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Bart the Bartender

I can't believe it's been months since my last post. Time flies when you're having fun, right?

Well, time flies even faster when you're working 3 jobs!

I’ve had an extremely lucky start to my journey into the world of bartending. At this point, I’ve finished bartending school (highly recommended, but more on that later), and I’ve been fortunate enough to be accepted for two part-time bartending roles. I’ve also gotten paid, so I guess that makes me official now :)

My initial observations so far...

Bartending != mixology

There’s so much more to bartending than what the usual person thinks about. When people think of bartenders or when friends find out I’m a bartender, the immediate thought is the making of and/or inventing awesome drinks. That is the mixologist part. What most people fail to realize is that bartending also includes:

  • Restocking the bar with bottles, cans, and ice constantly

  • Slicing, chopping, peeling fruits

  • Preparing fresh juices

  • Slicing, chopping, peeling more fruits

  • Knowing and serving the dining menu

  • Slicing, chopping, peeling fruits even more fruits

  • Running dishwashers

Depending on the establishment, some of these may be required more than others. Some places have barbacks that specifically handle restocking and bar prep, but where I work, we do all of the above. The fact of the matter is, it’s not all fun and games, and not just about the mixology. Bartending is tough, honest work — albeit fun and rewarding.

People have high expectations of their bartenders

When my friends and I go to a bar, we respect the bartenders and appreciate their time and effort to give us a great experience. Not everyone is like that. Not even close. Bartenders must be able to handle the pressure of demanding patrons. Here’s some behavior I’ve noticed during my experience so far:

  • People forget what it’s like to be new to something. Eye-rolls and snooty remarks have come my way when I say I don’t know a drink recipe. Don’t fret; everyone starts somewhere! Be respectful, be straightforward, and ask how they like it.

  • People mistake craft cocktail houses for high-volume party bars. Achieving the same throughput is just not possible. Some can lose patience with this fact.

  • People say “surprise me” or “make me your favorite drink” without expressing what spirits or flavors they appreciate. That’s just a lose-lose situation.

  • Out-of-towners always expect bartenders to have recommendations in and around the city. What’s another bar to go to? Where can I take my family? Where’s good sushi/pizza/steak? What other fun things are there to do around here? This one, I’m good at!

There you have it. I had zero experience in bartending and I’m an introvert. But I did it, and so can you! All it takes is a little investment and some hard work.

In the coming posts, I’ll talk more in-depth about my experience with bartending school and I’ll also share some of my tips when interviewing for bartending jobs.

For the rest of this year, I also want to share lessons that I learn in my experience in the service industry. Having been in it for the past two months, I can honestly say that everyone would benefit from some exposure to the industry. We would all gain a bit more perspective and a lot more patience.

Until next time…

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17 de set. de 2021

I need a train wreck drank

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