Are You Realizing The Full Potential Of Your Bar Staff?

Bartender pouring drinks

Owning a bar can be tremendously rewarding – regular customers, being a community fixture and just having fun. Exhausting might be another way to describe it and not only from the physical drain of long hours, never ending clean up, opening, closing and all the rest of it. You also need to be well versed in social media, the latest craft beer and cocktails and of course the public perception of your location. If these factors are in alignment, life is good. But when they’re not, you might start to feel overwhelmed. That’s why it’s important to lean on your staff. They have the pulse of the industry from 40,000 feet and from the customers they’re serving 4 feet in front of them.

When your bartender tells you customers are asking for sours and you’ve got nothing but IPA’s on tap, it may be time to modify your drinks approach. If a waitress finds out Facebook reviews are driving new customers through the door, consider adding marketing resources there. To encourage this behavior from your workers, have a standing meeting to do nothing but bounce new ideas off one another. It’s virtually impossible for you to keep up with social media, which drinks to serve, marketing and advertising, staff training and all the other nitty gritty details that come with owning a bar. So develop an atmosphere amongst your team that encourages new ideas and trying fresh approaches. It will save you time, money and most importantly show your employees that their input is valued.

The flip side to that coin is dismissing ideas from the staff. This is a slippery slope. You risk alienating them and creating a devil-may-care attitude. And customers WILL pick up on this. Certainly not all ideas are useful and you can explain this tactfully. But if the host tells you there was a cockroach cruising the bar top at closing and you don’t bother to hire an exterminator, that host will know not only where he stands with you but also your mindset with regard to how the bar is operated. And sometimes a little humility goes a long way. You likely busted your hump to get and keep your pub open so in fairness, your thoughts on how to operate it should be highly regarded. Maybe you’re also fortunate to be the latest and greatest craft beer bar on the block. But that shine can fade over time so always be working to tap the full potential of your all-important bar staff and allow them to help keep your bar humming.


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kara

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