I went out with my dear wife the other night to a local sports bar to catch a little college football. I will spare you the details of how much I love this woman. Let’s see, you want to spend your Saturday night out at a loud sports bar watching college football? Yeah, that’s how awesome she is.
Anyway, we went to a place that I hadn’t been to in many, many years, and as we walked in we were immediately pelted by bright lights and loud sports fans. Worried that my darling other half might not want to stick around in such an environment, I quickly looked around the extremely crowded space to find a table or a bar stool for us to sit.
I secured a little table, approached the bartender to ask if we should order from him, or wait for a server. He told us either worked. This guy was amazing. I watched him be in complete charge of that jam-packed bar. And all with a smile!
He came right over, gave us menus, took our drink order, and in the same breath delegated to his ‘back’ to bring us some water and napkins. And all the while, watched as customers came in through the door, and managed others and their needs.
He is in charge
There could be no doubt about it. This guy knew how to run a busy bar. This post is not directed at you, Mr. Manager, or you Ms. Owner, but rather to those bartenders who need to be in complete control of their bar, no matter how busy it is, how short staffed you might be, regardless of what time it may be.
In the early days…
Back in the 18th century, when this country was still quite young, bars could be pretty crazy places. I would even suggest that they were crazier than they are today.
Imagine this: Those bars were filled with alpha males, all of whom carried guns, and were drinking quite a bit. Try being in charge of that! Big shot politicians and business men. All trying to be in charge, and yet, it is the bartender who must control that room.
I believe that maintaining control of the bar area is the single most important job for the bartender. Sure, they need to control costs and money, know how to mix drinks, know a few jokes and entertain their clientele, have some knowledge of the city in which they live and the events going on, but those responsibilities pale in comparison to the need of being the person in charge in that room.
Okay, Mr. Manager, or Ms. Owner, this is for you: Make sure you hire wisely when bringing on that bartender. And then give them some room and let them take control.
Well done, sports bartender
It was a pleasure to watch this guy in action. The fact that he could do all of those things I mentioned, and stay cool, calm, and collected, and smile through it all too, was just showing off.