How is it that some bartenders can earn so much more than others?
It comes down to the number one trait needed in bartending.
Earning good tips as a bartender isn’t that difficult, but earning great tips
requires some work.
People tip based on more than just how much they spend. They also tip
according to the quality of service they get.
What this means for you is, to maximize the amount of money
you can make, you need to change how you behave and do things
behind the bar.
If you’re already earning 30% or more of your sales in tips then there
probably isn’t much you need to change. For those that aren’t getting
those numbers, then there are some things you can do to start
How people respond to us goes far beyond what we say.
Learning and understanding the signals you are putting out
there will change the whole behavior of your customers.
It’s also just as important to understand the visual queues that
they’re sending. This can help in putting people into a more positive
mindset and that can result in a better tip.
Some bartenders are really good at this and don’t even realize it.
It just comes naturally to them. So even the bartenders that
make great money can earn more by learning these skills.
Here are two great resources to get you started.
Confident: feeling or showing confidence in oneself; self-assured.
Arrogant: having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities.
Make sure you’re Confident and not Arrogant when working behind the bar.
People like and gravitate towards confident people.
When you’re able to show that you know how to bartend and
can do the job without getting flustered, frustrated and angry
when things get busy, customers are a lot more patient.
Never lose confidence just because you don’t know something.
Sometimes we just don’t know what’s in a drink. That’s O.K.
Find out how to make it and drive on. Be confident that you learned
something new. When customers see you step up and be
honest you will be rewarded.
Don’t Chase Tips:
People don’t like greed.
If you’re one of those bartenders that is constantly looking for
that money to hit the bar so you can snatch it up and put it in your
tip jar, you might be an asshole.
This is a real turn-off for customers. It shows them that you’re
only in it for the money, so any nice thing that you say or do,
doesn’t seem genuine.
That doesn’t mean that you should be stupid and leave all of the
tips on the bar until the end of the night.
If the customer doesn’t know to push the tip forward on to the rail
then be patient and don’t get grabby. When in doubt, ask.
Head On A Swivel:
Even the best bartenders miss people sometimes.(Usually when it’s slow)
Don’t stop scanning your bar and always stay busy with something.
If your busy then you tend not to miss customers in need.
When you’re that bartender that is always on top of getting to customers
quickly, it makes it a lot easier for you to let the impatient jerk
know that you will get to them in turn and you know what you’re doing. Other
customers that know you will also help with this by explaining how good
you are, to those that are too dim to understand what’s going on.
Being attentive is key to growing a good reputation.
Start Changing Now:
Begin applying these changes on your next shift.
Start with one of them and improve on it.
You don’t need to try and change everything at once.
Over time you will see a positive change in
how things go behind the bar.
If you aren’t keeping a record of how much you make you should.
When you start using these techniques your tip average will start to
grow and bartending will be more fun than it already is.