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Three Bartending Tricks That Guarantee More Tips

Mar 21, 2008
So, you want to be like Tom Cruise in Cocktail? No, you don't have to join a cult. What you do need to do is learn how to get people to hand over tips when you hand them their drinks -- after all, you're not living on your hourly wage. But what do people want from you, besides alcohol? That's the question. To make sure you're the bartender that everyone knows by name, you need to learn the drinks and then learn how people think.

Ask the Right Questions

Sure, it's a stereotype that all bartenders do is mix drinks and listen to everyone's problems, but it's also true to a certain extent. The more time you take to listen to someone's boo hooing, the more money you'll probably make as a tip. All you need to do is make sure you ask if someone's okay if they're drinking alone. That usually gets the person started talking or at least aware that you noticed they were looking down. Don't get too personal when you talk to them, but just get them to keep talking. This tactic works best when you're in a smaller bar setting, rather than a loud club because in that smaller joint, you can actually hear what they say.

Notice Everyone, But Only Talk to Some

When you're in a hopping club, the music is blaring and everyone's having a great time. But when they want to hydrate, they're coming to you. To make sure you're the hot bartender in the middle of the action, you want to focus on noticing everyone who needs a drink. Make sure everyone gets what they want, but make sure you take time to talk to the VIPs and the attractive guests. This is going to make you seem all the more attractive yourself and it will encourage top notch patrons to frequent the bar. It sounds snobby, but ask any club owner if it works and they'll just smile.

Freebies Make a Difference

If you can, and the boss isn't looking, make sure to hand over some freebies whenever you get the chance. This might be an extra shot or maybe just a heavier drink for a client or two. Not only are you going to pocket the tips, but this is a client who's going to keep coming back for more. Try giving out small things like pretzels and chips too or maybe sodas to those who aren't drinking. These are cheap little freebies, but they'll add up in tips you see in your jar.

Being a bartender is about more than just the bar supplies. It's about being a person that people not only wish they could be, but someone who -- from a distance -- makes their night something special.
About the Author
Able Kitchen (http://www.ablekitchen.com) sells bar supplies and other restaurant equipment online for great prices due to large bulk purchases. The author, Art Gib, is a freelance writer.
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