The next time you drop by the local watering hole for a happy hour, take a good look at how the bartender provides great customer service and easily performs often complex tasks.
When teaching a Career Development class some time ago, a slightly embarrassed soon-to-be grad asked how she could relate her current job (which was a bartender) to a new career in healthcare on her resume. Inspired by her question, I involved the class in a lengthy discussion of what a bartender does in their job that relates to a job in healthcare or any other profession.
Here are some of the most desirable transferable traits the class came up with (I am sure that there are many more):
- Bartenders must remain patient and methodical in an often fast-paced, loud, and chaotic environment.
- Bartenders must be efficient to serve multiple customers, remember their orders, follow up with them, and rapidly correct any errors.
- Bartenders must have extroverted personalities, so they can easily connect with their customers and must also able to rapidly diffuse most volatile situations that arise.
- Bartenders must be great listeners while they perform their duties and are extremely good relationship builders with their customers how often consider the bartender a friend.
- Bartenders must have the talent memorize drink recipes, accurately gauge measuring ingredient proportions for customers’ typical and unusual drink orders, and then prepare them.
- Bartenders must be prepared for larger-than-usual crowds and ensure that the bar is fully supplied with all of the necessary items to successfully complete their shift.
- Bartenders must be good at math to prepare customer receipts/tabs, handling cash and giving accurate change.
- Bartenders must be regulatory conscious, registered/certified with health organizations if required, and keep the bar clean and sanitary to fully meet health codes.
During the class, the suggestions expanded the list further but these were the 8 attributes the class felt were the most important.