Why it's important to empower bartenders

I recently posted an article in our newsletters about an industry veteran’s undercover quest to find honest bartenders. David Allred, who uses the name “The Real Barman,” employed two key tricks of the trade – 1. Building Friendly Rapport and 2. Tipping Well – to earn favor and free drinks from unsuspecting bartenders. His results were both eye-opening and damning for our industry. Of 157 bartenders that he countered, an overwhelming 98% of them failed his “honesty test.” Given this clear industry epidemic, what is a bar owner or operator to do?

As SBMX’s founder and CEO, Andrew Jaffee, wrote in an earlier blog post, it’s all about EMPOWERMENT. Whether or not you like it, pouring heavy and giving free drinks to friends are behaviors that are impossible to stop. So, given that this is the world we live in, you need to empower your bartenders to operate within certain boundaries. In doing so, you will give them a balance of freedom and rules to facilitate the best possible outcomes for you, your staff, and your patrons. Give them a set dollar amount of free drinks and heavy pours they can make in a night. Trust them to make the best decisions for you and your guests.

Empowerment and training go hand in hand. In the same way that you can apply boundaries to common “free drink” behavior, you can do the same when it comes to cutting off a guest or managing safe drinking at your establishment. With the holiday’s fast approaching, it’s more important than ever to give your bartenders the tools and necessary empowerment to make the best decisions for you and your guests.

This is why a program such as ServSafe Alcohol Training & Certification is such a great resource to leverage. It gives your bartenders and front-of-house staff the necessary education that leads to greater responsibility and empowerment. Ultimately, knowledge fuels an empowered staff.

Through ServSafe Alcohol you can utilize an industry-leading training program to empower your staff to recognize different intoxication levels, handle difficult situations, and fully understand the legal responsibilities of alcohol service.

Whether it’s managing bartender “honesty” or trusting your staff to cut off an intoxicated guest, EMPOWERMENT is the key to elevating your bar.

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