ESSENTIAL BAR SKILLS: OPENING PROCEDURES
Providing consistent, first-class service is key to making your venue stand out among the rest. Using just a few simple steps, tick off this ultimate bar opening checklist to ensure you start every shift on top of your game.
Preparation leads to success
We’ve all heard the saying “if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail”, and this is never truer than when preparing your bar for the night ahead! Nobody wants to walk into a bar that is unclean or poorly prepared. Use this checklist to ensure you're opening your bar properly and professionally, this can determine how the rest of the shift will go, and there are countless benefits to being prepared:
Top customer service – A clean bar is visually more attractive to your customers and makes them more likely to return. Customer service is improved when the bar is kept neat and tidy.
Better efficiency – A fully stocked bar will ensure a quick and consistent speed of service, and stop anyone needing to leave the bar to restock. This will also help create a positive team atmosphere among staff.
Upselling opportunities – When your back bar is fully stocked, your customers can easily see the full range of products you have on offer, making them more receptive to upselling and trying new things. Read our top tips for upselling success here.
Before every shift
Before a shift begins, it is important to check your venue is ready for action. Always start your shift by checking that your bar area is tidy and safe. For a profitable, hassle free shift, make sure everything you need to deliver the best possible service is ready to go using your opening checklist– no one likes delays. Look after your customers well with fast, friendly service and delicious, quality drinks at your bar, and that’s where they’ll want to be. Put these simple guidelines into practice and use this opening checklist, that way you’ll always be ready to serve.
- Tills – Check all the tills are in good working order and fully stocked with an adequate amount of change. Make sure any spare till rolls, pens and staplers are close by in case they are needed at any point.
- Glassware – All glasses should be cleaned appropriately and free from any chips or cracks. Be sure to group all your glasses into appropriate categories.
- Ice – Fill all your ice buckets before the shift, as this will allow better and more efficient service.
- Mixers – Make sure all mixers are filled up and restocked. Have several of each mixer to ensure speed of service, allowing multiple bartenders to serve at all times.
- Bar – The bar area should be clean, dry and tidy and ready to serve your first customer. Make sure all of your drips trays are clean and dry before service begins.
- Back Bar – Check your range of spirits, replacing any empties before the shift begins, and have new bottles to hand for any spirits that are running low.Make sure all spirits are grouped together properly.
- Garnish – Ensure all garnishes are chopped and ready to serve. Garnishes need to be kept fresh and checked frequently.
- Draught products and dispenser equipment – Clean all pumps and ensure all taps are working correctly.
- Fridges – Make sure your fridges are well stocked with all the contents you may need. Always check they are working properly and the temperature is between 3-5 degrees for optimal chilling. Make sure that fridges are fully stocked with any glassware that needs to be chilled prior to service.
Using an opening checklist before every shift will easily identify any stock that is low, so it can be replenished before any customers enter the bar. Use this simple Diageo Bar Academy cheat sheet checklist to ensure perfect pre-shift preparation every time!
ENHANCE YOUR CUSTOMERS' EXPERIENCE
Being a great bartender doesn't stop at making great drinks - customer service is a very important part of the job!
UPSELLING: IT ALL ADDS UP
Failing to recognise those all-important upselling opportunities could be selling your bar - and yourself - short.
TOP TIPS TO STRENGTHEN YOUR BAR TEAM
As the night gets late and the orders pile in, having a tight-knit and efficient team makes those long shifts fun!
AN EXPERT GUIDE TO UPSELLING
Whether you work behind the bar or serve tables, upselling is an essential skill for any top bar professional to have.
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