Here is what I learned from being a barmaid. I have worked many jobs in my life and I have learned a great deal from them all. From retail assistant to babysitter to waitress. But, nothing beats what I learned working five months as a barmaid. It’s a job requiring energy, charisma, and mostly great conversation skills. Therefore, here is some tips and what I have learned from working in a classic British pub.
- Long hours, but it goes quickly.
Working at a bar, hours can range from 5-8 maybe even more. But, one perk of the job is time flies. In the pub I worked at, the bar staff were in-charge of (obviously) drinks, taking food orders, and settling the bill. Therefore, you always had something to do from serving on the bar, taking tables drink or food order, or giving someone the bill. You do need a lot of energy but four hours can feel like thirty minutes. Now working in a different job field, I do miss how quickly the time went.
- If you want tips, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of flirtation.
Use that natural charm you have and customers will warm up to you. This is the best way to get tips. I know it isn’t the most dignified way of doing it but it can be fun at times, especially the drunk ones. Therefore, switch on that allure and get them tips in.
- You must give good head.
I know what you were thinking, cheeky. But, in all seriousness some people can be very picky about the size of the head on their pint. Some like a big one and others not that much. So, what I did was I used to have an in-between size and as I get to know the locals I will know how they like their head…. I’ll stop now.
- People get impatient (but you learned to deal with it).
If it’s a busy night for us, which was usually the disco night, the bar would be full of people wanting to get legless and about four rows back. Of course, alcohol and no patience isn’t the best mix in the world. So, people start clicking their fingers at you and waving their notes in your face and all you can think is ‘yes buddy I can see you, but there’s three people here before you, and just for that there’s five people before you now’. This is the worst thing you can do to a bartender; all I ask is please stop it’s rude and you will be served last.
- You must learn the nod.
If you haven’t hear of the nod before. It’s the universal nod which tells the customer, ‘I see you, I know you’re there.’ It lets the customer know you’ve recognized them and that they are in the line to be served. It’s a bit like an undisclosed agreement.
These are some things I’ve learned being a barmaid. If you would like a part 2, please leave a comment. Also, let me know any experiences you’ve had at a bar, pub or club being working behind that bar or as a customer.