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

15 Important Guest Signals - Section Four:
Serving Difficult Bar Guests and Customers

4. "The Owner's Friend" a.k.a "The Modifier"

Every bartender's favorite customer is back! This time, he'd like you to put it in a LARGE glass with only a LITTLE ice and make sure to put a DOUBLE amount of PREMIUM vodka in it because he could barely even taste it the last time. No rotten lime, either. Don't forget to give it to him for half-price because Amy does. Even when he orders it by shouting at the back of your head when you're three people deep. Did he mention that he knows the owner? Of course he did, every time he leaves you a 25 cent tip that you ultimately thank him for. Chop chop!

There is nothing this type won't do to get under your skin and bring out every pet peeve imaginable, so how do you get it right AND keep your job? It's not always easy, but CONSISTENCY in all things is key. When properly trained and expectations clearly outlined, all bar staffers should be preparing all drinks the same way every time. The recipe and ingredients (type of spirits used and measurements), the glassware and especially the price MUST be controlled. Every factor. Over-pouring and returned drinks are among THE major contributing factors to elevated liquor costs along with theft and spillage. This guarantees the guest will get the properly prepared drink every time and that the house's profit interests are protected. Everyone then knows what to expect on both sides of the bar. If there is a situation where the regular preparation of a cocktail is not possible or will be altered, the guest should be made aware in a polite, professional and low-key way that properly represents the Bar's interests. If guests still don't like your drinks, take a look at your recipes or maybe your attracting the wrong clientele.

A friend of the Owner? No problem. An Owner will thank you for keeping him in business while being respectful to his guests and a true "friend" of the Owner will be respectful of the Owner's business policies and employees. If the customer is insistent beyond normal means, quietly get a manager involved ASAP and brief him or her away from the guests and other employees. When employees deviate from these guidelines, drinks should not be the only consistent thing to expect from the establishment; appropriate discipline should be on the menu as well.

NEXT: Section 5 - "The Rubber-Necker" a.k.a. "The Searcher"

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