Bartender vs. Customer
(Section 12 of the Bartending Course)
If you would like to see a complete list of the 20 sections/chapters of the Bartending Course – Go Here
Yes, Bar Customers Can Be a Pain in the Butt!
The very best bartenders always want to provide great customer service. The customers expect it. The bar owner demands it. However, you are going to run into some sticky situations that force you to make tough decisions. Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered.
Your goal is to use your critical thinking skills and either solve the problem, suggest an alternative, or come up with a “pat” answer. If all of that fails – throw your manager under the bus. No, not really. There are times when you really do need to call the manager over and sort things out, but an exceptional bartender knows how to rectify almost all issues in a positive way that benefits everyone.
It’s a give and take. You work for the house. Your job description dictates that you help the bar owner stay profitable. And that includes keeping the customer happy. That’s great, but there are going be situations that you run into where a conflict arises between you (the house), and the customer.
How you handle these situations may very well determine how long you keep your job. Section 12 here is NOT really about customer service. That’s in Section 10. However, all of the situations or “scenarios” that I discuss in this section do have a lot to do with customer service.
Really, this is the “fun” section. All bartenders, at some time, are going to run across most of the scenarios that I go into detail about. Some are hilarious. Some involve legal issues. Many involve customers just being total jerks. I’ll show you how to handle all of these situations.
*Important – Bartenders serve alcohol. It’s serious business. And, no, “The Customer is Always Right” does not apply here. I had a young banquet bar manager tell me that I had to serve an obviously intoxicated customer because the “customer is always right.” Not on my watch – serve him yourself, buddy.
I’m going to give you a short list below of some of the scenarios I cover. This is not, by any means, an all-inclusive list. There are more. A lot more in my Bartender School Online Course. Almost all of these situations I have personally run across during my bartending career. I’ve made some mistakes – so you don’t have to.
A Few Real Life Bar Scenarios
In my Bartending Course, I pose the question (like those below), and then give you at least one solution or response. Sometimes there is no perfect solution, so it helps to have some sort of “pat” answer. As I mentioned before, many of these situations are fairly serious. Others are so funny – or ridiculous – that you can’t help but laugh. This is what makes bartending so fun!
Hook me up, Dude. I’ll take care of you!
Hey man! I can’t taste any rum in my drink!
I know the owner. He’s a good friend of mine.
Turn up the music or I’m going to call the manager!
Did you put any liquor in my drink? Here – taste it!
Some guy puked in the urinal. Are you going to clean it up or what?
Why are you putting so much ice in the glass?
The pinball machine ripped me off. You owe me two dollars.
You’re making my drink wrong. Is this your first shift as a bartender?
There’s no way I ordered this many rounds. Get me the manager!
I was supposed to meet the guy that sells weed here. Can you point him out?
Every other bar in town accepts my ID. What’s your problem?
Can I have your phone number?
…and so many more!