The service industry can be stressful. You constantly have to be “on” and outgoing. This is true of all bartenders, but especially true for bartenders at events. The bartender is often the most talked to person in the room so, as the mobile bartender, you can have a huge impact on the vibe. In addition, you of course have to have the skills and knowledge to provide top-notch service.
Having listened to mobile bartenders talk about what skills they consider the most essential to their success, we put together 4 of the most important qualities of successful mobile bartenders.
Being outgoing and friendly might be the most important quality of a mobile bartender. Be chatty and always have a friendly look on your face. When someone comes up to the bar, always acknowledge their presence and be welcoming. Even if you’re not in the mood, learn to turn yourself on and yet into an outgoing mood.
Research shows if you force yourself to smile, you’re likely to become happier so try smiling if you’re in a bad mood and see if you don’t perk up.
Always Hungry to Learn
Bartending is a profession that’s constantly in a state of evolution. Any mixologists out there know that and realize that there is no end goal in tending bar. You can always be improving. Learn about your tools, ingredients, and the skills required.
A great way to do this is to have a mentor. Look what other, more experienced bartenders are doing and learn from them. Equally as important is to learn from your customers at events. This can help you at the event by building rapport with customers and it can translate into more business in the future. People, especially your clients, appreciate someone taking the time to get to know them and will be more likely to do business with you again in the future.
Organization and Cleanliness
A well run event bar has to be properly organized and looked after. While bar tending in all environments requires organization, it’s even more true at events where you need to keep everything in order on foreign soil. It’s important that you have the proper equipment, including a speed rail, ice bins, cutting boards, and a place to store your portable bar equipment as well as alcohol and mixers.
Once you find an organization system that you like, stick to it. You’ll be far more efficient and after time will find yourself able to mix drinks without even thinking about it as you become so accustomed to where everything is.
Take the downtime in between customers to clean up your work station. A sloppy work station is unappetizing and guests don’t appreciate it.
A Great Memory
Great bartenders are infamous for their working memory. They often have an encyclopedic knowledge of famous drinks. More importantly, they’re great at remembering people and their preferences. Being able to associate names and drinks with faces will impress your guests and keep them happy. It’s not a bad idea to have a joke or two in your back pocket either.
At the end of the day, being a great mobile bartender is 80% personality and 20% mechanics. Atmosphere and customer service are what keep people coming back and set you apart. Lots of people can mix drinks.
What do you think the most important skill is for being a mobile bartender? Let us know in the comments.