The bartender is sort of the core of the bar. They make the drinks, and sustain your menu. And a really good drink can make your customers splurge on a second, or even come back again for more. Hiring the right bartender for your bar is a tough process that should not be taken lightly, this is what you should keep in mind when looking at candidates:
So, if you were to open a sketchy biker bar in the middle of nowhere targeted towards people with attitude problems, you’d probably need a bartender who’s perpetually in a bad mood. For the rest, someone with a great attitude is a must.
Your bartender will be one of the first -if not the first- people your customers interact with when they enter your business. Your bartender will be the face of the bar in a way. You need to make sure you hire someone you can trust, and that is willing to do the job without dragging their feet.
As stated before, the bartender will be interacting with your customers, so you need to hire someone that knows how to handle it. Some people are just more naturally service oriented than others, they know when to help out an indecisive patron without being intrusive, they have no problem keeping track of how often they should offer refills, and they’re a friendly presence that’s nice to have around. Furthermore, they’ll help you build up a name, and won’t be looking for ways to cheat the customer preparing drinks that are more ice than alcohol (which is something you should not be encouraging at all lest you want a bad reputation). These qualities are just as important as knowing how to pour the perfect drink and mix a tasty cocktail.
Creative and Proactive
About that last point, tasty cocktails are still a must. Ideally your bartender should be creative, as in they should be coming up with their own drinks, or spins on classics. Generally, look for someone who’s excited about their work and transform that enthusiasm into incredible ideas.
There are millions of bars in the world, on of the things that can take your business to the next level if having an amazing bartender that keeps attracting new customers with creativity and hard work. When looking for the one, don’t just look at what they look like on paper, ask them what they can bring to the table, maybe even give them the opportunity to prepare you an original drink of their own creation. Remember that bartending isn’t just pouring a drink into a glass.
Another important point is professionalism. Bars are usually lively and filled with people who, with every drink, become friendlier and flirtier. There’s nothing wrong with your staff becoming friendly with your patrons. Even the occasional free drink is ok, especially if it’s a regular’s birthday or a special occasion. What should give you pause is an endless stream of free drinks because your bartender is too immature to handle all the attention and “power”. Make sure to hire someone that knows how to handle than responsibility and is as concerned with professionalism as they are with creativity.