How to become a Fine Dining Restaurant Bartender
Love Food, Drinks, People and Customer Service? Vancouver definitely has the appetite for great service which also means the restaurant and bar industry is just waiting for you! Most prospective bartenders like to set their sights high right out the gate. They want to be that all star, flashy bartender immediately! Unfortunately, sometimes that just isn’t reality. Don’t fret however, working as a food runner, bussing or serving at a restaurant first is probably the BEST thing you can do for yourself.
Learning the foundations of what it means to work as a TEAM is essential to working in any kind of hospitality environment. If you know how to deliver food, take orders, work with the kitchen and your management all in tandem, then it will make you a better bartender in the long run. If your kitchen isn’t working with your expediters, who in turn aren’t working with the servers, who then don’t work with the bartenders, the system breaks down quickly and guests will see this.
Keys to the Craft
To become a great restaurant bartender you must learn the menu backwards and forwards, be sensitive to allergies and children if need be. Knowing the drink menu is imperative, the guest has a list in front of them, you better be able to speak to it with passion. Every drink requires the same amount of love and effort, so learn those recipes! Being able to stand at the Bar crafting drinks, while serving your guests at the Bar “The Wood,” whilst running food makes for an excellent Bartender.
Knowing how to deliver food and serve properly is a big skill to have, just because you are behind the bar doesn’t mean you don’t have to serve as well… Bartenders are food runners, bussers and servers in the Restaurant world. Be Prepared to be a jack of all trades so to speak, all of these elements will be asked of you. If you are uncomfortable in any aspect of these traits, then learn them and excel.
Learn to Upsell
ADD ON’s are a big thing in restaurants. Up Selling customers on a few extras not only improves the guests enjoyment, it raises the bottom line. Your tips will more than likely reflect this too. ‘Adding on’ means to add something to the original order to help boost sales. For example, when someone orders a main dish, suggest that they might be interested in an appetizer to tide them over. Add a piece of cake after dinner and a specialty coffee drink to wash it all down. Servers aren’t the only ones with this task, Bartenders have customers sitting at the bar, interest them in a double highball or bump them up to a premium brand of liquor, maybe even a shot. Do what you can to increase revenue, your boss and your wallet will thank you.
Being a restaurant bartender can be very demanding. As with any job, to be excellent takes a lot of work and effort, however it is a very rewarding experience. Anyone looking to start off the right way and get trained in all aspects of the craft need some proper instruction. At Fine Art Bartending we can point you in the right direction to land that Restaurant/Bar job, meaning you’ll never go home starving!
Check out all our upcoming classes and register today for our Commercial Bartending Course. Our instructors have been in the industry for years and have hired numerous bartenders and servers. Learn from the Best Bartending School in Vancouver!