Open-a-Bar.comArticles 15 Important Guest Signals and How to Respond to Them Articles

15 Important Guest Signals and How to Respond to Them

Okay, just so you know, we've seen them all. All types. So have you. We have very likely BEEN every type as well. And it isn't anyone's fault, either. We're all people - just human beings, really.

For what we humans have in self-confidence and good nature, we make up for in awkwardness and mix it together with rigid manners and rules. Maybe it's the most reserved of us or perhaps instead, it's the most outgoing, or God forbid, the rudest of us. It's successful people, people who live paycheck-to-paycheck. It's a man. It's a woman. Old and young, local and even from the other side of the globe and of every race... no matter what the particular feature of the dynamic on a personal level, we all have to identify with one another and get along.

Let's face it - for the most part, we all WANT to get along and enjoy it preferentially.

All of that being taken into consideration, we have seen no other business model where the slightest of differences amongst us all figure easily and innocently into the grand schematic of what we do within the Food, Beverage and Hospitality Industry.

Bars, Taverns, Pubs, Restaurants, Hotels and Nightclubs possess a wide array of key moments, interpersonal situations and important transactions that challenge us as service industry professionals to be our absolute best every minute of every day. Even with a high degree of repeated coaching, information, technology and extensive education, ordinary people just being themselves in the role of our guests and customer base regularly test the limits of our training, professional courtesy and self-control with every interaction.

In order to be truly and highly successful in the Hospitality Industry, especially the Bar and Nightclub segment, one must possess a very finely-tuned skill set that allows for instant access to a limitless toolbox that draws on thorough training, solid experience, wit, rapport and a refined etiquette. The will to continue assisting others, even the most difficult and obnoxious, with their seemingly endless needs is not for the faint of heart. Either you have it or you don't. You either will or you won't.

Truthfully, that is exactly what separates the PROs from the NOs. The unflinching desire to extend the best possible, full-circle guest service imaginable. Under any reasonable circumstance with zero excuses and full-on accountability. That and the knowledge of how to go about exacting that will. Many components exist within that framework, but reading your guests, each and every one, is absolutely key. It is crucial. NOT picking up on guest's signals and cues doom you to silent failures and unannounced dissatisfactions that will affect you immediately, plague you as you continue to operate and haunt you into your very short business future.

Yes, know your Market. And know your Menus. And definitely keep your rest rooms clean and tidy, too. But always, and we mean ALWAYS, know who is sitting in that stool and what your next move needs to be right then and there to satisfy them in a way that keeps them happy from the minute they arrive at your Bar until beyond when they exit; telling every person they meet until they come back how great it is, ceaselessly stuffing money in your cash register any chance you give them!


Learn how to recognize and respond to bar and restaurant guest signals and cues

1. "Why hasn't anyone greeted me yet?" a.k.a. "Why can't I get a freakin' drink in this place?"

Even with five very capable bartenders behind the bar, the odds are stacked against that one poor guest who arrives at an inopportune time and just can't seem to get the attention of even one barely identifiable so-called employee behind the bar. "Maybe the bar back over there shooing the flies off of the fruit caddy can get me a pint?" Never has it been more critical in this day and age to greet each and every guest immediately (within 30 seconds) and politely as an individual and not generically. "What's up guys, dudes, folks, babe..." You can take your chances with these antiquated no-nouns, but most people want to be treated with respect. Sir, Ma'am, Miss, Doctor, Officer, Mr. President... these titles work. They'll tell you to tone it down if they want. It's their night out, and they should be center of attention - YOURS. Now, that's saying they want attention. We'll talk about that later in the article. Be knowledgeable and ready to answer their questions. As in, know your bar, your layout, your menus, your specials, your happy hours and prices, et cetera. Remember, guests have many options when they consider how, where and when they want to spend their time these days. Don't make the decision not to stay at your bar for them.

NEXT: Section 2 - "I see you there!"

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