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Bartender Conversational Do’s and Don’ts for 2024

November 1, 2023
bartender pouring drink behind bar

Aside from serving a mean drink, bartenders are expected to be able to carry on a conversation with their customers. It’s not just a trope, and a server can’t just dive into a social interaction blind. After all, you will want to say all of the right things to ensure a repeat customer.

Here’s a look at some of the biggest do’s and don’ts of bartending conversations that you should follow in 2024.


Learn How to Make Small Talk

Lighthearted conversation (A.K.A. Small Talk) is essential to getting customers engaged and breaking the ice with people that may not be comfortable starting a conversation with a stranger.

Keep the focus of the conversation on your customers and make your opening questions something that is easy to answer and doesn’t force a conversation if they aren’t in the mood to talk.

Some examples of the best small talk questions to ask patrons are:

Finally, if you feel comfortable enough in the situation, a simple introduction with your name can be enough to get a person to order up and start talking.


Keep Your Conversation Neutral

Remember, all of your customers are going to come from different backgrounds. So, keeping the conversation neutral is essential. Think of a bartender-to-customer conversation as one you’d hold during the holidays; meaning, steer clear of political and religious topics.

Current events, sports, and letting your bar guest guide the conversation are generally your best bets for a pleasant interaction that potentially creates a returning customer.


Don’t Be Afraid to Get Friendly With Regulars

Return customers are essential for success in the bar industry. So, when a frequent customer comes in, remember to greet them warmly, and ask them about something they may have spoken about the last time they were in your establishment.

These conversations and asking if they’d like their “usual” lets your customers feel valued and strengthens the important bond that every bartender wants to have with their regulars.


Do Know Essential Bartending Terms

Carrying on a great conversation is nothing if you don’t absolutely know the lingo every bartender should familiarize themselves with. After all, your customers will only return if you can truly deliver your promise of the perfect drink.

Get familiar with and practice using the following terms in your everyday conversations with customers:

There are several more terms to perfect, but help from seasoned experts in the service industry can give you the knowledge you need to succeed.


Create a Personable Serving Experience With TABC On The Fly

Safe and successful alcohol service goes way beyond saying all of the right words to your customers. With the online course from TABC On The Fly, your servers and bartenders can have the latest and greatest information they need to practice safe service during every shift.

Register online today to get your entire team TABC certified, fast!

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