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AFTER THE SHIFT – THE CLOSING RITUAL

So you have made excellent cocktails, delivered exceptional customer service and called last orders, but now what? We speak to leading bartender Jessica Gonalez about her end of night ritual, and we also look at the importance of having a good closing routine… trust us your colleagues will thank you the next day!

My team’s closing ritual

As the evening winds down my team begins to divide the work. One person may take drink orders while another begins to break down their station and wipe down the bottles.

Bar backs take the tools to be cleaned and focus on stocking for the next night. Different people will have different strengths and a good team will know how to help each other get done with the work side so we can enjoy the play side of the bartending industry.

Once last call is over we begin to clean the bar, crack open a beer and relish in turning up the lights and cranking the music.

Opportunity to share knowledge

Sometimes at the end of the night I will make a quick cocktail to share with the team. My go-tos are Daiquiris, Margaritas, or a 50/50 Martinis. Occasionally I also take the time to work on some new recipes and I taste the bartender’s recipes to get their feedback. It's a great way to get to know each other's palates, unwind and bond after a busy shift.

After work hang-outs

A good rule of thumb for after work hang-outs with colleagues is to stop talking about work; avoid it altogether if possible.It can be impossible to escape such discussions as we all need to vent from time to time but thankfully a conversation can result in positive change behind the bar .It is important to recognize when venting is no longer constructive and change the subject to something pleasant.

Work-life balance

We work in an industry that is fun and social but we must remember to appreciate friendships outside the industry are just as important as friends you within the industry.Go out with co-workers but also be sure to see family and friends.Remember you are lucky in that you can invite your friends to your workplace which should give you a lift on any evening.

Example closing routine

Having a set closing routine helps you finish your shift quicker but it also ensures that the next shift can set up easily the next day and be ready to deliver great service (they will thank you!)

Every venue’s closing routine will be different but here is an example checklist for you to follow when closing your bar:

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