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Bartending Guide

A Quick Guide to Getting Better Tips as a Bartender

Bartending Guide after your TABC certification by Sporting Chance Bart EversonIf you’ve earned your TABC certification then you’re probably working as a bartender or a server. In either case, the majority of your income is probably from tips, so you have to learn to make the most of your time and earn the most tips possible. But how do you do it? You most certainly shouldn’t ask, or even hint that you need money as most people will be affronted by the request and your employer might frown on it. Instead, try using these quick tips. Remember Names Did you know that asking someone about their name and then remembering it when they first sit down is almost a sure way to get a tip? While you’re not going to get a huge tip from just remembering their name, it is likely to convince them that you are a better bartender. Obviously you don’t have this luxury if the place is packed and you’re constantly moving, but at that point you probably won’t have to worry about tips anyway. Get someone’s name by telling them yours and introducing yourself with a smile. Remember Drinks What’s the next best thing to do to get a tip? Remember their drink. If you see an empty glass, walk up and say ‘Would you like another (insert drink name here).’ If they had anything special like ‘on the rocks’ or ‘salted’ make sure you smile and ask if they would like those changes again, or if they would like to try it another way. Just remember to ask first as some people like to switch drinks and try different things. Notably, as you probably learned when taking your TABC certification, you should probably also try to remember how many drinks each person has had. Not only will it help you to judge the persons level of intoxication, a fun comment like “You’re fifth already!” might earn you some points. Don’t Hover There is nothing more annoying than a bartender or server who is always there. Instead, try to make yourself look busy. If you’re not serving another customer, wipe down the counters, clean the glasses, or whatever else needs to be done. Not only do you make yourself look good to your employer and the customers, but you’re more likely to get a tip because you look busy, and because you weren’t annoying. Part of this goes in to say that you should never butt into anyone else’s conversation unless they invite you, in which case you might still be best off saying that you weren’t listening, could they say it again, so you don’t appear to be eavesdropping. Compliment It is most definitely okay to offer compliments as freely as possible across the bar. Whether male or female you can complement both genders, and even flirt a little with those of the opposite sex (although this should be very subtle, especially if that person is with a partner). Offering complements on clothing or ‘great choice of drink’ or even facial features is perfectly fine, and likely to make the customer happy. Just remember not to complement everyone where each person can hear you as it might come off badly if they see you’re doing it to get tips. Don’t Talk Too Much Did you know that talking too much can be annoying? Try politely answering questions when asked, talking to the customer at first, and then unless they look lonely or bored, mostly leaving them to their own devices. While it can be tempting to chat up everyone on a slow night, it’s probably not a good idea, especially if those people want to be left alone. If you want to talk, try finding an equally talkative person to chat with and then do so. Be Attentive Last but not least, pay attention, just not too much. Taking away empty glasses, offering refills or another drink, and talking to someone who is bored can all earn you a lot of brownie points towards getting tips. Part of this includes wiping down the bar in front of each person before you set down the glass, paying attention to them and their drink, and of course, to their attitude. As a bartender, your tips can be a large part of your income, and the best way to earn tips is to be friendly, attentive and good at your job. Before you get a job as a bartender, you will of course also need your TABC certification if you do not already have one.

Basic Bartending Tricks: How to Flip a Bottle

Bartending Guide after you Montana Alcohol Server TrainingIf you’ve just completed your mandatory alcohol server training then you’re probably ready to start work as a bartender. If so, you might want to learn a few basic bartending tricks to make serving more fun, and to increase your tips. Probably the very first trick you should learn is flipping a bottle which you can use when making cocktails, serving beer, and more. It is very important to learn balance, and to never try this when drinking as you could actually hurt yourself, and anyone in the area if the bottle is made of glass. Are you ready to learn your first bartending trick? Let’s get started. How to Flip The first part of flipping a bottle is to learn the basic technique. The following is a step by step guide to walk you through the mechanics. You should never do this with a glass bottle the first time.
  1. Hold a cup in your opposite hand and grip the bottle by the neck and get a feel for the weight. Every bottle is different so you will have to switch up each time you flip.
  2. Gently flip your wrist up to swing the bottle upward. You don’t want to flip too hard as the bottle could go too high.
  3. Let go of the bottle when it swings on its own and then catch it once it has done a full revolution with the neck pointing down. You should move your hand with the cup to catch the neck in order to catch the liquid before it spills.
Practicing To practice, try getting a variety of different sizes of plastic bottles and then filling them up with water. Halfway or three quarters of the way full is probably ideal as you will most likely never have to flip a full bottle. You should practice the trick until you have it mastered and can successfully do the trick ten or more times in a row without dropping the bottle. Once you’ve done that, you can try with a glass bottle, although you should try in an area where it is easy to clean up any mess as if you drop the bottle, it will break. A couple of other tips include that you should practice with the lid on before you get started. You can learn to ‘catch’ the bottle neck before having to catch a spill. You should also practice with different cups including wine glasses, cocktail shakers, and any other sort of glass that might be at the bar. Perfecting Your Art There are a lot of variations to the basic bottle flip many of which are required for flair bartending. The most common single hand bottle flip is simply to pour the alcohol directly into a glass. However, you can also flip the bottle and catch it with your opposite hand, flip the bottle and allow it to spin twice before catching it, and if working with plastic bottles or very cheap alcohol, practice flipping higher for a more dramatic affect. Remember to fully master this technique at home, and with the same bottles you will be using at the bar before trying it at work. If you haven’t yet gotten a job as a bartender, you can learn these tricks after earning your Montana alcohol server training, and then look for a job.

Basic Tips for Keeping Your Workstation in Order

Bartending Guide after you Montana Alcohol Server TrainingA clean workstation is an essential element of any bar, and as a bartender or server, you have to learn to make and mix drinks without leaving a messy workplace in your wake. So how do you do it? While it might seem overwhelming to keep the counter clean at first, especially if you work in a busy bar, you’re going to have to learn. These tips are intended to anyone with Montana alcohol server training (or who intends to take the course) learn to keep their workstation or bar as neat and clean as possible. Let’s get started. Trash Can You will want a small trash can or waste basket directly below your workstation. If you can have a small basin and set it on the shelf just below your workstation then you can use it to scrape scraps and ice cubes into throughout the night. Then, all you have to do is simply scrape the counter clean instead of making multiple trips across the room. This saves a lot of time, especially if you’re busy. Wipe Between Drinks No matter how busy it is, don’t forget to wipe the station down between drinks. You can use a very large wet rag (preferably with a little bit of bleach) to simply swipe over the workstation. Once again, you can do this directly into a small basin or trash can to get rid of any debris or trash that might be on the counter. This helps to keep your workstation from getting sticky and messy, which really helps to keep everything clean. As a tip, keep at least two or three large rags in a basin of bleach water either on or under the counter. Organize Everything Everything should have a place so that you can easily put it back, and then find it again as quickly as possible. Even bartenders who have had their alcohol server certification for years can sometimes spend time looking for important items if they don’t have everything organized. Your best bet is to create an exact place for each alcohol and drink ingredient, and then leave it there no matter what. The same rule should apply to knives, spoons, mixing ingredients and straws and anyone new who comes into the workstation should be immediately introduced to the order. Straighten Up Between Drinks If you have a few minutes or more between each customer then you should spend at least part of the time straightening up. Whether wiping down the full bar, organizing your bottles, or even straightening them, you can easily keep on top of everything by taking a few minutes here and there throughout the night. For example, straighten all of the bottles so that the labels all face the same way, organize the spoons and straws, and make sure everything looks neat. If you’re using cut fruit, make sure you have it put away properly if it will be more than a few minutes before the next order. Clean Glasses While Talking to Customers There’s nothing quite like maximizing your time so if you don’t mind multi-tasking, you can try talking to customers while you do important things like restocking bottles of beer and cleaning the glasses. Of course, if you have a bar-back then you won’t have to worry about this, but otherwise it’s always a great idea. Most bars have the sink in the front so you can easily chat with the nearest customers while cleaning up.

Five Things You Should Do To Get A Job as a Bartender in Texas

Bartending Guide once you get your TABC by PublicDomainPicturesIf you’re thinking about getting a job as a bartender then there are a couple of things you should consider first. For example, you will need your Texas alcohol certification or TABC, you will have to memorize a few drinks, and depending on the bar, you might have to earn a certification from a bartending school as well. Here are five things you should do before looking for a job as a bartender in Texas. Get your TABC No matter where you plan on selling alcohol you should get your TABC or Texas seller server certification before going for the job. While it is not a requirement to get a TABC permit to serve alcohol, it is a definite plus and can help you get the job. Some employers might not even hire anyone who does not have the permit, so it is definitely a good idea to look into. On the plus side, the TABC course can be taken online in 2 hours for $14.95, and then once you pass the test, you can immediately print out your certification which is good for 2 years from the date of issue. Notably, you do have to be 18 in order to sell or serve alcohol, but you can get your TABC sooner. Learn Drinks If you are planning on applying to be a bartender at a specific bar then try visiting the establishment and checking to see which drinks they have available before you go in. If you can memorize them all, then you are definitely much more likely to get the job. If you plan on applying to a range of different establishments, simply memorize as many of the most popular drinks as you can before you go in. You will most likely be asked to prepare at least a few drinks before being hired, so go prepared. Learn to Cut and Style Did you know that if you learn to cut and style the garnishes that go on drinks you are much more likely to get a job as a bartender? Learning to cut fruit, salt and sugar rims, and use other garnishes appropriately will help your drinks to look better and will make customers happier as well. For this, you can choose to take a bartending course where they will definitely teach all of these items, however, a course really isn’t necessary if you already know what you are doing. Develop a Clean Workstation Habit One of the best things for any bartender to learn is to constantly wipe things down and clean. If you can keep your workstation neat and tidy, and wipe things off after every drink, you will definitely make everyone concerned very happy. All you have to do is learn the basics of your workstation, learn how to clean it up, and remember to keep it clean even when busy. This is extremely important in any establishment, but especially one that serves food as well, because not keeping it clean could be a healthy violation, as well as a turnoff for any customers who might happen to see a messy workstation. Be Good With People While this last can be a little difficult to learn, you have to be good with people in order to bartend. As mentioned in the TABC course, you also have to learn to judge people to see if they are underage or intoxicated, but you also have to smile, be friendly, and make each customer feel as though they are the center of your attention if you want to get tips. If you are charming, pleasant, and friendly when you go looking for a job, you are that much more likely to be hired.

What to Consider Before Taking a Job Serving or Bartending

Bartending Guide once you have our TABC By Kirti PoddarIf you’re considering getting your TABC certification to start serving alcohol, then you have to consider the pros and cons of the job. Whether as a bartender or as a server, there are a lot of perks, but also a couple of things you have to be careful of. For example, most people have friends who might expect preferential treatment when they come over, while you can’t offer that treatment, you do have to find a way to tactfully deal with it. What are some of the other things you might have to watch out for when taking a job serving alcohol?

You Have to Be Nice

You probably know that you have to be nice to customers, but sometimes they won’t always make it easy. Everyone is different and people don’t always get along, especially when drinking. Your job is to make the customer feel happy and welcome, which means being nice to them no matter what. Usually this requires a little bit of tolerance for stupidity and human error on your part.

Steady Pay Isn’t Guaranteed

Most bartenders make pretty good money with their TABC certification, but it isn’t guaranteed. You might have weeks where you don’t know what to do with all of your tips, but then again you might have months where you barely pay the rent. The unfortunate part of working for tips is that if no one has any money, you don’t make any money.

No Work Perks

Most bartenders and servers don’t actually get paid insurance or dental or even healthcare. This means you will have to pay for these things out of your own pocket, even if your last employer covered your insurance. This is definitely a downside to any sort of job as a server, but if you get good shifts, and you work in a busy area, you can definitely make up the difference.

You Have to Learn to Keep Your Distance

Whether you’re a server or a bartender, male or female, you’re going to have to learn to keep your distance. Many of the customers in a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol are on their own, and might be overly affectionate when drunk, especially if you’re being nice to them. Learning to gently dissuade this sort of affection is important for keeping your job as well as your sanity.

Long and Late Hours

The most successful bartenders work at night, although it is also possible to work in golf clubs, casinos, and pretty much anywhere else that serves alcohol during the day. You are most likely to get more tips if you are working in either a place with wealthy patrons, or working after standard work hours when more people are likely to be out and having fun. This usually means 6-10 or even 6-2, which is a long shift for standing on your feet.

Serving Alcohol is a Responsibility

If you’ve gotten your TABC certification then you know the responsibilities inherent with serving alcohol. You are legally required to not serve alcohol to minors or to those who are intoxicated, and if you do, it could be your fault. It is your responsibility to check IDs, and pay attention to people before serving them alcohol.

It’s Hard Work

Last but not least, bartending and serving are hard work. While it might sound easy to serve people drinks, you will have to stand on your feet for 5-10 hours depending on the shift, you might not make any money if no one is tipping, and there is a lot of work involved. For example, you will have to memorize any number of drinks, mix them properly each time, make every customer happy, and do it all with a smile. While no one ever said bartending was easy, most don’t consider that it is actual work either.

Think you have what it takes to be a bartender? If so, consider getting your TABC certification onlinewhere you can print it out as soon as you are done.

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