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Bar Etiquette: 7 Tips for Bartenders

About the Author

Daniel Shemtob

He was on Food Network's "Great Food Truck Race", ultimately winning Season 2. Soon after he launched multiple trucks and brand partnerships, progressing into his Brick and Mortar TLT Food (The Lime Truck), first store launched in Westwood in 2012. As well as a high-end restaurant in 2018, called Hatch Yakitori + Bar, a Japanese Yakitori restaurant based in downtown LA and winner of LA Weekly's "Best Yakitori Restaurant". He then partnered with Dr. Snibbe for a fully functioning work shoe that blends aesthetics and functionality called Snibbs. He’s on a mission to enrich worker’s lives, one shoe at a time by creating a work shoe that's inspired by everything that's wrong with the one you're probably still wearing.
Bar Etiquette

As a bartender, the key to success extends beyond simply creating the perfect cocktail. To truly excel in your craft and provide exceptional service, there are various tips and techniques you can employ. From interacting with customers to ensuring safety and wearing appropriate attire like non-slip restaurant shoes, these will elevate your bartending game and set you apart as a top-notch professional. Let's explore valuable bartender tips that can help you become more successful in your role.

1. Master the Art of Customer Interaction

To be a good bartender, excellent customer service is paramount. The role isn't just about serving beverages, but it's also about curating memorable experiences and building lasting connections with customers. Interact with customers in a friendly and approachable manner. Remember their names, engage in conversation, and actively listen to their preferences. Taking the time to understand their tastes and offering personalized recommendations will create a memorable experience and foster customer loyalty.

2. Perfect Your Drink-Making Skills

Being the best bartender means mastering the art of mixology. Continuously expand your knowledge of different spirits, cocktails, and mixers. Practice various techniques such as muddling, shaking, and stirring to create perfectly balanced and flavorful specialty drink recipes. Experiment with unique combinations and stay updated on the latest mixology trends to provide innovative and exciting options for your customers.

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3. Enhance Your Knowledge of Drink Ingredients

To be a successful bartender, understanding the characteristics of different mixed drink ingredients is essential. As mentioned earlier, expand your knowledge of spirits, liqueurs, bitters, and garnishes, and learn about flavor profiles and how each ingredient complements another. This expertise will allow you to become a better bartender to make informed recommendations, suggest personalized variations, and cater to diverse customer preferences.

4. Stay Calm Under Pressure

A good bartender knows how to handle high-pressure situations with grace and composure. During busy bar shifts or when dealing with demanding customers, maintain a calm and professional demeanor. Prioritize efficiency, organize your workspace, and anticipate customer needs to ensure smooth operations. By remaining composed, you can provide excellent service even in challenging circumstances.

5. Develop a Keen Eye for Detail

Attention to detail is a hallmark of a great bartender. Pay close attention to each mixed drink you make, ensuring accurate measurements and precise presentation. From garnishing techniques to glassware selection, meticulousness in every aspect of drink preparation will elevate the overall experience for your customers. Strive for consistency and visual appeal in every drink you serve.

6. Continuously Learn and Improve

One of the best bartending tips you can receive is to never stop learning. Being a successful bartender is an ongoing journey of learning and improvement. Look for opportunities for professional development. Stay updated on industry trends and innovations to offer unique experiences to your customers. Embrace feedback from customers and colleagues to refine your skill and enhance your service.

7. Prioritize Safety and Hazards

Maintaining a safe environment to help avoid potential bartender injuries is crucial and should be a top priority as a professional bartender. There are some important tips that can help you maintain a safe environment behind the bar.

  • Familiarize Yourself with Safety Procedures: Take the time to learn and understand the safety procedures specific to your bar. This includes knowing how to handle glassware, bar tools, and equipment safely. By being knowledgeable and following established safety protocols, you minimize the risk of accidents.
  • Identify and Address Potential Hazards: A keen eye for potential hazards is crucial in preventing accidents.1 Regularly scan your work area for any spills, broken glass, or other potential dangers. Promptly clean up spills and dispose of broken glass safely.
  • Wear Appropriate Attire: One aspect of safety that is often overlooked is wearing suitable attire. So, what to wear as a bartender? Invest in non-slip shoes, specifically designed for the demands of a bar environment. These shoes provide stability and traction, reducing the risk of slips and falls on wet surfaces.2
  • Communicate and Educate: Safety is a collective responsibility. Encourage open communication within your team regarding safety concerns or potential hazards.

Becoming Your Best Bartending Self

Becoming a successful bartender goes beyond the basics of drink-making. It requires excellent customer service, attention to detail, and a commitment to continuous improvement. Don’t forget that it required investing in yourself and that includes wearing the right attire to keep you comfortable and safe all day long.

One way to do this is by wearing the right footwear, like Snibbs’ slip-resistant shoes that feature supportive insoles to not only prevent slips and falls but also reduce any pain or discomfort from standing for long hours.

By implementing the bartender tips provided in this article, you can learn how to be a better bartender, overcome common bartender challenges, provide outstanding service, and create memorable experiences for your customers. Cheers to your success!


  1. Better Bartending. 6 Safety Tips for Bars.
  2. Shoes for Crews. 17 Useful Bartending Tips From Actual Bartenders.