Aside from the food, drinks and socialising with friends, guests are likely to enjoy a bar experience a lot more when they receive excellent customer service. Offering good customer service is about promoting a positive, helpful and friendly environment. The role you play is vital as you and your team can make sure you turn ordinary customers into regulars.
Here are some useful tips on how you can do that.
- Create Small Talk
- Know Your Regulars
- Offer Snacks and Freebies
- Get Guests Involved in the Experience
- Show Attentiveness
- Acknowledge and Listen to Your Guests
- Get to Know the Menu
- Be Fast, Efficient but Safe
Without smothering guests, you can create small talk and get to know them on a personal level. Think of some topics to start conversations with your patrons, such as any exciting plans they have for the night ahead, what they did at the weekend and more.
By keeping it fun and memorable, the conversation will seem natural and guests will know they have a friendly face they can talk to.
If you see the same faces regularly in the bar, get to know them by their name. Knowing your regulars and acknowledging them by name means you’re building a relationship with them. This is a little touch which they’d appreciate as you might know their order before they even speak or you can find them their preferred seat which they enjoy.
Another subtle way of engaging customers is by offering them snacks. Not only is this a good way to start a conversation but it’s also likely that they’ll be pleased by this gesture. You can even tell them you’ve been working on a signature drink and you want them to try it.
Nobody says no to a free drink and it’s another way of showing that you’re going the extra mile.
If you’re mixing drinks behind the bar, try to safely use some theatrics where possible. With mixologists, for example, part of the enjoyment is the technique on show when mixing drinks. Do this with some flair and passion to show guests that you’re also having a good time behind the bar.
Customers love theatrics behind the bar so make it an engaging experience. You’ll notice that your enjoyment can rub off on them.
Guests will be at the bar to relax, socialise, drink and have a good time. You should find the right balance of showing them the attention they want and not going overboard so they find you annoying. Don’t neglect them, so ask them how their drinks are or how else you can help.
Little touches like these can improve the customer experience. It shows your guests that you care about their time in your bar and that you want them to enjoy themselves.
The bar can get busy when you least expect it, but that probably won’t stop guests from shouting to get your attention. You might have many voices talking to you at once and even if you aren’t intentionally ignoring them, it can sometimes seem that way and guests will not appreciate it.
Simply acknowledging these guests and that you’ll be with them soon is enough to show that you’re not ignoring them. It’s also good to listen carefully to what they’re saying, especially if they have long, complicated orders.
They’ll quickly appreciate that you’re doing your best and want to get to them as soon as possible.
Not every customer is going to know what they want and they might rely on you to make suggestions. So it’s a good idea to memorise your menu as your knowledge will assist guests in making good choices. This will allow you to help them make a decision, point out anything unique or unusual about your drinks or even give recommendations that they’ll thank you for.
This shows customers that you have the knowledge to help them and that they can turn to you in future visits as well.
If you’re organised, you’ll find that you can work behind the bar much more efficiently. Customers probably don’t want to wait for too long to be served and they probably won’t appreciate it if you’re moving slower than you should.
While staying safe from any potential hazards like spills, try to be fast, efficient and proactive. Trying to do things too quickly might increase the risk of a possible injury, but being too slow can increase customer frustration so try to find the right balance.
If you’re thinking about becoming a bartender, then these helpful tips are a great place to start. You’ll also benefit from another resource on how you can answer typical bartender questions.
Here’s How You Can Answer Some of the Most Common Bartender Questions...
Going for any job interview can be daunting, but the best thing to do is be prepared. When you go for a bartender interview, you can show off the tips above, your skills and the answers to questions you might be asked.
Don’t panic. We’ve created a guide outlining how you can answer the most common bartender interview questions and some examples to help you think of amazing responses. Get your free copy below.