Safety is probably not the first thing people think of when they think about the service industry. All they see is the good food, the smiles, and the hustle from kitchen to table. But frontline staff know just how important safety is, both from a hygiene perspective and a personal health perspective. Bartenders are subject to even more safety challenges due to being stuck behind a bar, 100% visible to their customers.
If you’re a bartender, you already know the basics: rinse your bar equipment frequently, never fill a glass to the brim, and manual tip distribution sucks! Read on for some tips that can help make your job safer, easier, and healthier—from clocking in to counting tips.
Keep Your Customers - Perform with Flair (but also with Good Hygiene)
Yes, customers are very impressed by flaming liqueur and wild maneuvers with bottles. But they will also be impressed by your safety protocols. So why not make a show of polishing glasses and rinsing off equipment, too?
Some customers want to be entertained by their bartender, but everyone wants to trust their bartender to keep them safe by practicing good hygiene behind the bar. Don’t feel you need to hide away all the cleaning that you do to make sure the bar equipment is safe. Especially in a time when public health is top of mind, being very visible about your safety practices can actually help retain customers rather than turn them off.
Keep Your Health - Practice Prevention and Stay Fit
If you’ve worked in the service industry for a while, then you’ll know just how common wrist and back problems are. These injuries happen because of prolonged, repetitive use or lifting too-heavy items. Bartending is a very physical job. To keep your health intact, make sure to practice preventative care and stay fit.
Many bartenders see a chiropractor or physical therapist regularly to stay on top of their health. Remember, you don’t need to be sick to visit a doctor! Healthcare providers can offer excellent tips for how to mitigate the effects of your job on your body. If you’re at all concerned about your physical health as a result of your bartending job, try to visit a physical therapist and get their advice.
Staying fit is a great way to help protect your body from the demands of the workplace. Mixing drinks is labor-intensive, and so is replenishing stock with heavy bottles. Plus, you’ll be on your feet all day. Basic cardio and stretching are the minimum exercises you should be giving your body during off-hours. If you can, build up some core strength to save your back.
Finally, protect your physical health by investing in some good shoes. Clogs and sneakers are very common choices for bartenders because they’re comfortable and non-slip, but they often don’t offer proper arch support or cushioning. Good shoes will ultimately save your feet in the long run. At the very least, get some inserts and do Epsom salt soaks to make sure your feet can keep you going all night.
Keep Your Job - Set Up Great Systems and Stick to Them
From COVID safety to tip sharing, the easiest way to stay safe at work is to have reliable systems. You shouldn’t be reinventing the wheel every time you show up at work. One great solution for tip allocation during COVID is to utilize a tip distribution software that does automatic tip sharing (hands-free).
Tip pooling is how to fairly distribute tips to include bartenders and back-of-house staff. By using a tip sharing software, you can trust that you’ll receive your fair share. No more doubting if your manager even knows how to calculate tips. Plus, with a simple system that makes the restaurant tip automatic, you have to work less to track customers’ tips.
A tip pooling software like Tiphaus is a great way to ensure that everything is on the books. You are protected from others who might take more than their cut, and no one can accuse you of taking more than you deserve.
Make sure you take care of your mental health, too. Working as a bartender in the service industry can be grueling. Speak with your boss and colleagues if something’s not working or if you feel burned out. More often than not, your manager will want to keep you around and try to help resolve the problem. Safety is a team effort, after all. Take care of yourself, and you may find you enjoy your job much more.