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Before opening a bar, a basic bar fundamentals question should be “Why do I want to own and operate a br”? Remember when you are on the serving side of the counter it is a totally different than being on the drinking side. On the serving side, it is hard work while on the drinking side, it is fun and games. Unless you consider it a business, not a party, you will fail and fail quickly.
Are you a people person?
Do you drink well?
Are you a night person?
Can you deal with those that don’t drink well?
To be successful in the bar industry you must be a “people” person. That is to say that you enjoy meeting and interacting with people of all personality types. In the course of a work day which includes night hours you will meet folk with the four different predominant personalities as well as mixes of these personality traits. The trick is to quickly recognize the type of personality a person is and treat this person in a manner which makes them comfortable. This is a most important pub fundamentals.
This ability is called your flexibility factor and yes can be practised and improved. Some excellent sales types do this naturally and folk usually refer to them as natural sales people.
Type number one, is known as a Driver personality or in the common vernacular a Type A. This person wants and needs to be in charge, have control of a situation and be the decision makers. It is not a good idea to try and engage this person in folksy polite conversation unless he or she initiates it. They like short concise answers to their questions. A suggested way to deal with them is, after saying something, simply as for their thoughts or opinion on the subject. This will give them control and please them. Most good experienced bartenders engage this technique, many without knowing they are doing it.
Type number two, is known as an Expressive personality or who may themselves be involved in sales of some type. This person is often a good time Charlie or Charlene and loves to chat and socialize. This person likes to do business over lunch or while playing golf.This type of person is very easy to get along with, as they will probably initiate the chatter, even telling a joke or two. A suggested way to deal with them is to quickly become their friend and laugh at their jokes and smile a lot. This will include them in the crowd very quickly and even allow them to be the life of the party for awhile. Again, most good experienced bartenders fall into this without thinking about it.
Type number three, is known as an Amiable personality and is usually quiet and reserved and may be involved in the social sciences or human resources field. This person likes a quiet chat and does not like to be asked to voice an opinion on anything. It is suggested that after saying hello you simply ask, in a quiet manner what he or she would like. Never raise your voice or guffaw too loudly when serving this person. Keep conversation quiet and reserved and simply respond when asked. It is best to keep your eye on this person as they are shy to order a second drink. When there glass is almost empty, slide over and quietly ask if another drink or food is desired. Low key is the best way to deal with this person.
Type number four, is known as an analytical and again may be quiet but not as quiet as an Amiable. This person is probably the most difficult to deal with as they are often deep in their own thought. If an Analytical does strike up a conversation with you and asks a question try to be detailed in your answer if you can. Best you hand him a menu and be prepared to answer questions as this person needs lots of detail before making a decision. To deal with this type you simply have to play it by ear. Be aware it is time consuming to chat with a person like this and may be difficult in a busy bar.
The ability to judge personality type, although not an exact science is most important when considering bar fundamentals.