I wish someone would have pulled me aside on my first day and told me this:
Egg Frother, huh? Cool story bro. Now make ten of our most popular egg drinks under saturday night conditions when your batteries run out or the motor breaks. Now I want a hundred more, and I want them exactly like those first ten. I don’t care how great your Ramos Gin Fizz is. I care if you can make a hundred just like it and under the worst possible conditions.
Okay, new guy- you can store your shit in that cabinet. Don’t even bother unpacking your tool kit. I used to be just like you: elegant mixing glasses and bell jiggers. That’s all fine. Keep it at home. Every piece of kit laid out on the bar is there for one reason: it works. All of those sturdy pieces function effectively and will continue to function long after your arms have given out or you are bleeding into a bed of cocktail napkins after you stabbed your hand on the trident end of your comically long bar spoon.
It’s time to stop worrying about your tools and start worrying about how you are going to change how you do things. How are you going to take your ten-minute drink ticket time down to two minutes? How are you going to balance speed and economy of movement with quality and consistency? How long are you going to let that couple sit there without menus and water? How, logistically speaking, are you going to handle eleven seats, twelve tables and the service well?
You have an encyclopedic knowledge of cocktails and amari? Great. You can start by bussing and spec-ing your section and then scrubbing the underside of the well to remind you that the drinks comprise about fifteen percent of this job.The rest is service and learning never to undervalue your support staff. Gross down there, huh? Still want to tend bar?