Thoughts from a Coaster #1

by Gaz Regan · Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 · Mindful Bartending

When greeting a guest, it’s usually a good idea to ask them how they are feeling.  “Hi there, how ya doin’ today?” you might say.  “I do that,” you’re probably thinking right now.  But do you?  Do you really ask that question, or do you just mutter the words and amble off down the bar to have a laugh with the waitstaff?thoughts from a coaster

If you really ask the question, then you ask it while looking the guest in the eye, letting him/her know that you are truly interested in their answer.  Then, and this is very important, wait for an answer.  That’s right, when you ask a question, you must wait for an answer.  It gets even tougher at this point: After the guest answers your question, it’s now your job to react to their answer.  “Good to hear it,” or “Oh, damn.  Been there.  Not good.  Let’s see if we can make you feel a little better.”  That sort of thing.

All of this usually takes less than a minute.  “I don’t always have a minute to spare at 11.30 on a Friday night,” you might say.  And you’ll be right.  We can’t do this all the time.  Just do it every single time you do have a minute to spare when a new guest bellies up to the bar.


2 Responses to “Thoughts from a Coaster #1”

  1. Good point! People tend to forget about being friendly, and such a start makes both parties times a lot nicer. It’s all about feeling good at the bar, no matter which side of it are you at!

    I have to point out, though that some people (customers) do not expect anything like this or do not deserve it. But a bartender must be able to judge that at the moment whennthey walk in to the bar…

  2. Gaz Regan says:

    Thanks for the feedback. I agree that not everyone expects this sort of service, and some people are unsure on how to handle it, but I believe that everyone deserves to be treated well, and given attention. Even rude, nasty people. I’ve a long story involving my father and a potentially violent customer back in the 60s. In short, Dad showed him respect, and in return, this guy never made any trouble in Dad’s pub. It’s amazing what a little respect can do.

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