Freelance bartending is a great way to grow your income and make valuable connections within the hospitality industry. However, you must be prepared to take on more responsibility if you use this approach. All the presentation falls on your shoulders.
Here are six ways freelance bartenders can enhance their presentation and improve the customer experience.
1. Provide Various Glassware
The simplest way to improve your presentation is to provide various glassware. Cans, bottles, and plastic cups might be adequate for the average sports bar, but not when you’re bartending for a special occasion. If someone orders a martini, they deserve to drink it from a martini glass. Make sure you get these important types:
Serving alcohol inside the proper glassware isn’t just for appearance’s sake. Each type is designed to make the drink taste as good as possible. As most bartenders know, draft glasses optimize the beer’s carbonation and help the beverage go down more smoothly. Wine glasses allow you to hold the drink without warming the liquid with your hands.
2. Get Your Cocktails Down to a Science
Besides requiring a certain type of glass, drinks also have an ideal concoction of ingredients. An extra tablespoon of something can significantly change the libation’s taste and texture. You need to get your cocktails down to a science and make them with precision. The only way to make a perfect one is to use the right tools:
Using these tools will help you get each ingredient exactly right. Your customers will also enjoy watching you work. Showmanship is a huge part of bartending that many beginners overlook in their presentation. Demonstrating your skills with various mixing tools and techniques will impress onlookers and get you more tips.
3. Get Comfortable With All Alcohol Varieties
Freelance bartenders can’t afford to have a limited knowledge base and skill set. You need to get comfortable with all alcohol varieties, including the different types of beer, wine, and liquor. Some are only experts in craft beer or mixology, which limits their employment opportunities.
Becoming an expert in a wide range of alcoholic drinks will make you a safe and reliable choice for anyone who needs bartenders for hire. Some freelance jobs will require you to operate an entire bar by yourself. Your wide range of drink-making abilities enables you to take on these jobs without issue. Customers will also take notice of your well-rounded skill set.
4. Go Mobile
Most of your freelance bartending jobs will have a decent bar setup, but sometimes you must bring your own equipment. A mobile bar would be ideal in these situations. You can convert all kinds of trailers into portable, fully operational bars. Cargo and enclosed trailers are the most popular options because they have many versatile designs and allow you to work outdoors.
However, since you’re hauling lots of delicate equipment, an equipment trailer specializing in keeping the cargo stationary might be more practical. In any case, a mobile bar setup would make your presentation stand out and allow you to travel longer distances for freelance opportunities.
5. Provide Entertainment Besides the Drinks
Great bartenders keep their customers entertained in multiple ways. Along with serving drinks, they socialize with patrons and keep them occupied for as long as possible. The longer your customers stay, the more drinks they order and the more tips you receive. That’s why almost every bar you go to has these entertainment sources on hand:
- Ping pong
- Video games
- Instruction cards for drinking games
- Coasters with fun facts and trivia questions
Most of these games require minimal tools or equipment, so you should have no issue adding them to your bartending travel kit. They will help you create a fun, laid-back atmosphere where people can enjoy their drinks and engage in friendly competition.
6. Show Your Skills on Social Media
Freelance bartenders don’t have steady employment at a local restaurant, so they must market themselves. Don’t be afraid to show your skills on social media, which is a self-employed individual’s best friend, no matter the industry. It gives you access to countless potential clients and allows you to grow a fanbase.
Instagram and TikTok are the best platforms for bartenders because they emphasize video content. You can record yourself making complex cocktails, using different pouring techniques, and demonstrating other relevant abilities. Your mobile bar will also help you draw interest on social media.
Bartending Is a Performance
Although bartenders serve a straightforward role in the hospitality industry, they’re more like performers than workers. Every detail factors into your presentation, from the glassware to your socialization skills. Follow these tips to master your performance and become the best freelance bartender you can be.