Characteristics of a Good Bartender

The beer is important. The pub is important. But most important of all is the Pub Landlord! In the world of bar tending, this surely is the highest form of the art!

But why do so many British pub landlords get it wrong? The problem is that running a pub is seen by outsiders as the easiest job in the world. Get a well established hostelry, employ a couple of attractive bar maids then step back and watch the money roll in!

Wrong, wrong wrong!

The pub landlord is born, not made. He needs to be loud and outgoing by nature. He needs a wicked sense of humour. He needs to be well informed and up to date with latest bad taste jokes! He has to be an entertainer, an entrepreneur and a master of ceremonies. Keep them laughing, keep them entertained and they’ll keep drinking!

Kids in pubs. Love them or hate them, if you make families unwelcome, you are missing out on a client base that accounts for up to 25% of pub business in the UK. Children have to be tolerated and families made welcome. Get a few colouring books. Provide a decent kids menu. Bribe them with lollipops! Provide a fun filled play area. It’s so important to get it right.

Make families feel uncomfortable at your peril.

Background music. It’s so important to get it right. Supermarkets learned years ago that they can control their customers buying habits by using the right music at the right time. It ain’t rocket science! Set the mood appropriate to the time of day. Slow music, fast music, soft, loud. Constantly monitor the atmosphere and react accordingly.

The biggest mistake of all is to sit on the sidelines. Get right in front of the customers. Get involved in their conversations. Start new topics and no matter how boring the discussion is, pretend to be interested in theirs.

It’s equally important to know when to stand back. Some conversations are not for public consumption and you need to know when to make yourself scarce.

Then there’s the no-no’s. No politics. No religion and no chatting up your best customers’ girlfriends!

But with the best will in the world, if all of the above does not come naturally, you’ll never succeed.

You can’t fake personality. If you’re not the life and soul of the party you’ll never have a thriving bar.

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