Get Rid of that Bartender. Today!

I went out on Saturday night for a few beers (Strongbow Cider and Schneider Weiss, if you must know…) and watching the bartender reminded me why there is no place for Ego in business. Certainly not if you’re a bartender.

Before you construe this as an attack on the noble profession, nothing could be further from the truth. Having spent many years behind the bar, I consider no profession more respectable and I believe that a great bartender can make your bar.

On the other hand, a bad bartender can break your bar. A stuck up blond bartender with an ego and an attitude can be devastating. That is what I had the “pleasure” of experiencing on Friday.

When a guy who is clearly out for a good night out with his friends approaches the bar and politely asks the bartender for four shots of whatever she recommends, this is an opportunity for the bartender to make some money for the bar and herself, and if she’s clever, will extract a lot more revenue during the night than that one round.

On the other hand, looking down your nose and shrugging your shoulders saying that “I don’t know what you like…” before turning on her heels is the very antithesis of what bartending is about.

Was it because the customer and his friends were dressed more like Napolean Dynamite than Zac Effron? Should it matter?

I wasn’t the only disgusted customer. Many more shook their heads in disbelief and the customer retreated in defeat to find another bartender.

To the bar owner, get rid of her. Get rid of any poison that infects your business. If you feel that you need that kind of service to make your bar work, then maybe you need to lose the ego yourself.

The cast of Mean Girls called. They’re missing a bi**ch….You should let them have her back. As a customer, I don’t want her serving me and as a bar owner you can’t afford to keep her around for long.

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3 thoughts on “Get Rid of that Bartender. Today!

  1. Bummer of a night eh? Unfortunately that description happens far too often. It’s happened to me too. Hard to imagine why though. I used to bartend at a small bar but there was a bowling alley next to it. On weekends, especially during holidays, the young crowd was there and often asked for that same scenereo you just painted. I Loved it! And yes, in the end it cost them plenty between the extra shots and fancy drinks I sold their girlfriends plus the huge tip I got. But guess what? Everyone was happy! http://earnbiggertips.blogspot.com/2009/05/bartending-job-description-and-does-it.html

  2. I agree with you. I see so many missed opportunities with this situation. Sire, it can be annoying if a customer comes in, wants to order and doesn’t know what they want or asks “what’s good?” during a busy part of the night, but a group of guys wanting shots? That’s easy!

    If people ask me for a recommendation, my first question to ask is always what kind of spirit they normally like to drink. That way I have a starting point and a better understanding of what a customer is looking for.

    This bartender sounds like she was either not thrilled with the bar she worked at, her profession or maybe both. Regardless, she shouldn’t be surprised when at the end of the night there isn’t much to count in her tip jar.

    A bad attitude behind the bar never gets a bartender anywhere.

  3. A good bartender these days stands out. I was listening to an Irish session at the Brendan Behan Pub in the J.P. section of Boston recently and had the pleasure of watching a great bartender. The bar has a lot of craft beers and the barman was forever being asked for his opinion of the different beers. This kid was a tattooed beer sommelier. He took good care of his customer, the customer enjoyed their night out and reciprocated the favor by tipping well. So the bar makes money, the customer is happy, the bartender is rewarded, everyone wins.

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