7 Bartender Bad Habits

The age of mixology is upon us and never has the voice of the bartender been more respected. Bartenders possess the resources and ability to design a fabulous beverage menu and execute an effective bar program. However, they aren’t infallible.

Here are seven bartender bad habits and behaviors that can impact your ability to build bar revenue.

Do you need change? This is a loaded question and puts customer in an awkward and uncomfortable position. It is not the bartender’s job to dictate, ask for or question a tip. Additionally, a bartender should never count their tips in view of your guests; they should wait until the end of their shift.

Over serving: Over serving will not provide more income to bartenders in the long run. Rather, it can jeopardize team members and the bar itself. Understanding of the signs of intoxication and how to prevent it should be every bartender’s most important duty.

Not following recipes: Bartenders shouldn’t get in the habit of constantly going off menu and creating their own concoctions. There’s nothing wrong with improving upon and upgrading existing drink items but renegade behavior can derail the customer experience. The menu needs to be respected. 

Discourteous behavior: The competition for market share is entirely too fierce and there’s no room for a bartender with a bad attitude. Bartenders should be in the habit of wowing each and every guest.  

Not offering food: Bartenders that don’t offer appetizers, small plates, burgers (whatever is on the menu) to every guest are hurting your bottom line. Offering food with alcohol beverages also supports responsible alcohol service.  

Abusing the use of comps: You can’t afford to let bartenders spend (or steal) your money by comping drinks at their discretion (or lack thereof).  It’s an age-old practice and can improve tips dramatically but it can easily damage your bottom line. If your guests expect freebies every visit, they won’t value your bar.

Leaving Early: If your bartender doesn’t want to be behind the bar, you don’t need them. Find someone else, a rock star who wants to put in the work necessary to succeed and work their shifts consistently.  

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