f i n i t y (∞), Wednesday, 31 May 2017 22:22 (three years ago) link

4. Welcome children into bars with loving arms.

Jeff, Wednesday, 31 May 2017 22:52 (three years ago) link

I like this thread, I want more

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 1 June 2017 10:24 (three years ago) link

Always a classic: http://www.sbnation.com/2015/4/3/8291561/best-music-video-bartender

El Tomboto, Thursday, 1 June 2017 17:06 (three years ago) link

6. if you're shaking up a drink make everyone and everything around stop moving so that your motions will form a seamless loop

http://i.imgur.com/L8MAe1g.gif

Karl Malone, Thursday, 1 June 2017 17:15 (three years ago) link

dude

i posted that one already

i n f i n i t y (∞), Thursday, 1 June 2017 17:25 (three years ago) link

i was trying to make a joke about making it seamless by fixing the person in the background and the moving computer screen logo

but you're right, as soon as i posted it i thought 'god i'm dumb'

Karl Malone, Thursday, 1 June 2017 17:34 (three years ago) link

7. Know a little bit about the beers on tap

El Tomboto, Thursday, 1 June 2017 17:42 (three years ago) link

xp

oh dude

props

i just saw that you fixed it tho

i n f i n i t y (∞), Thursday, 1 June 2017 17:54 (three years ago) link

A martini is made with gin AND vermouth

ein Sexmonster (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Thursday, 1 June 2017 18:25 (three years ago) link

9. We're gonna need a bigger cocaine

Beetle Juice continued to spit all over our drinks (contenderizer), Thursday, 1 June 2017 18:31 (three years ago) link

3. Be somewhat inconsistent regarding when buy backs are initiated. This will keep the willful customer buying, searching for that elusive goal.

calstars, Monday, 12 June 2017 20:56 (three years ago) link

4. when you're sliding into first, and you feel something burst....

Charles "Butt" Stanton (Neanderthal), Monday, 12 June 2017 20:57 (three years ago) link

two months pass...

10. The hours advertised as "Happy" as listed on the placard outside the bar are subject to change depending on when a certain number of customers come in.

calstars, Sunday, 27 August 2017 16:06 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

NYTimes article "how to get and keep a bartender's attention" contains this nugget :
"In the event of a free drink, tip for its full price"

calstars, Thursday, 5 October 2017 15:40 (two years ago) link

three months pass...

Never ask a customer’s name. But be ready to provide yours.

calstars, Saturday, 6 January 2018 15:47 (two years ago) link

that's....weird.

fuck you, your hat is horrible (Neanderthal), Saturday, 6 January 2018 15:52 (two years ago) link

like...why shouldn't they ask

fuck you, your hat is horrible (Neanderthal), Saturday, 6 January 2018 15:52 (two years ago) link

Horniness on the part of the customer (tinder/AM?)

YouTube_-_funy_cats.flv (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Saturday, 6 January 2018 17:15 (two years ago) link

the bartender is going to learn your name anyway when you give them your credit card. and your last name.

fuck you, your hat is horrible (Neanderthal), Saturday, 6 January 2018 17:16 (two years ago) link

More accurately: never ask a customer’s name unless they ask yours.

calstars, Saturday, 6 January 2018 17:35 (two years ago) link

Yeah, that is creepy if a bartender asks/uses your name. I feel like some super heavy touristy places do that to milk tips from tourists assuming all of NYC is rude.

Yerac, Saturday, 6 January 2018 17:49 (two years ago) link

The names thing works differently in different places. Big/busy/heavily staffed bars may have different reasons to give and ask for names than a cozy local does.

Bartender to patron: "My name's Kate if you need anything." Okay, maybe this is a management directive intended to make things more personable.

I don't relish it but I also don't mind it, and can see situations where it sometimes makes things easier for when you want something. One can now say "Kate" instead of "Excuse me" or "Miss" (which, ugh) or "Hey Barkeep," or maybe helps avoid "Yo, sugar tits!" And using words is preferable to waiting to catch the eye of a busy bartender, or doing the pathetic raised finger thing.

Also can be handy to know which person is "your" bartender in case checks/tips are being handled separately in that establishment. Sometimes there are non-bartenders behind the bar, and you might be asking a waitron, or a kid who's just refilling the ice.

"My name's Trevor, what's yours?" is a different vibe. Again, it's not necessarily ideal but it's probably not the bartender's fault; they are instructed to ask. I can see why it would be helpful in some places. Some people are running a tab, some people are paying as they go, some are using cash, some are using cards. Some people are sitting still on a stool and others are moving around the bar. Easiest to just get a first name to keep track of each patron.

Maybe their computer requires a name for each order. I have sometimes looked at my check and seen something like "glasses guy."

In some places having my name allows them to ostentatiously show that they remember it, and the associated drink. "Another Maker's Mark, Patrick?" I don't usually mind, unless I am in a grumpy "leave me alone and keep the booze coming" mode. And when in that mode I generally choose a bar conducive to it.

Another wrinkle is if one intends to become a regular. Names come in handy then.

failsun ra (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 7 January 2018 11:16 (two years ago) link

i want to give my opinion on this, having worked as a bartender
if there is some connection or the person probably wants you to use their name in the future 99% of the time, they will at some point say: "hey, i'm katie" or something similar.
definitely never ask.

XxxxxxxXxxxxxxxxXxxxx (dylannn), Sunday, 7 January 2018 20:09 (two years ago) link

not really required and i stopped doing this at some point when my memory for regulars got better but i would make a note in my notebook with a few details about katie (drink notes, GLASSES, AUSTRALIAN, JW ANDERSON JACKET) (without her name, i would still add the notes with description) and when she comes in again and orders her drink, i can if necessary discreetly flip open to my notebook. 2ND time she comes back: "it was katie, right?" + maybe some followup on our last conversation: "how did that work trip go, to... boston?" if no pushback, next times: use name. if they never gave their name, do not attempt to do callbacks to earlier conversations as they probably aren't into that, unless they follow up on previous conversations themselves.

XxxxxxxXxxxxxxxxXxxxx (dylannn), Sunday, 7 January 2018 20:13 (two years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7U3lo80YrQ

failsun ra (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 7 January 2018 20:18 (two years ago) link

I only go to bars where everyone wears name tags.

Jeff, Sunday, 7 January 2018 20:31 (two years ago) link

I wear a name tag whenever I go to a bar

Choco Blavatsky (seandalai), Sunday, 7 January 2018 20:34 (two years ago) link

I have a couple places where my wife and I are regulars, I know all the bartenders' named and they know ours, but none of us ever use them.

Monster fatberg (Phil D.), Sunday, 7 January 2018 20:36 (two years ago) link

Just in case there’s a customer enamored with you (yeah but no), never invite your SO to the bar

June Pointer’s Valentine’s Day Secret Admirer Note Author (calstars), Friday, 12 January 2018 22:19 (two years ago) link

six months pass...

When an old regular comes in after a hiatus, buy the first round. Or the third.

calstars, Monday, 23 July 2018 20:13 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

- Establish a first name basis ASAP
- emphasize in conversation what you have in common with the barfly
- give equal facetime to everyone at the bar

calstars, Sunday, 12 August 2018 02:51 (two years ago) link

- Establish a first name basis ASAP

erm...

Never ask a customer’s name. But be ready to provide yours.

― calstars, Saturday, January 6, 2018 10:47 AM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

fuck the NRA (Neanderthal), Sunday, 12 August 2018 03:30 (two years ago) link

there are ways to solicit information without asking

providing your own name, or making enough small talk that someone gives their name works well

if you've made enough small talk, you can give your name again like "hey, I'm Travis, I work here wednesdays and saturdays, it's been nice talking to you"

if they don't introduce themselves at that point you've failed rapport

mh, Sunday, 12 August 2018 03:47 (two years ago) link

never visibly react negatively to something the customer says in a neutral or positive way, unless you have a good rapport and it's part of a real conversation

for instance, if you see someone who was a longtime regular and he says "hey, I'm gonna have a kid!" do not mumble "jesus christ" and wander off disgustedly

mh, Sunday, 12 August 2018 03:50 (two years ago) link

"my wife just died"

"oh, congratulations!!!"

fuck the NRA (Neanderthal), Sunday, 12 August 2018 03:55 (two years ago) link

I have a lot of "don'ts" from a longtime bartender around town but I won't do them all at once

the best part was that he had (has?) a blog where he recounted stories and in half of them he seems horrible. and it's not a shtick, he really does act like that

mh, Sunday, 12 August 2018 04:00 (two years ago) link

I personally don't love it when bartender asks for my name.

Some qualifiers, though. I might make an exception when it's done _instead_ of swiping or keeping a credit card. That seems kind of homey and nice and trusting.

In most places, they have to put _something_ in the system to keep tabs separate. I'd rather have the check say "Patrick" than "weird guy at end of bar."

Your momma is so ethically praiseworthy (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 12 August 2018 12:39 (two years ago) link

Yeah sometimes it’s a good idea to ask (from the bartender’s POV) and sometimes not. Wrote that yesterday though when I was getting along well with a new bartender and her giving her name and asking mine probably swayed toward having another round there

calstars, Sunday, 12 August 2018 18:09 (two years ago) link

I hasten to note that in a lot of places it's probably not the bartender's choice, but rather his or her manager.

I don't think my local barkeep is personally thinking "Wow, that enigmatic yet weirdly handsome guy with the glasses who does advanced crossword puzzles while getting sloshed alone is extremely compelling. How I wish I knew his name!"

More likely the decree comes down from management or corporate, saying "EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, ALL BAR STAFF WILL INTRODUCE THEMSELVES, SHAKE HANDS, AND ASK THE PATRON'S NAME."

leica bridge over troubled cameras (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 12 August 2018 18:15 (two years ago) link

Like Barbershop

fuck the NRA (Neanderthal), Sunday, 12 August 2018 19:23 (two years ago) link

six months pass...

If there’s a group sitting at a table, instead of waiting for them to order rounds at bar, clear their empties and take the next orders. Keep them drinking.

calstars, Wednesday, 20 February 2019 23:14 (one year ago) link

five months pass...

So these vertical IDs for minors these days, c or d

calstars, Saturday, 20 July 2019 19:22 (one year ago) link

makes sense

alomar lines, Saturday, 20 July 2019 20:36 (one year ago) link

When you run out of music to play, put on Mothership Connection

calstars, Friday, 2 August 2019 01:36 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Serve a group before a single

calstars, Saturday, 28 September 2019 02:59 (ten months ago) link

A cig is the perfect break

calstars, Sunday, 29 September 2019 00:39 (ten months ago) link

three weeks pass...

When serving, if possible, set the glass down on the bar with an audible “pop.” This augments the overall auditory experience of the customer and is a reminder of the impending rush of pleasure, potentially leading to a larger tip

calstars, Sunday, 20 October 2019 01:35 (nine months ago) link

calma starstra

Tart Prepper (Sufjan Grafton), Sunday, 20 October 2019 02:18 (nine months ago) link

"What's your name?" should only follow "Wanna start a tab?"

pplains, Sunday, 20 October 2019 02:37 (nine months ago) link

two weeks pass...

If you sense a new patron is impatient or irritable, take his payment when you take his order. That will dissuade him from bolting while you’re pouring or otherwise engaged, leaving you one down on the count.

June Pointer’s Valentine’s Day Secret Admirer Note Author (calstars), Sunday, 3 November 2019 18:47 (nine months ago) link

four weeks pass...

How garrulous to be ? Pluses and minuses on both sides. I think overall if you’re talkative and boisterous it’s to the benefit of the bottom line

calstars, Sunday, 1 December 2019 03:44 (eight months ago) link

When you run out of music to play, put on Mothership Connection


Human Being Best Practices

brimstead, Sunday, 1 December 2019 05:21 (eight months ago) link

Well alright!

calstars, Sunday, 1 December 2019 14:30 (eight months ago) link

according to this thread, bars in the US are so far removed from the UK the experience is unrecognisable

YOU CALL THIS JOURNALSIM? (dog latin), Monday, 2 December 2019 19:27 (eight months ago) link

American drinking culture is pretty shit

brimstead, Monday, 2 December 2019 19:56 (eight months ago) link

How so?

pomenitul, Monday, 2 December 2019 19:58 (eight months ago) link

calstars is a sui generis bar-room oddball

#FBPIRA (jim in vancouver), Monday, 2 December 2019 19:58 (eight months ago) link

I never go to the clubbier/packed bars in my area but ended up in one for a friend's birthday. I couldn't quite hear what the upgrade was when I ordered a round (two beers, two mixed drinks) but for $1 per drink, I figured whatever it was would be fine, so I nodded.

It turned out it was "your second drink is a dollar" and I was presented with eight drinks. I tipped $4, which seems... fine?

mh, Monday, 2 December 2019 20:13 (eight months ago) link

I also quickly figured out why I've seen so many people incoherently stumbling out of that place at relatively early hours

mh, Monday, 2 December 2019 20:14 (eight months ago) link

wow

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 2 December 2019 20:17 (eight months ago) link

wow x2

in Oregon they have a rule about how much actual alcohol you can order at once, e.g. you can't get a 2 oz bourbon sampler plus a full pint of beer, gotta dial that beer down to a beer back order.

sleeve, Monday, 2 December 2019 20:19 (eight months ago) link

the owner of said bar used to have a place that would charge cover and then have a "penny pitchers" special in the early evening

the bar was surprisingly less objectionable than I expected, but very much in the "slap a new coat of paint on and change the place's name when business dies down" vein

mh, Monday, 2 December 2019 20:39 (eight months ago) link

In a market system bars will both respond to customers' wishes _and_ shape their expectations. I am not defending this system, but merely observing it phenomenologically.

Do I sometimes wish there were introvert bars with privacy shields on either side and cunningly selective speaker systems that could pipe specific music or infotainment to each patron? Sure.

In the meantime I go to bars when I am okay with being in a bar. (This is true both in the US and the UK.) When I want to curate the experience to my taste, I stay home and fuckin curate the experience.

they see me lollin' (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 3 December 2019 02:02 (eight months ago) link

according to this thread, bars in the US are so far removed from the UK the experience is unrecognisable

otm

Sam Weller, Tuesday, 3 December 2019 09:49 (eight months ago) link

I sometimes wonder what Americans make of service in bars in (for example) Dublin where it’s unremarkable for barmen to appear resentful at having to interact with patrons in any way.

29 facepalms, Tuesday, 3 December 2019 10:12 (eight months ago) link

Right. I'm not used to bartenders talking to me beyond 'Can I help you?' and 'That's £10.40 please' unless I actually know them as a friend.

YOU CALL THIS JOURNALSIM? (dog latin), Tuesday, 3 December 2019 10:18 (eight months ago) link

Flavourful 6%+ craft beer is easier to come by in North America therefore North American bars are inarguably superior.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 3 December 2019 10:21 (eight months ago) link

The worst pubs piss all over the worst bars though.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 3 December 2019 10:22 (eight months ago) link

I can’t put my finger on why it seems wrong to turn bar tending into an arm of the customer service industry. I’ve been buying pints off lads for 15 years and it wouldn’t cross my mind to ask them their name.

29 facepalms, Tuesday, 3 December 2019 10:22 (eight months ago) link

way to ruin getting pissed, The US ;-)

YOU CALL THIS JOURNALSIM? (dog latin), Tuesday, 3 December 2019 10:27 (eight months ago) link

If getting pissed is the goal, one can just buy a fifth of bourbon and nurse it all morning in one's own armchair while reading the collected stories of Somerset Maugham.

Going to a pub or bar is different, and should be.

they see me lollin' (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 3 December 2019 12:42 (eight months ago) link

I’m a regular at a handful of cocktail bars in my area of the U.S. and they tend to take customer service very seriously—their goal isn’t just to make you drinks, but to groom your whole experience. I actually love it, and can always count on them to read whether I’m trying to shoot the shit or just have them leave me alone so I can dick around on my phone and have something boozy.

unashamed and trash (Unctious), Tuesday, 3 December 2019 13:39 (eight months ago) link

If the bar serves pints in multiple sizes, don’t give the customer the option for the smallest size. Pour the medium or large by default when they order without specifying.

calstars, Saturday, 14 December 2019 18:59 (eight months ago) link

pints in multiple sizes

FFS USA

insecurity bear (sic), Saturday, 14 December 2019 20:09 (eight months ago) link

adorable

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Saturday, 14 December 2019 20:15 (eight months ago) link

like most people, I think of this panel three out of four times I get a pint in the US. but calling multiple sizes in the same bar by the one name is frankly a macroaggression.

https://i.imgur.com/W6G767A.jpg


not sorry for hueg, it's imperial tbf

insecurity bear (sic), Saturday, 14 December 2019 21:13 (eight months ago) link

If I am your first customer at midday on a Saturday, please do me the honour of pulling through, so i get a pint from the cellar, rather than one that has been sitting in the pipes overnight.

fetter, Saturday, 14 December 2019 22:20 (eight months ago) link

A pint is a pint!

Grant you, there aren't any schooners or tea cups or whatever.

Most of the time, your choices are draught (maybe even a draft) or a bottle anyway

pplains, Sunday, 15 December 2019 02:28 (seven months ago) link

If I am your first customer at midday on a Saturday, please do me the honour of pulling through, so i get a pint from the cellar, rather than one that has been sitting in the pipes overnight.


This is key and otm

El Tomboto, Sunday, 15 December 2019 03:13 (seven months ago) link

one month passes...

If a suspected lush lays a big bill on the bar for a cheap drink, let it sit. It’ll cause the barfly anxiety and implies the purchase of a second drink.

calstars, Sunday, 26 January 2020 04:36 (six months ago) link

Ime people paying in cash are mostly having one drink, or intending to use the pay-as-you-go model. People who will be staying a while are either providing a card to run a tab, or operating on a "trust me, I'm good for it" model. which one may be dependent on bar policy, crowdedness, etc.

The "leave bills on the bar" model is increasingly rare these days, at least in the places I hang out. Perhaps it is regional?

I mean, I understand calstars's logic but I am not sure I would classify "make your customers anxious on purpose to get them to drink more" as a "best practice," you know?

Okay, you're an ambulance (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 26 January 2020 11:00 (six months ago) link

two weeks pass...

I almost always go vodka if I'm having a mixed drink at a bar. And if it's a nice bar or special occasion, I'll go with a premium vodka, be it a vodkatini or vodka-soda. But after hearing a few times from ppl in the service industry how often grey goose bottle are filled with McCormick or whatever, I'm now too suspicious that i'll get swindled to order call drinks.

What say you, calstars?

otm into winter (rip van wanko), Sunday, 9 February 2020 21:55 (six months ago) link

Not calstars but for most mixed drinks I am fine with cheap booze or rail. Call me a heathen but I I don't really care if a bourbon & ginger is made with Jim Beam or Maker's or Bulleit or whatever. Once it's mixed with a sugary soda it's hard to notice or care about the difference between bourbons.

In a Martini I might care. On vodka I have basically no opinion, so might as well go with rail (or cheap) vodka in a vodka tonic or whatever

beelzebubbly (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 9 February 2020 23:47 (six months ago) link

oh i am very much a vodka truther, but in more upscale settings it just seems appropriate to splurge, but i don't bother anymore

otm into winter (rip van wanko), Monday, 10 February 2020 00:12 (six months ago) link

Hard to research this without an inside source ‘cause every server will deny it or say yes at a past job, but not THIS one wink wink. This job is someone else’s past job five years from now though, so probably. But servers may not even know, it’s to the owner’s advantage that they don’t, so they can honestly claim ignorance. From the bartender’s perspective, yes, that’s top shelf shit, and thanks for the tip.

calstars, Monday, 10 February 2020 00:52 (six months ago) link

I've never heard of a bar swapping out call or premium for cheap shit. It wouldn't make sense - bars are generally open, you can watch them open up a new one and scratch the tax sticker (in Texas).
Liquor margins are very high, there's no real reason for them to risk it anyway - even a strong rumor of it happening would kill business and you don't think a disgruntled employee would narc them out to the state/social media?

You shouldn't bother with premium vodka because it's vodka - anything past Tito's and you're setting money on fire.

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Monday, 10 February 2020 01:00 (six months ago) link

i don't know how popular Tito's is outside of TX but they have a lock on the market here, must be rolling in it

otm into winter (rip van wanko), Monday, 10 February 2020 01:34 (six months ago) link

good bars don't do that. it's a thing that a bar on Bar Rescue might do but liquor-heads would often know the difference between what they were being served and what it was supposed to be.

sorry for butt rockin (Neanderthal), Monday, 10 February 2020 01:37 (six months ago) link

like one of my besties is a whiskey expert to even knowing the well whiskeys by taste and which ones are good, if all the bars were doing this shit, she'd Karen it up with the manager

sorry for butt rockin (Neanderthal), Monday, 10 February 2020 01:37 (six months ago) link

any “disgruntled employee” would be committing career suicide by “narcing out” their employer to “the state.”

calstars, Monday, 10 February 2020 01:40 (six months ago) link

yeah but fuck, sure the average people who just drink to be Brick from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, there are a ton of customers who can taste the diff between well and premium liquor. I am not one of those people, but if anybody sold out the owners, it wouldn't be an employee.

sorry for butt rockin (Neanderthal), Monday, 10 February 2020 01:42 (six months ago) link

though there was this: https://www.nj.com/politics/2013/05/rubbing_alcohol_as_scotch_nj_o.html

sorry for butt rockin (Neanderthal), Monday, 10 February 2020 01:43 (six months ago) link

A bartender who gets shitcanned or fucked over isn't worried about "career suicide." If you're a competent bartender, you can get work after being fired for theft, much less an anonymous call to the state.

Greta Van Show Feets BB (milo z), Monday, 10 February 2020 02:21 (six months ago) link

lol at "Karen it up"

beelzebubbly (Ye Mad Puffin), Monday, 10 February 2020 14:49 (six months ago) link

Invest the time to create a mental Rolodex of the little things you can do to send a subtle acknowledgment to a regular who under tips. This can include failing to top off a sloppily poured pint

calstars, Monday, 17 February 2020 00:18 (five months ago) link

Dad of a friend was a pub landlord and was found by the authorities (cant remember how) to be watering down his spirits and beer. Received a fine

frederik b. godt (jim in vancouver), Monday, 17 February 2020 00:22 (five months ago) link

four months pass...

If you have a regular who’s established himself as someone who will come to your bar no matter how he’s treated, you can safely take some of your aggression resultant from other dumb customers out on him safely in a plausibly deniable, passively aggressive way

calstars, Saturday, 27 June 2020 18:29 (one month ago) link

if you own a bar, close it. right now.

I hear that sometimes Satan wants to defund police (Neanderthal), Saturday, 27 June 2020 18:40 (one month ago) link


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