You may have a happy team and a large customer base, but the fact is - as hard as you try - it’s almost impossible to keep everyone happy all of the time.
It may be difficult, for both them and you, but it’s best not to think of complaints as a negative thing. Try to encourage your staff to see them as an opportunity to look at the business as a whole and see if there is any room for improvements.
Here are six of the most frequent bartending complaints and how to solve them.
Complaints From Your Team
1. “I feel like I am always really busy”
A bar is a naturally busy environment to work in. It’s fast-paced and it can often feel like there’s a lot to do in little time.
But this can be a good thing. A busy day at work means staff are meeting lots of new people. This can result in them discovering techniques for working effectively which they may never have thought of before.
Encourage them to communicate with each other and share tips and tricks to make jobs more efficient. Teamwork is a great way to support staff members feeling a little overwhelmed.
2. “My feet hurt and I don’t feel comfortable in my uniform”
Your staff need to feel happy and relaxed when at work.
One way you, as a manager, can help to ensure this isn’t the case, is to regularly enquire and start discussions about any issues staff may have.
Their footwear should include features such as a comfortable insole, extra cushioning or a padded collar.
3. “I want to feel more involved in my bartending career”
Having good morale is really important for any workplace. Helping your staff feel motivated and supported in furthering their bartending career is a big part of that.
Motivation can come from events like team-building exercises, such as solving puzzles together and playing games outside of work. Alternatively, it could come from a more aspirational and goal-focused approach - ensuring staff are aware of any promotions or training available to them.
Complaints From Your Customers
4. “What do you mean you don’t serve [insert cocktail name here]?!
Customers tend to know what they like when it comes to drinks. They may have tried a variety of cocktails and combinations over the years and have decided upon a certain selection of drinks.
For example, they might prefer their drinks sweet and fruity like a Cosmopolitan or darker and full-bodied like an Espresso Martini.
It comes naturally for trained bartenders to make common cocktails when customers ask for them - but there will be some people who perhaps tried a drink while abroad on holiday or discovered an unusual cocktail online and would like the bartender to recreate it for them.
If the staff member is not sure how to make the requested drink, ensure your team are trained to ask the customer to describe the flavours in it and provide alternative drink options.
5. “I can’t be sure which people are staff members and which are customers”
If a customer has a query, the last thing they want to do is face the - sometimes embarrassing - problem of approaching a fellow customer thinking they are in fact a member of staff.
It’s important to provide a smart yet comfortable uniform for staff members. Not only will this benefit the customers as they will feel more confident asking for assistance, but it can also help your team by increasing team spirit. This will improve the overall morale of the staff and their job satisfaction will be reflected in the quality of work they carry out.
6. “I’ve been waiting for ages!”
This complaint can sometimes simply come from an impatient customer who perhaps hasn’t been waiting for as long as it has felt for them. However, it may also be coming from someone who has indeed had a long wait due to a rush of customers.
Either way, one way to help the customer is to explain that the bar is busier than usual and your staff are trying their best to serve as efficiently as they can. Train staff to assure the customer they will be served as soon as possible and apologise for their wait.
Make Sure You’re Ready for Anything
These are just some of the complaints your staff may experience in the workplace and techniques for helping to resolve them should they arise. But what we’ve discussed in this blog aren’t the only things you need to know.
To help, we’ve put together a handy guide which includes a series of steps to make each shift is a success. Download your free copy of the guide now using the link below.