You’re a Bartender. Polish your shoes.

Shine them or have someone do it for you.

As I left my bar the other night, I was reminded by another bartender that we can make the best drinks with the freshest ingredients, but none of it would mean anything if we didn’t take pride in serving our guests. Being attentive, with your head on a swivel and eyes on the room is and will always remain the hallmark of a great waitron, and is something that I’m continually learning. To quote him, “If you can handle a line three deep while managing the dining room, processing tickets *and* you can bus tables *and* keep everything clean while doing all that, people will respect the shit out of you.”

That said, you are as much a part of the room as the bartop itself. Just like this guy said, the little clean things matter: clean and trim your fingernails. Don’t use an inverted Boston glass to strain your drink, unless it is for yourself and for some unexplainable reason you don’t give a damn, and polish your shoes.

To be rough, many of our guests consider bartenders to be the harbinger of all classy things and of manly diversions. For some strange reason, when I’m scoping out a place, the cocktail list is not at the top of my list of things I look for. The cocktail list is actually somewhere near the middle. The top of the list is how hospitable the staff is to the guests, then I glance at their fingernails and then their shoes, then the state of the washrooms, the dining room floor, etc.

If you find yourself reading this, keep in mind that many of these posts are simply my own rambling and helps me remember all those little things I learn on the job. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

When was the last time you engaged in the manly art of polishing one’s shoes?


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