1. Deep clean your bar - When you step back from the bar and really look at it from a patrons standpoint, you might be surprised. In addition, when was the last time you cleaned the back side of the beer cooler. (Probably not this week) This step might have just solved your fruit fly problem. The point is, that you need to clean all surfaces of all equipment behind the bar weekly. This will keep smells, insects, and mold at bay. Just wiping down the surfaces you see is not enough. If you don't have enough pride in your bar to think this is important, you might be in the wrong industry.
2. Start Experimenting with Mixology - Learn to make your own signature drinks. During your off time at home, start experimenting with different ingredients to create interesting balanced cocktails. If you can create cocktails that are good enough for your boss to put on the specialty drink menu, you can end up building a crowd over those cocktails. Here in DC I frequent several restaurants just for their specialty drinks. This will make you more money and give you a competitive advantage with other bars in the area. If you need a site to help get started try Mixology 101 here. (We are not being paid for this link, BarNinja has endorsed this site though)
3. Learn about craft beer - This is a trend thats not going away and when a bartender cannot describe a beer I ask about, it makes me think less of that bartender. Step 1. Learn about the beers you sell at your establishment. (Know your product, you have a responsibility to your owners for this) Step 2. Learn about other types of beers so you are knowledgable about the craft beer scene. You don't have to be an expert, but a little knowledge can go a long way. Check out sites likewww.beeradvocate.com (We are not being paid for this link nor have they endorsed this site. I just think it is a quick place to learn.)
4. Never use sour mix again - The world of mixology has changed, and those bars that don't keep up will go the way of the Blackberry, (Blackberry went from owning the market of smart phones, to 2% market share because they couldn't get their ego out of the way and refused to change.) The same thing is happening in the bar tending world. Craft cocktails and fresh ingredients are in, and sugary sour mixes are out. To make a Greyhound in this day and age, you need to be fresh squeezing a grapefruit behind the bar.
5. Introduce yourself with a handshake - When a patron sits down at your bar, introduce yourself by name and extend your hand for a handshake. This lets them know they are in an establishment that cares about their customers. You will find that people will have a different attitude with you after starting the relationship on a personal level. It's a small thing and its easy to implement, TODAY.
At BarNinja We are all about sharing information and actionable times that you can implement with the knowledge on how to implement them, so you can grow as a bartender. These tips and processes will not only help you in the bar tending world, but can carry over to your daily personal development.
This is a common problem in the bartending world. Most bartenders don't realize that you don't want to muddle mint while making a mojito, or any other cocktail that requires mint leaves for that matter. Mint leaves only need a light press to release the oils to flavor the drink. When you muddle the mint it brings out a bitter taste that overpowers the natural mint flavor. So, the next time you make a mojito - go easy on the mint!
The simplest and generally the most rewarding way is to be so nice it is almost sickening. When you are all smiles and laughing but polite and guiding the customer has no real choice but to go with the flow. The best "cut offs" and walk outs start with just being honest and leaving no room for negotiation. Always know someone's name before you push them on the exit path. It gives you more credit with them and their friends and establishes you are not some jerk ending the fun you are just the guy or gal who is doing there job and being responsible.
For example: "Cameron buddy i think your time at our fine establishment is coming to an end(place laugh here)you have a ride home or should I call your parole officer....again?(hit up another laugh and grin and wait for the reply).