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Becoming a Bar Manager, Part 3: Mastering the Bar Manager Interview

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(Originally posted by Julia Tunstall)

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How to Deliver Penthouse Quality Service Working a Hotel Bar

How to Deliver Penthouse Quality Service Working a Hotel Bar
How to Deliver Penthouse Quality Service Working a Hotel Bar
How to Deliver Penthouse Quality Service Working a Hotel Bar

 

They just flew into town. They don’t want to see the business center, the pool or the spa. They don’t even want to see their room yet.

They want to see the bar. Your bar. The heart of the hotel.

Why? Because you’re the ace. You’re more than a person who pours drinks. You’re a hotel bartender: the complete package.

This is your town and you’re their portal to it.

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Strawberry Mezcal Smash

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Original author: Julia Tunstall

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How to Become A Leader Behind The Bar

How to Become A Leader Behind The Bar


 

A role in leadership can reap rewards at any stage of your career. Becoming a team leader can certainly be a stepping stone to management, but it can also provide immediate benefits in your current situation: Leaders are given opportunities for creative control and asked to help develop menus. They motivate their team to respect their work and each other. They are able to convey their concerns in a way that inspires management to care.

While certain people may possess a natural aptitude for leadership, it is a skill that can be taught to anyone with the interest to learn. Mindfully employing these four skills lays the foundation for excellent leadership.

 

Set a Great Example

Being around someone who takes pride in their work is infectious, encouraging others to do the same. Make it your mission to be the person you would want working with you when you’re three deep sans barback.

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Matcha do About Nothing

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Original author: Julia Tunstall

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Becoming a Bar Manager, Part 2: Getting a Bar Manager Interview

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(Originally posted by Julia Tunstall)

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Foot Health for Bartenders: Preventing Plantar Fasciitis

Foot Health for Bartenders: Preventing Plantar Fasciitis
Foot Health for Bartenders: Preventing Plantar Fasciitis
Foot Health for Bartenders: Preventing Plantar Fasciitis
Slant Board - Photo by Eighty Six
Slant Board - Photo by Eighty Six
Foot Health for Bartenders: Preventing Plantar Fasciitis
Foot Health for Bartenders: Preventing Plantar Fasciitis
Foot Health for Bartenders: Preventing Plantar Fasciitis
Foot Health for Bartenders: Preventing Plantar Fasciitis

 

You tend bar. You wait tables. You work hard. You’re on your feet all day and you won’t stop.

This puts you into two categories: you have Plantar Fasciitis or you’re at risk to get it.

Plantar Fasciitis, as we discussed before, is an ailment caused by extensive stress to the feet. The plantar fascia, a thick ligament that connects your toes to your heel and forms the arch of your foot, suffers repeated small tears. Eventually it becomes inflamed, causing deep pain in your heel and calf.

It’s deceptive. It feels like leg pain but is truly a foot injury.

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The Northern Sapsucker Cocktail

The Northern Sapsucker Cocktail
The Northern Sapsucker Cocktail
The Northern Sapsucker Cocktail
Northern Sapsucker
Northern Sapsucker
Northern Sapsucker
Northern Sapsucker

 

A Wandering Journey

This week’s cocktail is brought to you by Nancy Val, a freelance food writer and recipe developer from Long Island. She shared this story and recipe with me over email and I was very excited to share it with you!

 

It Started with a Husk of Vanilla

The cocktail was inspired by an old husk of vanilla and a bit of brandy. Tempted with an infusion, Nancy threw in a bit of cardamom and waited a week. The result was a deliciously infused brandy that begged to be made into a cocktail.

Next up, she happened upon a Christmas gift she’d received – Crown Maple Syrup infused with cinnamon. Add a local whiskey to the mix and a cocktail was very quickly starting to take shape!

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From Student to Mentor: Becoming the Teacher

From Student to Mentor: Becoming the Teacher
From Student to Mentor: Becoming the Teacher
From Student to Mentor: Becoming the Teacher

 

This article is part three in a series discussing the importance of mentorship in bartending. Previously in this series on mentorship, we discussed the importance of a mentor, and how and where to approach one. In the next article, we’ll discuss how to grow and nurture a mentorship.

We know how to find a mentor, but how does one go from being the student to the teacher?

As your career progresses, you may find yourself in a position where you’re being asked questions and advice by those less experienced. There’s little more rewarding than the respect of your community and colleagues, and there is a certain thrill to that validation. While it can be tempting to roam around town and begin dispensing advice, there’s a right way and a wrong way to become a mentor.

 

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The Emerald Kiss

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Original author: Julia Tunstall

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Moving up the ladder: How to apply for your first Bar Management job

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(Originally posted by Julia Tunstall)

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How to Handle Customer Send Backs

How to Handle Customer Send Backs
How to Handle Customer Send Backs
How to Handle Customer Send Backs

 

The dreaded send-back. It stinks, but it happens. If you’ve been bartending for any length of time, you’ve had a guest send their drink back. And if you’ve been bartending for a while, you’ve probably heard some pretty entertaining reasons too. Sometimes the reasons are completely understandable, and sometimes they’re downright frustrating.

No matter what the reason, here is some inspiration for keeping your composure, making it right with the customer and (hopefully) still making a great tip.

 

The Order is (Objectively) Incorrect

Let’s start with an easy one. If a customer orders a dirty martini and is served a lemon drop, it’s completely fair for them to send it back. Likewise for details like requesting a particular spirit, garnish, or serve.

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1750

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Original author: Julia Tunstall

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Par Levels: How to Create Par Sheets & Use them to Run your Bar Smoothly

How to Create a Par Sheet
How to Create a Par Sheet
How to Create a Par Sheet

 

As a new bar manager there are certain terms and vocabulary that you need to be familiar with so you can communicate effectively with your team. One of those pieces of vocabulary that you should develop and understand is the term “par”.

We’ll quickly cover what the term par is and how it applies to the bar and restaurant world, and then we’ll discuss one of its most important applications: the Par Sheet.

 

What are par and par levels?

If you play or watch with golf, then you’re probably familiar with this term. In golf it is how many strokes it should ideally take to move the ball from the starting position into the hole. In the bar and restaurant world, the “par level” means “how much of any given item you will use in a shift or another set amount of time (weeks, months, years).” We’ll cover this in a little more detail throughout this article.

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Grandeza Sidecar

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Growing a Business while Bartending: A Chat with Jennifer Colliau of Small Hand Foods

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(Originally posted by Julia Tunstall)

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How to Bartend Large Parties – On your Own

How to work a large party singlehandedly
How to work a large party singlehandedly
How to work a large party singlehandedly

 

Whether it’s due to poor planning, an unexpectedly large guest list or a coworker calling in sick, at some point as a private bartender you’re going to find yourself working a large party completely single-handedly. It makes for a challenging evening, but have no fear. It can be done well, and might even be much more profitable!

 

 

Planning Ahead

Hopefully you will have some advance notice if you’ll be working solo and you can plan accordingly. But even if you don’t find out until you show up at the venue, there’s quite a bit you can do before guests arrive that will make a huge difference in your ability to keep up with guests’ demand.

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Tangerine Dream

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How to Find a Great Bar Mentor

Find a Mentor

This article is part two of a series on mentorship in our bar industry. Previously we discussed why a bar mentor can be vital ingredient to a successful career. In later articles, we’ll touch on how to become a mentor, how to nurture the relationship and more.

Now that we’ve identified just how priceless a mentor can be, but how does one find their own?

Mentors can be elusive for many. It’s not often something pursued or thought about. It’s a very unique and specific relationship, and there unfortunately is no “Tinder” for finding one. That’s not to say it’s as hopeless as Tinder, as the backbone of bartending culture is largely premised on the idea of apprenticeship.

Bartending has a long tradition of mentorship, especially given the fact that teaching and mentoring is what allowed the craft to come back from the dead in the early part of the 21st century. Without the efforts of dedicated pioneers and teachers, so many people would never have been exposed to the magic of Agave spirits, or the delights of a Negroni.

Even if you personally are working in a small market, the wonders of the internet put a mentor only a few clicks away. Ideally, there are a few leaders in your market you can approach, but lacking that, an internet connection and a penchant for self-learning will get you exactly what you’re looking for.

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The Scavenger

Scavenger Cocktail
Scavenger Cocktail
Scavenger Cocktail
Scavenger Cocktail
Scavenger Cocktail
Scavenger Cocktail
Scavenger Cocktail
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It’s like the outdoor version of “The Kitchen Sink”

This cocktail is not the simplest recipe you’ve ever seen, and it may not be suited for a high volume bar. But let me tell you: it is absolutely worth the effort. It started with a few left over blueberries that Chris eyed in the fridge. Then he found a thumb of fresh ginger and a couple meyer lemons we’d been given by a friend with an over-zealous tree in their backyard. Inspiration!

Mash/chop the blueberries and ginger, add sugar and microwave for 30 seconds (a technique that, for the record, I invented) and the result? Blueberry and ginger syrup. Good start! (And recipe below)

 

But wait – there’s more.

Blueberry ginger is a good start, but Chris decided this wouldn’t be your run-of-the-mill fruity sour. He decided to add some heat and dug up a jar of his Black Pepper tincture (from waaaay back when). (Instructions for the infusion are are below as well.)

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