Teach Good Service

Apr 29, 2015 | Kuster Design Blog

Years ago when I attended bartending school I was taught to always make eye contact with new customers as they approach the bar, especially if the bar was really busy and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to take their order immediately. This way, the new comers would know I was aware of their presence. Then, as I had a small break I was to stop by and get their order, even though I may not be ready to make their drinks, at least they had again been shown some attention and were not left standing wondering if anyone was ever going to serve them. Bartenders lately don’t seem to be being taught this basic skill of keeping customers happy.
I’ve been into several new bars and restaurants lately as I always enjoy trying new places. As with most new locations, they tend to be very busy. Unfortunately, the bartending staff seems incapable of doing more than one thing at a time. The first time they acknowledge a customer’s presence is when they are ready to take their order. I’ve watched them, too. They will then proceed to make the drink, and ring the customer out before moving on to the next customer. In an age of supposed multi-tasking I have to wonder why this skill isn’t crossing over to the young bartending staff. I’ve read that younger people are not taught to commit things to memory the same as earlier generations were. Is this where the problem lies? Are the younger bartenders unable to remember more than one drink order at a time when the bar is really crowded? I find this hard to believe as I’ve watched servers of the same relative age remember the food orders of an entire table without writing anything down.
Bars and restaurants must be especially aware of the experience they are offering their customers as the experience is often what clients are paying for more so than the food itself. If one is left standing for 20 minutes or more waiting to get the first drink at the bar, how often do you think they’ll come back?