How to Be a Bar Manager
A bar can be a lively and fun business to manage. However, like any other business, you will be required to effectively manage a bar in order to make it a success. Having a good understanding of business functions, staff roles, and leadership skills can go a long way in helping you become an effective bar manager.
Managing Your Bar
Understand the business.Part of being an effective bar manager is having a full understanding of the business. Knowing what it takes for a bar to be successful will help you best direct your staff, menu, bar function, and focus your efforts overall. Even though you are technically a manager you should be ready to understand how every thing in the bar business comes together.
- Understand each role that your staff plays.
- Be ready to work late or long hours.
- Learning more about the theme or direction of the bar can help.
- Have an active hand in creating and maintaining any menus.
- Learn what your customers want and try to meet those needs.
- Knowing business functions such as ordering, inventory, cash register operation, bookkeeping and marketing will be essential to your success as a manager.
Know your market.If you don't understand your potential customers, there is a good chance they will never visit your bar. You will also need to learn more about your local competition and how best to pull in customers that would otherwise go elsewhere. Spend some time learning more about your local market in order to increase the number of customers and better meet their needs.
- Visit other bars in the area to see what they are doing. Try to offer things they don't.
- Understand which part of the public you are catering too. Decorate and price your bar to meet the needs of that demographic.
- Always think about things that can make your bar stand out to customers.
Stay within budget.Although you might not directly own the bar, running it as if you did is a good attitude to adopt. You will need to strictly stay within any budget you have been given, try to lower operating costs when possible, and maybe even create a budget yourself.
- Try to reduce waste in order to reduce operating costs.
- You can have your bartenders use standard measuring tools to prevent over-pouring.
- Ask for any budgets to be made clear to you and have them fully explained.
Obey local laws and regulations.Bars are required to follow many laws and regulations due to the legal restrictions that are attached to alcohol. As a manager of a bar you will need to be fully aware of local laws and regulations, taking care that your bar is always operating under these legal requirements. Failure to abide by these laws can result in fines, lost profits, legal actions, or even the closing of the bar.
- Laws will vary between locations.
- Serving alcohol to anyone underage will have serious legal repercussions.
- Some states will have laws that dictate what types of alcohol your bar can serve and when.
Be an innovator.Even if things are going well it's important that you keep things feeling interesting and fresh for your customers. Keeping things moving can also prevent you and your staff from becoming too complacent, which can result in your service and standards to fall in quality over time. As a manager, you should always strive to improve or develop your bar.
- Think of new ways to promote your bar.
- Come up with signature or themed drinks.
- Think about offering daily specials.
Keep up with technology.Businesses these days are making great use of new technology. While you may feel confident using a computer, certain technologies may require more specialized knowledge. Staying up to date can also help you gain the advantage over competitors by adapting time and cost saving technology before they do.
- A general knowledge of computer software such as spreadsheets should be had.
- New point of service or TAB systems will require you to have an understanding of how to work with them.
- You may need to know how security equipment works.
Managing Your Staff
Be a good leader.Without proper communication and leadership skills you won't be able to effectively manage a bar, even if you have the technical knowledge. Being an effective leader will help you work more effectively with both your staff and your public. Keep some of the following points in mind when considering your communication skills:
- Foster a sense of team work with your co-workers.
- Manage and balance personality types of your staff.
- Know how to manage conflicts effectively.
- Make your meetings clear and helpful.
Find a balance with rules.As a manager you will need to develop and implement certain rules and policies for both you and your staff to work with. Having too many rules can result in your staff working inefficiently or a loss of morale. If don't have enough rules your bar can easily get out of control. Strive for a balance between being a stern enforcer of policy and allowing for some freedom in your bar.
- Be very clear and direct about what is required of each staff member.
- Write down every responsibility or rule that you want to implement.
- Listen to and seriously consider any grievance your staff brings to you.
- Don't forget to let your staff know they are appreciated.
Understand the roles of your staff.Even though you may be the manager of a bar you will still be expected to take on many additional roles. You should feel comfortable or at least have an understanding of what is involved with any other position in the bar. Knowing what each position in the bar involves can help you both manage your staff better and fill in if there is an emergency.
- For example, you should be able to step in for your bartender if need be.
- You might need to wait on tables if you find yourself short-staffed.
Watch for any substance problems.Although it is the main function of a bar to serve alcohol, there may come a time when that function creates an issue. Whether it's a staff member or a customer, you should be vigilant for anyone who is having difficulty with alcohol addiction or overconsumption. Keeping an eye out for people who need help can allow you to avoid trouble and do the right thing.
- It may be necessary that you work with a staff member to find them help with an alcohol addiction.
- You may be faced with firing staff if they are stealing drinks or their drinking affects their professional performance.
- It can be a good idea to stop a customer from buying more alcohol if they have already had a large amount or are acting inappropriately.'
Caring For Your Customers
Meet the basic levels of customer service.Whether you are managing the bar or working it, you will need to meet the basic levels of customer service. Treating your costumers with courtesy and making them feel welcome will go a long way in making sure they keep coming back. Keep some of the following tips in mind when dealing with your customers:
- Always greet and welcome customers.
- If you are unable to immediately take a customer's order, let them know you will be with them soon.
- Learn who is a regular customer and what they prefer when they visit.
- Try to learn what your customers want as individuals. For example, some want to chat while others may want to speak only with their own company.
Deal with conflict.There will almost certainly be a time when you will have to handle a customer complaint during your time as a bar manager. Knowing how to handle the situation properly can prevent the issue from becoming a serious problem. Remember the following steps when dealing with a customer complaint:
- Give that customer your full attention and listen to the complaint.
- Keep calm and openly listen to the complaint.
- Try to summarize the complaint and ask the customer if you understand correctly.
- Try to honor legitimate complaints with refunds or other compensations.
Work with difficult customers.There may come a time when a customer has had too much to drink. These situations can be difficult. However, you and your staff can confidently handle such a scenario using some of the following techniques:
- Respectfully tell the customer that they have been cut off. Saying something like “I'm sorry but I'm unable to serve you another.” can work well.
- Always inform the customer in a friendly and understanding tone.
- Make eye contact and keep your voice low. Speaking too loudly can embarrass them and make the situation worse.
- Offer to serve them water or food instead.
- Don't be afraid to call the police if needed.
- Know the function of every area and person in the bar.
- Don't be afraid to jump in and take on any role.
- Study your local competition and set your bar apart.
- Understand the needs of the community and what your customers want.
- Think of ways to keep the bar exciting and fresh in peoples minds.
- Be a good communicator and let your staff know exactly what you need.
Video: Top Tips for Managing your Bar with Greg Clark of Bevinco
Exactly How Running Can Help You Get Zen After a Crazy-Stressful Day
Inside Iraq’s burgeoning nightclub scene
25 Quotes to Live By After aBreakup
Hailey Baldwin Hints That Justin Bieber Hit Her Up Amid Selena GomezRomance
How to Make Eyeliner Stay in Place
Womens Xscape Floral Print Fit Flare Dress
Why a New Breed of Teen Stars are Important to the FashionIndustry
Amscan Christmas Whimsical Winter Deer Beverage 5 Napkin (Set of 3) 701881
Weve Just Been Named the No. 1 MS Community Heres Why
The Fat Acceptance Movement
20 Coffee Drinks with More Sugar Than a Can of Coke
Treatment of Acne Vulgaris
The Trucker Workout That Keeps Drivers Active on the Road
Quitting just got good for you. Yes, really