When you walk into the neighborhood bar on Friday or Saturday night, do you feel like “Norm” on the infamous sitcom Cheers? Does the entire bar, including the bartender know your name and welcome you as you walk through the door? Does the bartender have your favorite drink waiting for you as you approach your usual seat at the bar? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then you have a bartender that really knows and loves their job. Otherwise, if the answer was no to any of these questions, you might want to re-think your choice of hang-out; and start looking for a new place to frequent on the weekends and evenings after work.
How to recognize a good bartender?
When you first step into the bar it is the responsibility of an attentive bartender to recognize customers and acknowledge their presence. Even during the busiest time of evening, just a smile in your direction and a friendly hand gesture, showing they will be over shortly to take your order should be sufficient. Often the hostess or waitress will bring a menu or water to your seat to at least get you started with thinking about what you may be interested in ordering until the bartender can be freed-up to assist with your order.
Remains cool under pressure?
Does your bartender remain calm under pressure? If they are able to remain calm and collected even during the busiest hours of the day, then your bartender is a professional and is in the right business. However, if the bartender shows signs of being “stressed out” and gets short with customers due to the stress of a busy night, they either are in the wrong profession– or perhaps, just having a bad day– we all have them. If your bartender is normally cool and calm during stressful times and this one time gets upset, then chalk it up as he or she is having a bad day. Otherwise, if this is the typical attitude you receive from this bartender during busy times, you should probably report him or her to the manager and perhaps the manager can get things handled.
Has a Good Memory
Is your bartender able to remember your favorite drink or able to recommend a drink you have never tried but might be interested in trying? If this is the case, your bartender has excellent personable skills and should be commended. In the town in which I live, there is a bartender at the local bar my husband and I frequent that when he sees us come in he has our drinks prepared exactly to our liking before we even sit down. Now this is excellent customer service and is very impressive to see there is a bartender who truly loves doing what he does.
Keeps a tidy work area
A bartender that keeps his or work area in excellent cleanliness and neat order is something one should also look for when going to a bar. If the bar’s work area is messy and unorganized, you can be sure your drinks and service will be the same. “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” as the saying goes; if your bartender cares about the physical appearance of his or her work area, then he or she is also going to care about how well you enjoy your drinks.
Knows How to Mix a Great Cocktail
Finally, the number one way to know if your bartender is doing a good job and knows how to do his or her job in an excellent fashion is to take that first sip of the cocktail they have just prepared for you. Is it to your liking? Is it full of ice and hardly any drink? Or did the bartender use a mixer or blender when your preference is smooth? The best way to determine a good bartender, ultimately, is how they prepare the drinks you order.