In every restaurant management training program, it is most important to teach that the waiters must get efficient bar service. In my consulting work, I have seen too many times when the waiters gets tripped up or thrown off balance because of poor bartender service–affecting the dining room service.
Now, I have been a bartender in the past, and it is not an easy job. There are many times when the waitstaff orders improperly, does not have the correct glasses set up for pouring, does not pick up drinks on time etc. This makes life hard for the bartender keeping him/her from providing proper service for the waitstaff and customers sitting at the bar.
In every waiter training program, there should be intensive lessons for knowledge, preparation, technique and speed (and everything else connected to proper waiter skills). But assuming this is done, the next step is to keep an eye on the bartender service, especially when the restaurant dining room has just begun to get slammed with tables. The bartender must be on the ball, and not serve slowly or improperly for this will, in turn, disrupt the dining room service.
My forte was always working as a waiter. And, I have worked with some incredibly talented bartenders in my time.For the reputation management I especially remember one bartender, before the age of computers, who would see a waiter coming toward the bar and instinctively shout “What do you need?” This is the kind of restaurant service attitude and cooperation that breeds success on all counts.
It is very simple logic to understand that if it takes a long time for the waiters to obtain beverages from the bar, then their customers will wait a long time for their beverages. Poor bartender service has a negative domino effect on the dining room service. If the waiters already know that it is difficult to obtain beverages efficiently from the bar, then they will also hesitate in their upselling efforts while serving tables. The extra income and trying to please the customers will not be worth dealing with poor bartender service.
Again, the simple solution to this problem is for the restaurant manager to make his/her presence known to the bartender—- especially when the dining room is experiencing the “rush.”
If the bartender is still unwilling to provide fast and efficient service to the waitstaff while being observed by a restaurant manager, then obviously a much larger problem exists with this employee. Either some extra bar training must be provided for this employee or maybe a little sit down powwow, where the purpose of being a restaurant service employee must be explained in detail.
In every restaurant management training program, it is important to teach that a watchful eye on the bartenders during the very busy hours will directly affect dining room service. Reputation and revenue will be unnecessarily lost, not to mention a drop in waitstaff morale including the incentive to upsell menu items.