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Professional bartenders or bar staff?
24 Oct 2017

The two are poles apart. It takes all sorts behind the bar those that are professionals no matter how they present themselves and those that just make a point to present themselves in all tattoo designs, body deforms, fancy aprons and hairstyles or not! My point is don’t be misled!

Bartenders are found  in places where drinks probably cost more and usually are the first to say good evening to you. Any of the others are usually untrained part timers or any bar staff leftovers, with no desire to grow other than being there for some extra cash and Mickey Mouse maneuvers from holding a bottle to filling a glass.

Bartenders are respected individuals,  as trained professionals that studied their drinks and backgrounds, learned and achieved, and have probably developed professional etiquette towards dealing with the public but at the same time they are like chefs where they have egos, complex beasts and  would be difficult to be handled at busy and preassurised times, but this is out of my story!

Economies, culture and social status positioning in some economies have not been encouraging  many to invest time and effort into the bartending profession but since the vodka revolution since the 90’s more and more manpower passion is pumped in the drinks industry. Bar staff or bartenders are like djs some that play well , some that not play well but look good and plenty of both sprouting.

The drinks companies  have been on a rat race as to what to produce and be different and win an extra share of the market. They appeal to manpower and use interesting personalities to launch and promote their new stuff. In fact this race is more similar to the ones of the perfumes industry! However these promoters, so called ambassadors are setting the ways on how to look, how to do it and what to do next as the newcomer bar staff are victimized to follow the trend and feel you are in the box and upgraded in  knowing more and more.

With growing  knowledge, self esteem and with some elements of good character, hopefully deriving from the upbringing of individuals, we come across wonderful personalities behind the bench,  representing at least the labels in displays behind them. It is enough to remember the right measurements and analogies, handled the bottles and gadgets with respect and with a slight eagerness to please…voila, a correctly balanced drink placed in front of the customer all in all to give an experience or a simple pleasure.

It is simpler than what most think! No one is asking the bartenders to dive into books and on line media and get lost in words like fermentation, blending, matured or casks, degrees and acidity…. If they do get into the details of knowledge  it should be to form a base to stand on instead of some random bits of information floating in the brain and expressed here and there as weapons to impose personality issues achieving a light impression. But what is more important to the establishment they represent and to the customers approaching the bench are the social skills and the goodwill to please them. If you are a bartender you should be a natural in giving and listening.

GIVE - A good word with a genuine smile. Try be the person who walked or drove and parked the car, probably meeting someone else there or not, budgeting already what to spend on time and moneys or the lady feeling a little uncertain  as to the table she would declare presence until her company comes, they both need a red soft carpet to feel comfortable and important to be walking in and you probably  don’t have one. They could do with a greeting and a warm smile acknowledging them coming in and declaring peace, yet alone the following word reassuring ability to serve, as in  “ would you like to take a seat at my bar or at the table here?”  or ‘ ill be with you in a second’ ‘ or what can I do for you?’ and all in all, words of offering efforts and suggesting good times ahead. And  this follows many ‘encores’

LISTEN- Don’t assume just because you are thrilled by your recent ego win of a new combination of liquids so called according to you cocktail, that everyone should try it. People have different tasting buds and ideas in their heads that are not in line with everyone else, and all changing at different times. So, listen to them after you suggest ideas like cocktails, beers, wines? and then question the taste prior to trying to match that and even suggest a little tasting adventure. Also have in mind that most of the time people do not have a clue what they want to drink which bring us to the psychologist expert trying to guess what may be their need to please them.

If there is no hints then play safe and suggest an easy way out. Aim to go for adventures on the second round of drinks which is when you have the opportunity to make a new friend and your boss a new dedicated client.

There are those that are trained well with good or bad personal marketing, those that do not know what they are doing with good personal marketing, there are those who have reached the impossible and know it all (!) with the attitude of Marlon Brando where unfortunately marketing works and finally those that are not interested and are there to kill time and win money. The axe is long and everyone  behind the bar is positioned here. Respect to the bartenders!


p.s. Random indicative photos shown with respect to bartenders featured.

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