Training your team in customer service at a bar

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Customer service should be something that is experienced, not just something you say. This must start from top to bottom. Your employees receive their signals on how to treat your customers as managers / owners. If they see you doing good customer service, they will follow your example. You can help your employees practice better customer service such as:

1. You hire people with a service mindset

Some people enjoy being able to make others feel happy and make their experience great. Others are genuinely concerned about making people entertain and going out of rails to ensure that everyone spends their time in the bar splendidly. They may not be super-exaggerated or unable to talk to everyone about everything, but their desire to try and remain satisfied is the number one priority. These are, of course, the type of people you want to work for you to make sure your bar provides the best possible customer service.

Here are a few things to look for in service-oriented employees:

  • Smile: The smile should be what your customers see all the time while in your bar.
  • Sales experience: Often people who have been in sales in other industries can be fantastic staff at your bar. They will share their experience of helping people buy items from a retail store, for example, and use those skills at the bar. Different product – the same basic idea.
  • Solving Problems: Problems arise because things do not always go as planned. (Really, who is planning for problems?) Hiring employees who can think and head out with solutions that work for you and your client is a great bonus for your bar.
  • Organization: The employee’s ability to be organized during the chaos, which is always part of a day in the life of each bar, is essential in order to prevent problems before they occur.
  • Empathy: A service-oriented employee sees the world from the client’s point of view. He will take the time to look at the burgers and say, “Will I want to eat this?”. This may stop less than the perfect dish to come out of the kitchen.

2. Delegate employee rights to make things right

Your bartenders and waiters are the first people to hear when something is wrong in the bar so they need to be given some power to do things right. Of course, we do not want every complaint to lead to free drinks for a party at four each evening, but the easier the waiter or the bartender in their efforts to provide a great customer experience, the chances are bigger, those little gestures to pay you back in the long term.

You, of course, must constantly balance how much power your employees want to have, but here are some ideas that can help you formulate your policy:

  • The waiter or bartender should be able to immediately replace a drink or food if it does not meet the customer’s standards. The longer the customer waits, the harder the situation becomes.
  • Consider allowing staff members to distribute at their discretion a certain number of free drinks each evening.
  • Service is service. Your employees need to understand that decisions will have to be made on the spot at any moment; they can not call the manager every time there is a problem. When employees replace a cocktail or something from the kitchen, tell them to write it with a brief explanation. Then you can solve the problem, but after the client leaves. Do not enter into a dispute with the client. The customer is always in the right. Remember, however, that some issues need to be solved by the manager alone (such as denial of customer order or sexual harassment).

Knowing exactly how to handle difficult situations takes time and experience. Your employees will learn from their mistakes. But do not use them against them if the situation is not resolved in a perfect way. Whenever they deal with more difficult situations, they acquire skills. These skills will help them do better next time.

Look for positive coaching options – anyone can try to analyze what the employee could do better in the situation. But also take time and praise your employee for the positive customer service situations.

3. Keep your employees “informed”

The more your employees know about your business, the more they feel it as their business. And when they think of it as their own business, they become more interested in it being successful. They, in turn, can also distribute business information and convey their enthusiasm to customers and friends.

Keep your employees informed in all ways – by setting short appointments (operations) before each shift, making longer weekly appointments or sticking important notes to a central location. Ensure that all staff members receive the same information.

Regularly inform your employees of the important things that happen in your bar:

  • Upcoming promotions
  • New items in the menu
  • Schedules for live music, football matches, etc. important TV shows
  • New bar games (beer-pong, darts, pub-quiz …)

Take the next step and request information from your staff about what they think will appeal to customers. They are daily with your customers and may have a different perspective that you have not reported, or perhaps your customers have made suggestions to your staff for something that can be improved or optimized. Encourage them to share these ideas with you. You can even offer your employees even bonuses for new ideas or promotions.

All these principles and approaches are commonplace and are applicable not only to the bar business. Do not forget that you are as good as the customers who come to you. Customers are the first. Do something nice and they will tell 10 people; do something wrong and say 100. There is no substitute for good service!

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