Casual Fridays: Tips for Dealing With a Pesky Bar Patrons

Oct 12, 2012 15:09:15Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

Casual Fridays: Tips for Dealing With a Pesky Bar Patrons

There are a lot of perks to being a bartender. You get to be part of the night scene, you are an expert when it comes to making cocktails, and you're likely to pick up a few hot dates every once in a while, since lots of people lust after the bartender. But there is a downside too - you'll have to be adept at handling pesky patrons who check their manners at the door when they enter your establishment. For this week's Casual Friday discussion, let's go over some tips on how to deal with these bothersome barflies.

Know when to say "no"
Alcohol can turn some people ugly, which is why bartenders must know the signs of a patron who has had too much. Stumbling, slurring, and putting one's head down on the bar or a table are surefire signs that it's time to cut someone off. Remember, as the bartender, you are king or queen of your domain. If someone doesn't like that you've turned them down for that next shot of tequila, kindly show them the door. If you're not able to throw them out, you can still give them a drink that's lighter on (or completely without) the alcohol. If they notice that their beverage is weaker, perhaps they'll get the message.

Get a wedding - or cell phone ring
There's something alluring about a man or woman who knows how to handle a martini shaker, so as a bartender, you can expect a customer to ask for your  number every once in a while. If you aren't so keen to these come-ons, you have a few options. Purchasing a faux wedding ring to wear while you're working is a wise move. For something a bit more honest, get yourself a second mobile number, one you can give to persistent patrons, and another for your real friends (or the cutie on the other side of the bar who you wouldn't mind texting you when you're off the clock.)

Create a diversion
Of course, it's not just the drunk patrons that need can get on your nerves. If you find a customer that really grinds your gears, you can create a diversion to throw him or her off your trail. Serve a nearby polite customer, and loudly thank them for having manners. Or, make an excuse to step away for a moment, perhaps to change a keg or get more supplies from the back, and let one of your co-workers deal with the bar pest.

You may love your job, but you don't need to put up with the sloppy patrons that can sometimes come with it. Having these ideas in the back of your mind can make the night drama-free, both at work and in your personal life.