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The bartender is the one person who contributes most to the success of any establishment, or to its failure.

How you treat a customer is one of the determining factors which brings them back again. In this article we take a look at some of the behaviours that make for a successful bartender.

People expect courteous treatment no matter where they go, but in a cocktail lounge or restaurant they expect more. A friendly "Good Afternoon" or a "Good Evening" when they arrive and a friendly "Good Night" and "Thank You" when they leave will mean more money in the cash register and more repeat business by them and their friends.

A friendly smile, a joke, conversation and a little comedy will keep customers and make them feel at home. Don't treat a customer according to the amount of money they spend. Treat the single drink customer the same as you would the big spender. Treat all your customers with equal courtesy. Everyone is sensitive to favoritism and all want to feel at home.

A good bartender always remembers the favorite brands or mixed drink of his regular customers. It is a compliment they appreciate, especially when they bring in a new customer with them. Treat new faces as if you expect them to become regular customers. If you do your job, they will.

Your personal appearance is also a very important part of your job. Be clean-shaven. Keep your hair well groomed and most important, keep your fingernails clean, this will help you in getting a job.

When you serve a couple, always serve the women first and provide a bar napkin with every drink. This is a small gesture that pays big dividends.

Be very courteous to customers. They appreciate clean ashtrays, a clean bar in front of them and a prompt light for their cigarette.

THE BARTENDING PROFESSION

We must now begin to realize that bartending is a growing profession with all the fashionable, up-to-date cocktail lounges being established in marketplaces around the world, even in Saudi Arabia and UAE (for non-Muslims only).

These are the places where most of society meets to pass away a few pleasant hours in an atmosphere of'culture and refinement’.

The outmoded saloonkeeper has no place today, nor do they belong with contemporary customs. Today, we have the well-dressed person who has a complete understanding of their responsibilities in working with the public and the knowledge of blending the many fancy cocktails they will be asked to make, and dispensing them in an intelligent manner.

A good bartending school will teach its students in such a way that each will have a thorough, expert knowledge of all the facts pertaining to every type of liquor, liqueur, cordials, wine, honesty, and sobriety.

Students will learn the value of the different combinations that will produce a high class cocktail, and above all, they will learn the correct and proper manner in which to serve these fancy drinks so as to please the most critical patron.

The bartender is a person placed in a responsible position by their employer and they should have the welfare of the business at heart. They are in a position of trust and can either make or break the person or company paying them their weekly salary. It is not an easy position to fill, but it is a very important one.

THE ESTABLISHMENT

The owner, bartenders, waiters and waitresses are the people who build a friendly atmosphere in any establishment.

Knowing how to build a fancy drink and serving it is just a part of your duties. Knowing how to perform always with a friendly smile and a pleasing personality with customers and fellow employees will be your main responsibility.

A customer will usually patronize an establishment to meet their friends for an enjoyable evening or to visit with their favorite bartender. Many times during your workday you will hear customers problems and discussions of their day-to-day activities.

People will be watching you at all times, seeing how you perform in your duties. One of the determining factors that bring customers back is the pleasing personality of the bartender.

Many people will confide in you by telling you their problems, stories and anything else they have on their minds. It is your responsibility not to mention these problems to any other customers or employees.

One of the psychological problems facing bartenders, waiters and waitresses today is that of who made the mistake.

When mistakes are made, the worst thing in the bar business is for a customer to see a bartender, waiter and waitress argue over who was in the wrong. Remember that everyone makes mistakes, including the owner. When a mistake is made, correct it without an argument.

Never laugh or make fun of anyone who has made a mistake because at some time it will happen to you. The establishment that has built a friendly relationship among employer, employee and customer is the one that enjoys the best business.

HONESTY AND SOBRIETY

Here are two of the most important points for a bartender to remember. Honesty is something in which every individual should have pride. The person who is dishonest with their employer and fellow workers will not last long in the liquor business.

The person who is dishonest may get away with it for a while, but it will catch up with them in time. Then all they have worked for is wasted because their record will follow them wherever they try to apply for another job. This is the person who loses his or her friends, because no one likes a thief.

Staying sober on the job is a must for all bartenders. The person who starts sneaking or just plain drinking on the job is the type of person who does not last long in the liquor business. Drinking becomes a habit just like smoking. Once you start, you end up getting fired from your job, and this is not fair to your employer, other employees, customers and your family.

No matter what profession or labor a person may work at, they are not allowed to drink. Because you are close to liquor and beer, this should be your policy, too. When you want a drink, wait until you have completed your shift. The bartender who drinks on duty just hurts business for the bar owner who is paying them a weekly salary for their services.

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