Keeping Tabs, How to be a Bartender- 01.25.2013: Short Posts About Things I’ve Learned


Before I inevitably forget, here are a few things that I want to remember:

  • The only people who really truly care about the crazy shit you’re doing are people who do what you do. With very few exception, your colleagues are not the ones who pay your bills. Your customer however, does.
  • Squirrel sucks. Their customer service sucks. MicrOS sucks. Their customer service is good. For the best of both worlds, get a business internet line and run DinerWare.
  • At its faintest, bleach smells of cleanliness. Why doesn’t your bar smell of cleanliness at the beginning of service?
  • Water glass bare minimum level is at the bottom third of the glass. Water your bar. If nothing else, be a prolific water pourer.
  • Empty cocktail glass? Keep offering a drink until they tap out, then remove said glass.
  • Never underestimate the value of a good, simple, well-made drink.
  • Be a gracious host. If problems arise, do everything you can do to fix it. Then do one more awesome thing to sell it.
  • Talk to your team constantly. If you go silent during service, you miss crucial details and will end up making more work for yourself.
  • Face your goddamn bills.
  • Drinks excepted, nothing smaller than a plate gets carried to a table without being cradled in a serviette.
  • Don’t stomp around like a baby elephant behind the bar. Move like a ballerina, strong and graceful, poised. No pointing. Have you ever seen a ballerina move her hand? Do that.
  • I can’t stress enough the importance of practicing the Tao of Handshakefulness.
  • Everyone drinks. Just because they don’t drink what you drink doesn’t give you license to get all huffy.
  • Vermouth is good for your pour cost.

That’s all I got for now. Cheers.


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