Once you get that first job behind the bar its going to take a litte bit if time before you feel really comfortable behind the bar. If you get a bartending job with no experience there are a couple of basic things that you must do when working behind the bar. I cannot emphasize how important it is to follow these few basic rules. If you don’t, you will probably piss off your manager and fellow co-workers. This is something you definitely don’t want to do.
1) Always put bottles back where they belong (label facing out).
This is probably the biggest mistake I see new bartenders make. There is nothing that pisses off a bartender more than when they go to reach for a bottle and it’s not where it’s supposed to be. It’s very important that you put the bottle back in the correct spot. It is also important that the label is facing out. Even though most bartenders know where every bottle is they will still take a quick glance to make sure they have the right one. If the label is not facing out then the bartender has to turn the bottle to make sure they are using the correct liquor. This slows everyone down. The more everyone slows down, the less money everyone makes. Put the bottle back in the right spot and make sure the label is facing out.
2) Learn how to pour a draft beer.
It always amazes me how new bartenders have no clue how to pour a draft beer. It’s really not that difficult. What’s the best way to practice without wasting precious beer? Take a two liter bottle of soda and pour it into a glass. It’s that simple. When you pour the soda at home, tilt the glass and put the glass up to the opening of the soda bottle (at a 45 degree angle). It the soda starts to bubble then stop the pour and wait for it to settle! All these principles apply to pouring a draft beer. When you open the tap let it run for a millisecond before you put the glass underneath it. Make sure the glass is up against the opening of the draft line at a 45 degree angle(see picture above). If you notice at the beginning of the pour that all foam is coming out, stop the pour! If a lot of foam is coming out, ask for help from your fellow bartender. You either have a crappy draft line or crappy technique. Ask for help.
3) Be careful with the money
At the end of the night if the draw is short, most owners will make all the bartenders pony up the difference. If the draw is 200 bucks short and 4 people were working, each bartender has to pay 50 bucks. If the draw is short most of the other bartenders are probably going to blame you. If they have worked together for a year and have never been short, it most likely is your fault. If they have to pony up money because you were careless they will be pissed off. To avoid that, take these steps:
1) Make sure you put the bills in the correct spot! If you put a 20 in the slot for 10’s it will screw everything up.
2) Make sure you know exactly what bill you were given and make sure you give correct change. People will try and scam you and tell you they gave you a 20 when they only gave you a 10. If you know for sure what bill was given to you, this problem will be avoided.