Bar Managers, what are some red flags you look out for when hiring bartenders?

  1. Overconfidence. Showboating. Getting too comfortable too fast. The ones who do that often times are short lived or end up turning everyone else against them. When you go to a new place, keep your head down, and let your work speak for itself. Then you won’t have to force your way into the “family”. You’ll be welcomed with open arms.

  2. We’re having this exact problem at the bar I’m at. Newest hire came in so overconfident, spent his training pointing out things he thought were flaws in the way things are done, talking up how good he is and how fast (he’s not that fast), decides the way he knows is better then just starts doing it that way without communicating, gets flustered when you correct him on something. He’s been there maybe a month and has turned the whole team against him. Management talked to him and told him to tone it down a bit but I have a feeling it might be too late 🙄

  3. Last summer we hired this guy who started telling us how to run the bar after his second shift. Our bar does around $500k in sales a month, we booted him real quick.

  4. Disheveled, disorganized, late or poor personal hygiene. None of that will improve once they’re hired.

  5. I have a co worker who is all over the place when she bartends, bar top is always a mess, dishes pile up, receipts all over the place, & to top it off she is very open about how she doesn’t wear deodorant because she “doesn’t sweat a lot” (she constantly stinks). Most of us have no idea why she hasn’t been let go yet.

  6. Servers do that SO MUCH. There's like 2 seats at the bar I work at, but a bunch of tables and they give away shit like it's Christmas. And the dude who owns the place used to be a server so he's doing it too and I just don't get it.

  7. Only having short stints at multiple bars and having no reference's. Leaving on bad terms from one job is fine because some bars suck but if they have multiple places on bad terms its 100% their attitude

  8. 100% this. Locally there are a few places that are pretty recognized so if you’ve worked there it speaks volumes…..IF you worked there for a decent amount of time. I dealt with this exact issue when a manager (I was a shift supervisor at the time) hired a guy “with a great resume”….lemme tell you this motherfucker liked to tout that he’d worked at all those places but to actually talk to the people there, he’d barely survived a two week pay period at any of them.

  9. so many places are run like shit. i've left a lot jobs after a couple of months because i realize it's shit and there's no upside. maybe i'm an outlier, but i kind of hate this mindset.

  10. I always get worried about resume, because I work seasonally so I’m changing jobs and locations every few months. I can obviously explain that in interviews but I always feel like I could get flagged for quick turnarounds

  11. I will caveat that the pandemic has changed that a bit. I’ve personally got 7 jobs on my resume since the start of the pandemic. One closed forever. One decided to change directions entirely and let go the whole bar staff. One didn’t hire back any of the old GM’s hires after the winter shut down. It was INSANE, and most of them don’t want to admit they fucked over their staff so they’re not available for references. I’ve had so many interviews where they looked at my resume and I could see it on their face that I was going to be put at the bottom of the pile for having rotten luck and trying to work during the pandemic instead of just staying on unemployment and not bothering. The last one, the one that shut down for good? I loved that job. It was my dream program to run. I was devastated and the unemployment bump had ended so I had to start looking immediately… only to have to face interviewers who had shelved me before they met me.

  12. If you ran into one asshole today, well then you ran into an asshole. But if you run into assholes all day long, then you’re probably the asshole

  13. I've noticed a lot of people are saying this. Why is bartending school so looked down on? I've never been to one or worked with someone who has been.

  14. why should that be a red flag? bartending schools are a money grab, but a guy showing interest in the industry is a red flag?

  15. Someone not well manicured and put together. If they come in not dressed to hit the floor or look presentable I’m done right there….

  16. This is a weird trend I’ve seen in the last 5ish years-people showing up for interviews just…not very well put together. Like, I GET it, it’s a bar job, but it’s also still a fucking job interview. If you show up and haven’t put any more effort in than a hoodie and some jeans…I’m sorry but you’re going to the bottom of my pile.

  17. Telling me that you have a lot of regulars at your bar that will likely come and drink at my spot if you’re hired.

  18. For casual sports/dive bar crowd they are definitely giving the house away. Higher end places though, people come see me for the service and still spend big.

  19. It's just the opposite in Vegas. Bars expect you to have regulars, many actually expect you to have a following that you will bring to your shift. A lot of bar owners just open the place, and expect the bartenders to build the clientele. It's a weird dynamic, unlike any other place I've ever worked.

  20. Yep from what I’ve seen my past coworkers who have quit and took their following with them were unethical. Most places I’ve worked when a bartender with a ton of regulars quits they are sad but stay and get to know the new bartender on that shift (I’ve gained regulars this way, they’ve never followed me around though because they pay and like the vibe of the bar). Most regulars like the bar first and the bartender second that I’ve seen, unless they get free shit

  21. If I may add to this question, what about bartenders who are new and don't have a lot of recipes memorized yet? Would you give them a chance or is it too big of a red flag?

  22. I was really afraid of this when I first started, but it’s not that big of a deal. Real people are ordering vodka/sodas and margaritas, not Duck Farts or Scofflaws. It’s more about your personality and work ethic; anyone can learn new drinks if you know the basics.

  23. Recipes aren't important. General liquor knowledge is. Any bar probably has their own version of most of the common recipes anyways.

  24. way back in the day, when i was first starting out, i was scared of this. i had been quizzed a couple times at interviews and it was always over rando drink recipes for a noob (i don't remember all three, but i do know that one of them was an "anna banana". i had stumbled and bumbled my way through the drink and then kicked myself later for not knowing it and not getting the job. i finally decided that rather than let them dictate the terms, i'd grab the bull by the horns. my next three interviews i would make sure to work in the recipe of 2 or 3 drinks i knew cold into the interview before they got to quiz me (i went basic, but not easy. corpse reviver, negroni, mojito). since i had previously been quizzed at the end of the interview this gave the more than enough time to work talking about those recipes into the regular interview conversation. i'm not sure if it worked because i don't know for sure they would've quizzed me, but all three of those interviewers offered me a job and not one questioned my recipe knowledge.

  25. I’d give them a chance depending on how desperate I am. If I can afford to train someone I will, but their attitude is everything. If they act like they’ve had 30 years of experience but can’t tell me every liquor in a Long Island then bye bye

  26. In 20 years of management and about a thousand employees later I've only hired one single bartender with a mixology certification that worked out. I don't blame the person though, I blame the classes. They teach nothing about the actual job.

  27. Serious overconfidence at the interview. Talking like we are already friends and you’ve already got the job. 9/10, they have no idea what they are doing.

  28. When I was a bar manager, bartending school. I'd rather hire someone who was a server and had a little bar experience, than someone with no hospitality experience at all, but went to bartending school.

  29. What about someone who was a waiter for a year, getting to maitre before the pandemic closed everything and took bartending school classes while out of a job to broaden their perspectives?

  30. Seeing they've worked at multiple bars that see the industry as more of night out than a job, you have dudes in their 30's with their pineapple tattoo thinking it's okay to get drunk on shift.

  31. I can train and educate around anything with one exception: willfully knowing what you should do, and choosing not to do the right thing. You can have all the knowledge, experience, work-ethic, etc. but if you dgaf, you can’t work around that dynamic.

  32. If they ask to sit at the bartop and have a drink afterward, LET THEM! Several times I have finished a great interview and the person applying asks to have a drink after. I always say yes and observe. Are they polite to the host or busser? Friendly conversation with others at the bar? Or do they get shitfaced and get in an argument? They will show you who they are.

  33. My manager offered to buy me a beer after the interview for pretty much this reason. He wanted to see how I acted in the bar when I was drinking around people. I had 3 or so beers, was pretty chill and left. He thought I was kinda awkward, but regardless I seemed nice and responsible so he hired me.

  34. Inability too connect too staff , Lack of will too learn , and influencer types who think it’ll be a laugh too bartend and the people who do it purely cause it „ seems cool „

  35. Getting tanked and then asking if we are hiring. Or ordering a drink before of after the interview. I guess the after the interview thing isn't as bad, but it just shows a vibe of being too comfortable too fast.

  36. This is an odd one... I don't see much wrong with having a drink in the bar for which you just interviewed. But I can say from personal experience the people that have done that have never, ever worked out.

  37. After my interview at my current bar I asked if I can sit at the bar and have a meal to get a feel for the place. I actually think the manager really liked that. Comped my food, had two nice drinks and tipped very well. Got the job.

  38. Drinking before wouldn't bother me. Drinking after just says "I want to see what kind of product the existing bartenders put out."

  39. Showing up visibly intoxicated, talking bad about past jobs (coworkers, managers, owners, customers), also they don’t have to be conventionally good looking but they should be doing everything they can to at the very least to look as groomed and professional as possible if not stylish and attractive. A bartender needs to be confident and comfortable in their own skin so they can help others feel welcome and comfortable. I also look for an air of authority, I would never hire a meek bartender. Drunk people can be belligerent, and a bartender need to have a good boundaries and a strong personal presence, hence, the professionalism.

  40. This seems small but lying and saying they can free pour when they obviously can't. Just measure until you're comfortable and be honest about it from the start

  41. Having a million bars listed as their work history. To me, I don’t think of it as lots of experience, I just see lack of longevity.

  42. As a former manager at an office and a current bartender, hearing someone say they didn’t like their old place because there was “too much drama”. Those are usually the people that create the drama

  43. Lol I have legit left a bar because the bar was stingy on pens. "If you don't have a pen, I guess you'll just get no tips today." Why is that such a hangup for people? I've worked office jobs and they just have a whole closet full of pens they never give a second thought to.

  44. I always look at their social media right after an interview, just to see how much they party. Let’s face it we’re in that industry, but I’m not ok with a no call no show. You want play ie drink until 2 am with a few lines of blow knowing you need to work the brunch shift, then you gotta pay. Get your ass to work lol

  45. New hires that say , I have to make x amount of dollars a week , how much do you make? And then proceeds to ask everyone how much they make

  46. They’re, like, legally entitled to do that. It’s also not a terrible idea since so many managers will tell you, “trust me bro you’re gonna ride rainbows and shit gold here just trust me please bro.”

  47. How much I'll make is what will make me decide if I want the job or not. And if you start going around the bush or get pissed for being asked, you're the red flag.

  48. I’ve heard this bullshit from other managers in my city, and they always sound so smug about it, and I guess I’ve just never understood it. Someone not having a pen at an interview is hardly a dealbreaker, I’m certainly not going to crumple up a perfectly good resume if the applicant doesn’t happen to have a pen. Same goes for physical copies of resumes. If I’ve asked someone to interview, I have their resume, who has a private printer these days? This petty old school shit needs to be done.

  49. This is hilariously petty. You can't offer your applicant one of the 20 pens behind the bar to fill out the form you just handed them?

  50. If a manager wanted me to have my own pen that’d be a red flag for me for the bar. Are they so disorganized and stingy they don’t have a pen on hand and can’t let an applicant use a pen for company paperwork.

  51. Yeah, I just have bad luck with pens. I usually ask for one with a surprised look on my face and hands covered in ink.

  52. Sorry, I thought people worked jobs for a paycheck. I bet your offer had a number associated with it before you took it, no?

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