Educating Bartenders Worldwide.
By Beverage Trade Network
With the closure of bars and restaurants, and social distancing taking place - it’s time to go digital. We know you’re probably hearing about brands going digital and marketing themselves with full throttle during this period - and that’s exactly what you as a bartender needs to do as well.
During this time, we don’t have control over a lot of things, but what we do have control over is ourselves. With everything closing down, a lot of you must be out of jobs, or just sent home for the meantime. Your hands might seem tied, but trust us, they aren’t completely tied. There are definitely a few things that you can do as a bartender to stay busy, and also establish your place in the industry while social distancing.
As a bartender, your job isn’t just mixing drinks at the counter. In fact, your job is everything but that. Like Dale Degroff says “I don’t go to bars, I go to bartenders”.
In an interview with Bartender’s Business, Dale Degroff spoke about the importance of bartenders, and how they practically run the bar. According to Dale, from both experience and expertise, the bartender makes the bar. Without the bartender, there’s no bar, and one solid tip to increase sales is to focus on that. As a bartender, you’re more of an entertainer, rather than someone who mixes drinks. In his own, funky way, Dale says that the personality of the bartender is what pulls in customers.
So, keep in mind that you’re the real gem of the bar. Now that you’re not behind the bar, you can be in front of your customers. Social media and the internet have proven to be highly powerful to bring traction to anything and anyone. As a bartender, a great way to grow your presence in the industry is by going digital.
Let’s take a look at a few ways on how you can go digital during this time.
Before you get started on the entire digital media thing, make sure you build a social media presence. How are you going to do that? Well, it’s easy - you have a lot of platforms at your disposal, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, Snapchat etc.
The best way to create a social media presence is by being active. Interact with your followers, and try to gain new followers as well. Go to the page of the bar/restaurant/hotel you work for, look at their followers and engage with them. Let them know who you are, let them know you’re the one making their drinks every time they step in. Once you engage with them, people will slowly start knowing you.
PRO TIP: Try to get onto famous bartending pages like @licensed_to_distill. This will make others notice you and help build your social presence.
Another great way to build your social media presence is by talking to the brands you serve at your bar. If you’re serving a limited edition Bacardi, take a picture with it, post it on social media and tag Bacardi. Even better, make a cocktail with it and post it over your socials. Engage with the Bacardi team on their social media. This is how you’ll gain social presence, as there are high chances of them featuring you on their pages as well since you use their products. Try becoming a brand ambassador for brands, show them what you can do with their products.
You’ve probably heard of the infamous phrase ‘content is king’, and now is the time to produce a plethora of kings on your plate. Creating content that connects to your audience is what is going to help you. As a bartender, there are lots of ways for you to create content for your audience. Your audience can either consist of your customers, other bartenders, hotels, bars, restaurants, or a mix of everything.
Here are a few ways in which you can create top quality content:
Create cocktails, take videos, and put them up on social media. Both your customers and other bartenders would see this and would learn from them, making them come back to your page.
Create blogs/excerpts of particular cocktails you like - or create new recipes and put them in a write up, sharing them on your social platforms and on other groups with industry professionals like yourself on them.
Do product reviews. Take up some of your favorite spirits/mixers and do a review on them. Show your audience how they work, the different things that can be done with them, and how you like them. Don’t forget to tag the brand.
We’ve already established the power of a social media presence, now you need to use this to mingle with other bartenders in the spectrum. Being a part of a community is very important, and the best way you can do that is by talking to other bartenders.
You can easily find other bartenders on social media, and join bartender communities on Facebook and LinkedIN. Talk to other bartenders about what’s going on, what they are doing, and how you can help them. Not only will this help you gain credibility in the bartending spectrum, but it will also help you learn a lot from others.
PRO TIP : When talking to other bartenders, you can also come up with little cocktail challenges that you can do virtually for your audience. This will help both bartenders to build their social media presence as your followers will be exposed to theirs, and vice versa.
As a bartender, a lot of people would want to learn your art. During this time, one thing you can count on is your skill. Use your skill to go online and take classes. You can either take paid classes, or do Facebook/Instagram live videos for everyone - that depends on what you want.
You giving online classes will help build your credibility to both customers and others in the industry. Think of it this way, someone from a hotel chain might see you doing your classes, might like your work, and you might just land a new job - or even better, you might just find a way to grow your bar or start one yourself.
Plus, sharing your knowledge is always going to help others.
Everything we’ve spoken about will only work if you do it consistently. Let’s be honest, right now there isn’t really much for you to do from home - so the best thing you can do is go digital. Make sure you’re actively doing everything spoken about. Try to make videos daily, engage with your audience daily, talk to other brands on a daily basis. Be there. These days all you have to do is be there.
So bartenders, when are you going digital?