Being able to multi-serve is one of the most important skills to learn and practice if you’re working in a bar doing any kind of volume in sales. Here are the key points in mastering it and why it will make you a true Jedi behind the bar.
1: KEEP YOUR CHIN UP
The key to managing your guests at the bar, and it’s where so many bartenders go wrong in their work. The only time you should ask “who’s next?” is when you step onto the bar, and you should be asking the bartender you’re joining or relieving.
If you’re letting the guests tell you who’s next to be served, you’re doomed to fail here. If you clearly look like you know the order everyone arrived at the bar, the guests will be confident their drink is on the way and will leave you to get on with it.
2: ACKNOWLEDGING YOUR GUESTS QUICKLY
If you want to stop guests telling you that they’re next, that’s easy. Speak first. It doesn’t matter if you’re making someone else’s drink, you can still say hi, throw down a couple of napkins in front of the new guest and take their order, or let them know you’ll be right back with them.
This is SO POWERFUL! Guests get frustrated with being ignored or thinking they’ve not been noticed, but once you’ve said hi, they’re comfortable that you know that they’re there and on your list to be served.
3: DON’T TAKE HALF ORDERS
This can be a tricky one in practice, but when you take an order at the bar, always end with “Anything else?” or “Is that everything for you?”.
A lot of guests have been conditioned by terrible bartenders to give you their order one drink at a time for fear that the server will get the order wrong, forget drinks, or bring the wrong drinks.
The last thing you want is to be retracing your steps to get the other bottle of beer or another wine that you’ve already made.
4: DON’T LEAVE YOUR STATION
If you’re running around your bar to get ingredients, products or tools you need, taking you away from your station every couple of minutes it will be impossible to keep track of who’s next.
Once again, having your station set up right is the key to this, and making your drinks on the front of the bar. Don’t take your shaker or glass and make drinks on the back bar, as again, you’re turning your back on where the action is and you won’t be able to keep track.
5: USE GLASSWARE AS YOUR PROMPT
When you’re multi-serving and holding more than a couple of orders in your head it’s easy to lose track of the drinks you’re making, so here’s the way to never miss a drink.
As the orders are placed, just grab the glasses for each drink and ice them up to cool if needed. That way you’ll have a visual prompt to remind you of what you’re making – it sounds silly but this really works, the right glass is enough of a clue to just remind your brain what you were doing.
Having all the glasses lined up also means that you look busier and look like you know what you’re doing, so guests are less likely to hassle you!
6: BE CONFIDENT
More than anything, you need to be confident in the order that you’re serving the guests. Have confidence and you’ll be unlikely to be questioned by anyone about being next.
Becoming a multi-serving Jedi will get you noticed, increase your sales and make you look like a total pro!
TIME MANAGEMENT IS KEY WITH MULTI-SERVING
One way that you can develop your multi-service skills is by taking large orders and preparing all of your drinks at once. This will help you to learn to take two or more orders from guests at once and prepare the drinks as one order in the future.
In order to develop this skill, you need to get into the habit of firstly preparing your glassware. Making drinks in the most efficient order in terms of preparation, time scale and making similar or the same drinks in one go.
For example- A customer orders; 1 Long Island Ice Tea, 1 Gin and Tonic, 1 Gin and Apple juice
Here’s the perfect run-down of how to make that order which ticks all of the boxes;
* Get all glassware and chill cocktail glass
* Prepare ingredients in Boston glass for the long island.
* Pour gin into glasses
* Ice up glasses and Boston glass
* Shake and pour Long Island
* Add tonic and Apple juice to the gin
* Garnish all drinks
* Serve all drinks together.
Please note that it is important to remember the ‘one-touch rule’, if you pick up a product, do not put it down until you have poured everything that requires it.
How do we serve when the bar is full on a busy evening?
There are lots of techniques that you can use. The important thing is to remember that you need to be a few customers ahead in your mind as to who is to be served next. Remember what we said in the awareness and acknowledgement section …. Take a look at the Type-Writer method below.
The typewriter method is something that we have used for years!
In your mind create your own walls that run out from the bar and separate YOUR customers from another bartenders customers
* Start on the left-hand guest
* Ask that person what they are drinking and remember to get the full order from them
* Make these drinks using the method above
* As you are taking payment from this guest you ask the next customer their order moving right
* Complete the payment from the first customer and begin the drinks using the method above for guest number two
* Continue these steps until you reach the end of your first right sweep
* Then just like a typewriter, you revert back to first on the left
Watch out for lot’s more extra techniques to make this process even faster!
So, now you can go out there and practice all these steps. Let us know in the comments how much faster you have become.
Remember also, more drinks served at speed the more tips you will receive!