4 Bartender Tips and Tricks Guaranteed to Boost Tips

If a bartender is passionate about crafting a cocktail that tastes great and takes the time to organize it, then the art of mixing can really make a difference. Customers return time after time.A street joe can make a vodka-infused drink with some ice and juice, add some umbrella and call it a day. However, these tips and tricks can help them become the top bartenders in town.

This article isn’t so much about drink-making tipsThese tips are not intended to be a comprehensive list of bartending secrets and techniques that can sometimes be overlooked while running high-volume operations. Some may be obvious, others might have escaped you, but all are essential if you want your bar to be a true destination and not a “stop along the way.”

Here’s what we’ll cover: 

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Tip #1 for bartenders: Be neat

Most pros will greet this bartending tip with a subtle, “Well, duh…” Then they’ll go back to their shift, unaware of the pools of liquor and beer creeping under glassware, juice containers that aren’t sealed or utensils taking up room in the sink instead of getting sanitized.

g It’s easy to overlook basic items when things get busy behind the stick. To avoid this, follow the oldest bartending tip in the books, “if you can lean, you can clean.” Bars are constantly covered in drips, crumbs and other residues. Be conscious of where you’re working, and always wipe things down, even if you just wiped the same area.

Also, avoid excess waste and mess by creating neat work spaces to prepare drinks. Clean utensils, measuring tools, and cups should always be available. Also, ensure that spillage is minimized by properly measuring, paying close attention to liquid and ice levels, and keeping Tom Cruise’s flair to a minimum. 


Bartender trick #2: don’t mess with what works

Because bartending is an art form, it’s easy to fall into the trap of tweaking and fine-tuning things until you achieve the “perfect drink.” But, like any artist, it’s rare that the bartender will ever stop experimenting and testing, meaning the original, beloved recipes could soon be lost as more and more variations are tried.

Now, of course, we’re not saying to always improve. That’s a key part of being a better bartender. Of course, You can achieve great results by trying new things. But if you have a martini recipe that sells two cases of vodka a night, there’s no need to question the taste of your biggest and best critics, the customers.

When looking to find a way to improve the flavor of a cocktail, one bartender trick I’d recommend is Listening to customers feedback. If customers always seem to ask for more ice or soda in your basic mixed drinks, then you’re clearly pouring too heavily. If customers finish their cocktails way too quickly they may need to have a bit more.

Find out what they are doing if they order one drink and then move on to something more simple. Once you have this information, you can start figuring out what’s missing and build from there.


The third Bartender Trick: Measure

Yes, it is. Right? Wrong. Bartending professionals should measure.

Now, here’s the best part: bar POS systems can monitor every last drop that’s poured from your bar, measuring only keeps things further in alignment.

While getting out a rack of jiggers and spoons might seem amateurish, in reality, it’s a testament to how dedicated you are to providing a perfectly mixed cocktail, and not just some cup of liquor poured with the same attention as a ballpark soda. It will help to reduce liquor waste and unnecessary liquor cost. It’s great for both your bar environment and your customers..

Believe me, once guests see how well-measured liquor comes together in their favorite recipes, all the showy bartender tricks in the world won’t be able to pry them away from your establishment. 


Bartender trick #4: put your best glass forward

A perfectly crafted cocktail isn’t just about appealing to the tastebuds, but to the eyes as well. A simple tip for bartenders is to use the most appropriate vessel when serving their drinks. 

Any mixed drink with lemonade, iced or hot tea can be served. Mason jars are more attractive and can make these drinks look better. One simple tip for bartenders is to put the beer in a chilled mug. This practice takes little effort, but it’s seen as an added bonus for customers looking for a refreshing brew. 

Of course, if you’re serving a tropical mixed drink, don’t just put it in a plain pint glass, try pouring the cocktail into a hollowed coconut and adding a colorful umbrella to top it off. With a bit of brainstorming, you can give a drink a unique flair. The Broadway, South Boston, for example, serves a Coffee & Donuts drink, with a skewer of donut holes right in the glass! 

Having a drink served in a way that’s out of the ordinary will set your bar apart from the others. An additional charge can be made for a special drink. interesting drink presentationIt will allow customers to leave larger tips.  


What’s next?

Looking for the strongest“trick” that can spice up your bar in all the right way? Speak to our experts about restaurant design. learn how Small Biz Sense’s restaurant POS system can help

Cyndy Lane

Cyndy is business journalist with a focus on entrepreneurship and small business. With over a decade of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Cyndy has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, insightful and approachable journalist. She has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners and is able to explain them in a way that is relatable and actionable for her readers.