The requirements for a bar manager are higher than ever before. Bars are popping up on every street corner, all offering better service, cheaper drinks or more exciting events. So how do you stand out in the crowd? Start with your employees – motivate them and make their day fun, inspiring and unique. Try these quick tips and be the best bar manager in town.

1. Review your drinks card – Bartenders are creative people – just as yourself. They want to be challenged, they want to learn – so why not shake up that G&T or spice up your Tequila Sunrise? Stay updated on the drinks trends and try them out. Let your bartenders play around with the mixtures – the only bad thing that can happen is that the new drink won’t sell and you’ll stop making it. Not really a big consequence, is it?

2. Invite guest bartenders – Instead of you always telling them what to do, contact a drinks company or a local bartender with a good reputation and ask if they or he can give a crash course in drinks making. Not that your bartenders are not the best ones in your area, but if you provide them with a bit of inspiration, they will work harder and better than the day before.

3. Involve your bartenders – Once in a while, invite your staff for internal meetings either before or after closing time. During these meetings you can let your staff share their ideas for new events, new drinks or new additions to the interior decor. If you create a space in which your bartenders can inspire each other and feel free to speak their minds, they will be much more motivated to come to work. Remember, creative people want to share their creativity.

4. Be there! – Some bars don’t have the resources to always have a bar manager present, leaving one or two bartenders in charge of the business. Even though it might seem like you’re showing them trust, you’re actually putting way too much responsibility on their shoulders. If you have the resources, always make sure you are there – or one of the other bar managers are there – when you open and close.

5. Stay on top of technology – “Where are those bottles of rum I ordered two days ago? Who forgot to get more peanuts? Has anyone heard from Jane, she was supposed to show up at 3!?” You can stop all those questions if you just throw away your pen and paper methods, Excel inventory systems and old-school Dropboxes to share work schedules. Instead, use:

  • A POS system
  • An inventory system
  • An interactive communication platform (like an app or a group on Facebook)
  •  A full-service employee scheduling system

Click here to find out how the last two bullet points can be found in one single system – and how that can benefit your business

What do you do to motivate your staff? We’d love to hear your comments in the box below.

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Lisa Andersen
Lisa Andersen Content Editor
Part of Planday’s content team in Copenhagen, Lisa is into yoga and loves good writing. Her experience includes working with communication and PR for international grassroots organizations in Argentina and Bolivia.