Cocktails in the Country: “Thank You for Reminding Me Why I Became a Bartender”

by Gaz Regan · Monday, April 16th, 2018 · CitC 2017, CitC Testimonials

“Well, it has been almost a month since I attended CITC and learned some valuable lessons. Something that sticks in my mind the most and has helped my attitude behind the bar most is remembering your friend who passed away (I am sorry but I cannot recall his name). You spoke of him in such a way that made me feel like I missed out on something wonderful because I never had the pleasure of being served by him. You spoke of how he was behind the bar, how his service and friendly attitude was something that will always be remembered, so much so that people came from all around the world to attend his funeral. The thing that struck me the most was when you said that his drinks were just ‘so-so’.

“Although I have been bartending for 16 years, I am new to craft bartending and something that has always been a struggle for me is keeping up and being competitive in this industry. The culture of craft bartending can be something that is hard to deal with, so much emphasis is placed on where you work, who you work with and what accolades you have achieved thru competitions, media and so on. It has gotten to be so that bartending has become about the bartender himself, and not the guest experience.

“Thank you for reminding me of why I became a bartender 16 years ago. I became a bartender because I love people, I love to be helpful and to be of service to people. I love to create bonds with people and be there to facilitate their good time. Bartending is a job in which we wear many hats, and I do believe I am good at it. Being able to feel that again is something that I thank you for. It’s not about the drink, it’s not about where you work, it’s not about what you know, who you know or how many competitions you win. It is about how you make people feel when they are sitting at your bar.

“It is about being a character in a story that someone will recall as the greatest night of their life.

“Since returning from your class my job feels less stressful. I have more fun and enjoy each shift behind the stick. I am less focused on being impressive and more focused on having fun and making my guests have fun.

“It has been a noticeable change in me, I have received many compliments from my guests and from my employers. I have people who come into the restaurant and ask for me by name now. And whenever I feel any negative feelings brewing inside me, I take a little break and close my eyes for a few minutes and meditate. I am easily able to reset my mind and change my perspective on a negative situation and turn it around.

“Thank you for opening yourself up and sharing your stories and your wisdom with us. It means so much to have people like you in our industry.”

Renee Griego, Vaca, Costa Mesa, CA

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