It takes a lot of hard work and smart business moves to make a bar business successful. The devil is in the details. When you have everything just right, your bar is a profit centre that can grow to beyond your wildest dreams. If you do not have everything just right, you could be calling for a bar rescue, which is never good.
While we like to think that most bartenders are skilled mixologists, this is not always the case. Sometimes a bartender might just need a job and a paycheck, and has never professionally poured a drink in their entire life. Sure, your female bartenders might be attractive, but if they do not know how to mix a drink properly customers will be left waiting for their drink while they consult another employee. No matter how pretty she might be, no one likes having to wait for their cold beverage, especially when the house is packed.
If your staff are not knowledgeable of how to mix drinks or what your house drink is, it is up to you to provide training and teach them the things they need to know to perform their job. When someone orders a drink, they expect their bartender to know how to mix it. If you are in the habit of hiring people who do not know what they are doing, at least provide a helpful handbook for them to learn the ropes or have them shadow a trained bartender before putting them on their own.
One of the biggest loss areas for bars is when their bartenders are not properly trained and over pour mixed drinks. While your customers might love the fact they are getting strong pours, every time your staff makes a mistake, the bar owner is losing money. When bar owners equip all of their bottles of spirits with a measured pourer from Pattersons, they are protecting their inventory and assuring that every mixed drink is uniform. Unless bartenders are pouring doubles intentionally, no one will get a mixed drink that is stronger than another person. Other pouring tools you might want to keep on hand to make the best drinks possible include jiggers, strainers, cocktail shakers and an oval bar spoons.
Jiggers are used to make the best tasting Martinis and Manhattans. Strainers come in handy to serve drinks that are mixed with ice, but not served with it. This prevents the drink from getting watered down while chilling the alcohol during the mixing process. If your establishment sells beer on tap, you will want to be sure that you have attractive tap toppers so people notice your taps when they approach the bar. For best results, you will want to keep your kegs chilled at the right temperature so the beer does not go flat, get warm or not pour correctly. No one enjoys drinking a foamy glass of beer, so the better the tap, the better for you.
Control Your Crowd
A skilled barkeeper knows there is a system for controlling a crowded bar. This does not pertain to keeping people from fighting, but rather the how the flow of people in your bar moves. If you have a DJ, you can use the music to help move people in a way that benefits your employees. Typically, when music with a higher BPM, or beats per minute, is played, people tend to move away from the bar and onto the dance floor.
If you bar is particularly busy, a skilled DJ in the house can help temporarily shift people away from the bar allowing them to catch up on orders, restock the bar or regroup after a busy period. The more that you can control the crowds on a busy night, the better. Ultimately, you still want to make a great profit and show everybody a good time. Finding a good balance of both assures that people are happy with their experience and come visit you again in the very near future. Since return business is the name if of the game, the more return business you have, the better.
Keep Your Bar Clean
For the most part, people do not like going to bars that are dank and dirty. Just because you have low lighting is not an excuse to keep a dirty bar. At the end of the night, your employees should spend some time cleaning everything up. This includes washing and sanitizing bar glasses, washing the bar down, sweeping and mopping the floor. If your bar has a kitchen, this area should be well cleaned, too. Germs can live anywhere and flourish in environments where things are left unclean. Floor drains should be checked for blockages or mould. Any plants or other decorations need to be dusted or cleaned. Ice bins should be regularly drained and disinfected.
If you have an electric ice maker, you should be sure that it is clean as well. Ice that comes out of a dirty ice maker can carry E.coli bacteria that makes patrons get sick, which is never good for a bar business. The cleaner that you keep your bar, the better. When keeping a clean bar, you will want to pay special attention to your floor as well. At the end of the workday, your employees should pull up the floor matting and clean underneath it. It is never a good idea to leave spilled drinks or dropped food on the floor. While matting offers your employees a greater level of comfort while they are working the bar floor, this matting can contain germs as well.
Public areas like the bathrooms are also very important to keep clean and stocked. Running out of toilet paper is not fun for anyone. At the end of the night all bathrooms should be cleaned and sanitized, so the morning shift is free to stock coolers with bottled beer, fresh ice, and other bar supplies. Ultimately, all of your crew members should work together, no matter what shift they work. When everything is running smoothly and efficiently, they can earn more tips, keep customers happier and earn profits for the bar.