7 Soft Skills That Set Apart the Best Bartenders

With numerous bars and restaurants found in every city and new ones opening every now and then, you can reasonably expect the demand for bartenders to continue to rise.

As such, if you have always wanted to be a master of mixology, have a flexible work schedule, meet and talk with interesting people, and earn money, you may want to put some thought into pursuing a career in bar-tending now.

Having zero knowledge regarding bar-tending should not deter you from taking up this career. If you are serious about taking this up as a part- or full-time job, consider signing up for a bartender training course in Dubai.

Bar-tending programs are designed to teach students how to use the typical ingredients they have to work with as bartenders. It is also an excellent introduction for knowing the different tools and equipment used for creating classic drinks.

Additionally, by taking up a bar-tending course, you will learn about and practice the various skills and techniques you need to be an excellent bartender and mixologist.

Bartending Soft Skills You Have to Develop

Aside from knowing how to prepare classic drinks and invent new ones, to be a successful bartender, you need to have the right soft skills, too. You can also start learning and honing them while taking up your bar-tending course.

The seven essential bartending soft skills you have to develop are:

1. Good memory

Having a razor-sharp memory will serve you well once you become a bartender.

Remembering how to make the most popular drinks and knowing how to mix the ones on the bar’s menu will help you become an amazing bartender. After all, you won’t become the successful bartender you want to be if you keep asking customers for clarifications, or go online to look up recipes for requested beverages.

If you want to boost your memory, you have to try memorizing recipes for beverages and practice making drinks frequently. Once you start working, you also have to familiarize yourself with the bar menu.

Additionally, as a bartender, it is important to remember regular customers. You have to know their names and their usual orders.

Doing can help keep them loyal, which means you need to practice extra care for regular customers. And if they love coming back to your bar, they will also spread the word, which can mean more patrons for you in the future.

2. Consistency

Mixing excellent beverages is one thing, doing it every time you are behind the bar is another. As such, you have to practice being consistent with crafting the menu offerings and your own concoctions.

Knowing all the recipes of your beverages helps you stay consistent with your offerings. You will continuously serve drinks that look and taste the same regardless of when and whom you serve them.

Additionally, you need to maintain the same demeanor whenever you are at work. This means being friendly and polite to all customers at all times. Excellent customer service plays a vital role in encouraging patrons to return to your bar.

3. Excellent communication skills

As a bartender, you will deal with dozens of people every night. As such, you need to have good listening skills and you have to know how to communicate well with all your customers.

You have to be proficient in listening carefully to your customers’ orders. You need to pay attention to any requests to make sure they will be satisfied with their drinks.

You also have to know how to speak to your customers. You have to learn how to speak clearly and loudly, so that they will understand you while maintaining a professional yet friendly tone all the time.

If you don’t have an outgoing personality, you may want to work on it, as well. Build your interpersonal skills and learn to be a people-person.

4. Ability to read people

As a bartender, you will have to serve different types of people. You have to learn how to vary your service style based on your customers’ needs and preferences.

You can do this by improving your ability to read people.

Reading people entails observing and understanding them and determining their personality, likes, and dislikes without speaking to them at all. If you work on this skill, you will be able to vary your bar-tending style depending on who is in front of you.  For example if you see your customers are clearly enjoying something like Pokemon as a hobby,  you might give them tips or find out more about why they love it so much.

And this will help you provide better, customized service for each one of your customers.

5. Organization

Bartenders are usually busy serving several customers and running the bar. They also have to keep a close track of who ordered what, who are still waiting for their drinks, and who has not paid yet.

Good organizational skills will help you stay on top of everything you have to do while tending the bar. You have to know which tasks you should prioritize, which include keeping tabs on customer orders, payments, and keeping the bar area neat and orderly.

Being organized also means knowing when to restock supplies and arranging glassware and bottles correctly.

Since you will have to take on multiple tasks at a time, you will also do well to polish your multitasking skills.

6. Self-control

Bartending is a stressful job. You have to serve several customers at a time while staying on top of orders and payments and keeping the bar clean. And you have to do these mostly at night, too.

All these responsibilities, plus trying to stay alert and awake, can take a toll on your productivity and performance.

To do your job properly, you have to stay composed at all times.

This means learning to be more adaptable and patient. Additionally, you have to know how to maintain a professional appearance and manage stress, especially when you are at work.

7. Showmanship

Lastly, if you want to put a smile on your customers’ faces and join bar-tending competitions, you need to work on your showmanship.

This means practicing your moves with cocktail shakers. You have to master throwing, spinning, catching, and juggling shakers and bottles to delight customers. You can use a cocktail ice maker that helps you to make a perfect cocktail.

By working on these additional skills, you will impress customers. This can also give your bar extra publicity, which will translate to better sales and revenue for your workplace.

The world of bar-tending and mixology can be pretty exciting and lucrative.

Whether you are sure if this is the right career move for you or want to test the waters for now, signing up for the right training program can give you the push you need.


Shanaaz Raja is the Course Director at International Centre for Culinary Arts – ICCA Dubai.