Saturday, May 20, 2006

Know what you want.

It's 6:30 and all the big parties have been seated, and ordered their drinks. The bar is full too, and I'm deep in the weeds just trying to keep up. That early party just ordered 4 cappucino and 2 lattes too. If I get on a roll and nothing goes wrong, I can get all these drinks out quick, but if something goes wrong...

Last Month, Darcy over at "The Art of Drink" mentioned his Bartending Pet Peeve Number One. Here's mine. Know what you want. Really. If you have eight friends you're going to order for, know what they want too. This really helps the bartender, and it makes you look like a pro. I know you want to impress those eight people you're buying for, don't you?

If I'm in the weeds, and you have to wait a few minutes to get your drinks in, make sure you're ready when it's your turn. I see you there, waving your money, and I hear you shouting "when ya get a second, puhleeese." Now is the time to take a look around and see what beer we have. Take a look at the wine list and see what kinds of wine we have by the glass. Check the back bar and see if we have your favorite gin. Talk to your pals, and see what they're drinking.

Know what you want.

Here are two examples:

The Good:
"What can I get you?"
"I'll have a Stella, a Newkie Brown, 2 Martinis - vodka up with an olive, a gin and tonic with Saphire, Guiness, and a glass of Ridge Zin."

The Bad:
"What can I get you?"
"I'll have a beer..."
"The taps are right here, we have..."
"Oh... OK. Um... I'll have a Stella... Hey, Bob, Bob what are you drinking? Newcastle? Lemme see.. Do you have Newcastle?
"The taps are right here...."
"Hey guys what do you want to drink? OK. A red wine....... and a ...... um....."

At this point I'll probably need to move on to someone else who knows what they want, which means you'll have to wait even longer. Sorry about that. If you came in to chat about cocktails, or want me to help you pick something thats fine, I like doing that. That's one of the best parts of the job. It just doesn't work in the middle of the rush.

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