Personality of a Bartender

A personality lesson

A group of six people came into the bar.

They were happy, laughing and ready to order some drinks.

I sat and watched.

The bartender looked up when they walked in,
and he looked right back down to finish texting,

reading the response, texting again before
putting down his phone and approaching the waiting group.

At this point the energy level of the group dropped a little.

The bartender took their order, made the drinks
and started a tab for them.

He came over to me and three other people in the bar,
that Tuesday night, and checked on us.

He then returned to his phone.

I knew this group of six people that just walked in,
I waited on them before.
They were pleasant, fun, and money.

When they get good service they tip well.
When they get great service they tip 100% to 200% of their bill.
This bartender had no idea, and didn’t deserve to know.

His personality sucked and his service was horrible.

This was surprising because I saw him working
the previous Friday night and he was on fire.

Fast service with a smile and everything
you would expect from a good bartender.

Tonight just wasn’t busy enough for him to give a crap.

The bar had everything this group wanted, to keep them coming back,
except for a good bartender.

This type of inconsistency in your personality
can cost you money now, and in the future.

They got one more round, that they waited too long to get, and cashed out.

One guy in the group recognized me and they came over to say hi,
and while we had a short conversation, they made it clear that they were leaving because this bartender was terrible.
They wouldn’t be back.

The personality of a bartender is a key ingredient when bartending.

Your personality plays a big part in how much money you make.
It also determines the tone and mood of your guests.
A happy bar is a bar that makes money and keeps people wanting to come back.

Personality is generally thoughts, behavior,
emotions and characteristics that make you unique.
Taking control of these things and keeping them positive
will give you the ability to maintain a high energy bar.
This will help keep you motivated,
even when things start getting deep.

Guests are way more patient when a bartender
looks and sounds positive.
Especially when they’re being told they have to wait for a drink.
Yes even the jerks can be disarmed by a positive personality.

How do you become the bartender with a great personality?

You change, modify and improve the thoughts, behavior,
emotions and characteristics that make you unique.

First, change what you think.
Put all of the negative crap that happens before you get to the bar,
including the commute, in a box outside the door.
Don’t think about it and don’t mention it to anyone.
Deal with this later, after work.

By the way, the box should be imaginary and discussing it with anyone
might lead to eye rolling, unwanted laughter and ridicule.

A great way to train your mind, to think about positive things,
is to read books that have great messages in them.
Self help books are a good place to start.
These types of books have been around a long time
and have improved peoples lives all over the world.

Reading books like this on a daily basis will train
your thoughts to be positive and steer away from the negatives.

Let’s look at this as “Brainwashing”.
However, you are in control of cleaning your own brain.
You decide what goes in and what gets thrown out.

Complete control, a bartenders dream.

How you carry yourself says a lot about your personality.

Now that you’re thoughts are positive you will start to behave
in a positive way and your emotional state will be happier.
This will also cause your body language and tone of voice to change.
Most communication is non-verbal.

What are you saying, without realizing it?

It is fun to “non-verbally” communicate messages to customers.
Remember, mastering body language should only be used for good, not evil.

People don’t realize they are reading the non-verbal cues of others.
Not only are they seeing what you are expressing,
they are also seeing how others are reacting to you.
When your guests are showing that you are a likable person,
other customers coming in will respond to it.
This gives you the upper hand on establishing how things work,
and to set the mood of the bar at that initial contact.

A personality to remember.

The bartender, from the earlier story, had a great personality somewhere inside.

He just chose when it was going to be used.
This inconsistency cost him a good bit of money.


Not just that night, but every night he worked.

The personality that people remember is what determines if they come back to see you.

Develop and maintain a good, memorable personality.

It will take work.  

The payoff will last throughout your bartending career,
and carry into whatever else you do for the rest of your life.