Customer holding a red cocktail in a bar setting.

The Top 6 Bartending Questions on Google

Discover the top questions on bar professionals’ minds, according to Google. From how to make classic drinks, to learning the right way to upsell, we investigated the most frequently asked questions around bartending, and answered them to give you some practical advice and tips!

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

1. “What Should I Do to Become a Successful Bartender?”

The difference between being good and being great comes down to how much work you’re willing to put in. Even the most experienced bartenders can become more successful by setting just 10–15 minutes aside to improve their skills.

Invest in Training and Customer Service Skills

Matt Guest, Head Trainer for Diageo Bar Academy, Europe, believes that all it takes is making a simple training matrix, which helps you to figure out what you know, and what areas need some work. Plus, the training resources available to you are endless. Search through the Diageo Bar Academy website for informative masterclasses and educational articles for any topic. If you’re a DBA member, you also have a wealth of downloadable resources, quizzes and e-learning courses at your disposal!

As the face of the bar, you also need to constantly improve your social skills and customer relationships. Part of the job is to make customers feel at ease. So being charismatic, friendly and remembering the names of regulars can seriously improve your success as a bartender and encourage customers to keep coming back.

2. “It’s My First Shift Behind the Bar, What Should I Focus On?”

Because bartending requires you to constantly be on your feet, your first shift can be both mentally and physically draining.

Global New Age Whiskey Brand Ambassador, Jenna Ba, emphasises the need to eat and rest well to be physically prepared for your first shift in her Bar Basics for New Bartenders. She also outlines that being receptive to learning, knowing your classics and understanding the basics of hospitality will make your first shift much easier!

3. “How Do I Learn More About the Brands I Serve?”

Learning the brands you serve is vital to your cocktail making. Each type of alcohol and brand brings their own unique qualities to a cocktail. There are many ways to learn about the brands in your bar: attending courses, consulting cocktail books or simply doing a quick Google search can help you to become more knowledgeable. You can find all the information you need about Diageo-owned brands when using these resources.

When researching your brands for cocktail-making keep in mind:

  • The taste profile
  • The alcohol content
  • Ingredients
  • Origin and production

4. “What are the Classic Drinks I’ll Be Expected to Serve?”

Classic cocktails are the foundation of every bar menu. They’re the go-to for customers who like the familiar and bring a balance between exciting and traditional drinks. There are many cocktail classics to learn and make available for your guests, but decide on a few firm favourites to include on your menu like the Martini, Old Fashioned, Margarita, Negroni, Mojito or Daiquiri.

5. “How Do I Upsell More Premium brands?”

Upselling is not just about garnering profit. It’s also about creating a better experience for your patrons, bettering your business’s reputation, and building your customer base.

Here are some tips to improve your upselling skills:

  • Recognise the hesitation of your customers – when patrons seem unsure of what they want to order, this is the perfect time to upsell. Suggesting certain brands or alcohols in this instance can be seen as a higher level of service by the customer.
  • Think about what drinks pair well with what food – this way, you can suggest certain drinks depending on the meal ordered by the customer.
  • When customers order their second drink, suggest an alternative.
  • Use descriptive words when talking about your suggested drink/brand. For example, “delicious” sells better than “nice”.
  • Know your brands – understanding the brands you serve can help you make more informed recommendations and sound more confident.
  • Practice makes perfect!

6. “What Are Some Tips to Multitask Better?”

Multitasking is a given in any bartending role. You’re expected to mix drinks, handle payments and serve customers at the same time. Although it’s tricky, it’s not impossible. Here are some ways you can improve your multitasking skills:

  • Set your station the right way – ensure that all your ingredients, glassware and equipment can be found easily. Having to leave your station to fetch things can slow you down.
  • Use glassware as a reminder – as each order is placed, set the appropriate glass out on the bar to remind yourself what order needs to be completed next.
  • Don’t take half orders – make sure to ask your customers if they want anything else before you start to make their order. This means you don’t need to go back and forth.
  • Try batching cocktails when you can, to make the preparation of individual orders quick and effective.


  • Become more successful by dedicating time to improve your skills. Try using a training matrix to determine which skills to focus on.
  • To prepare for your first shift, be receptive to learning, know your classics and ensure you understand the basics of hospitality.
  • Learn about the brands you serve by attending courses, consulting cocktail books or doing a quick Google search.
  • Decide on a few favourite classic drinks to add to your bar menu.
  • To upsell better, learn to recognise hesitation in customers, consider food and drink pairings, suggest an alternative when customers order a second drink, use descriptive words and know your brands well.
  • Multitask better by setting your station, using glassware as a reminder, avoiding half orders, and batching cocktails.

Interested in levelling up your bartending knowledge? Sign up to Diageo Bar Academy and gain unlimited access to informative masterclasses, e-learning courses, quizzes and more!