16 Bartender Training Tips for New Servers

As a bar owner, you know that hiring the right bartender is key to the success of your business. But even the most talented bartender needs proper training to thrive in their role. Whether you’re training a new hire or looking to improve the skills of your current staff, these reviewing these topics with your staff can help you ensure that your bartenders are prepared to deliver excellent service and keep your customers coming back.

  1. Learn the menu: Help your new bartender familiarize themselves with the food and drinks on the menu, including ingredients, preparation methods, and serving sizes.
  2. Master the drink list: Make sure new bartenders understand what beers are on tap, what are in bottles, what liquors are well and what the most popular mix drinks are at your bar.
  3. Learn the bar’s policies: Make sure your servers understand the bar’s policies, rules and schedule. Explain where to find and how to read the work schedule as well as what to do when you have a work conflict.
  4. Stress cleanliness: Express goal of keeping the bar clean and organized at all times, including washing glasses, wiping down surfaces, and sweeping the floor. Show where cleaning supplies are kept and what needs to be cleaned before and after each shift.
  5. Stocking the bar: Keep the bar stocked with all necessary supplies, including ice, mixers, garnishes, and alcohol. Make sure you have limes and lemons cut and enough glasses cleaned.
  6. Repeat orders: Listen to customers’ orders carefully and repeat them back to ensure accuracy. If you repeat what you think you heard you will have a better chance of communicating properly as a server.
  7. Learn how to make drinks: Prepare and serve drinks according to the menu and customer requests. Let your new bartender know what the popular drinks are at your bar and to start learning how to mix those first.
  8. Cash Drawer Management: Explain how to handle cash and credit card transactions, including making change and processing payment through a point-of-sale system. Let new bartender know what to do when they need more change or have a credit card processing error.
  9. Checking IDs: Verify the age of customers who appear to be under 30 and refuse service to those who are not of legal drinking age is required. Make sure your staff knows this and understand how IDs will be checked during a each shift.
  10. Difficult customers: Discuss strategies for handle difficult or rude customers in a calm and professional manner, and steps your team takes to resolve conflicts.
  11. Knowing the laws: Familiarize your staff with local and state laws regarding alcohol service. If you have special licenses for Sunday liquor or live entertainment, make sure your staff is aware of those rules laws too.
  12. Promoting the bar: Help promote the bar by suggesting drinks and specials to customers and upselling when appropriate. Protect the bar’s reputation by serving responsibly and acting professionally at all times.
  13. Keep track of inventory: Monitor inventory levels and reorder supplies as needed. Make sure bartenders know to write down the number of beers they give away to friends or customers too.
  14. Closing the bar: Close the bar properly at the end of the shift, including cashing out the register and cleaning up. Make sure closing bartenders or managers know how to turn manage the security system while locking up the door.
  15. Attend staff meetings: Attend staff meetings and trainings to stay informed about new policies and procedures.
  16. Learn from experienced bartenders: Ask experienced bartenders for advice and guidance and take advantage of any training opportunities offered.

    Contact Bar Consulting Services for a free strategy session to learn more.