View from the Top

Starting the long holiday weekend looking down on Big City San Francisco. Feels amazing to be up here taking it all in.


The Best Bartender Tricks are in the way they Mix

A Bartender is always a mixologist but a mixologist is not always a bartender.

That’s because a passionate and professional bartender knows that mixing cocktails, adult beverages, dranks, loose juice, and truth juice is just a part of the overall profession. There are many parts to the recipe that must be mixed constantly to make it look easy and effortless while the guests are enjoying a great time safely.

Some of the responsibilities a Bartender has are significant and are about watching out for the safety of the guests and the safety of the public. Bartenders should always be watchful and assertive while maintaining a welcoming and fun demeanor. There are now laws in some states that require Bartenders and alcohol service workers to get educated and tested on Age verification/ID checks, laws regarding the sale of alcohol, signs of intoxication, overserving and methods for cutting someone off with the overall message being, it’s never worth the risk to sell alcohol to someone who should not have it. The fines that can be imposed on both your Employer and YOU can be in the thousands, with some mistakes punishable with Prison time. You don’t want to ever have to live with knowing that you contributed to someone’s death because you served someone who has had too much already.

A responsible bartender is a respectable bartender and a professional bartender is also approachable, mindful, diplomatic, patient, assertive, efficient, fun, grateful, creative and honest. It has always been a position of power and influence and the best ones utilize that for the enjoyment and safety of their guests. Bartenders are often the final word when it comes to decisions about guests, TV channel, music volume, last call, and closing time which means they are always practicing diplomacy and atmosphere management. It has always been my opinion that people don’t go to bars to buy booze, they go to buy companionship and ambiance so it is imperative that the bartender understand and mix all the ingredients appropriately if they want to create the most enjoyable and lucrative experience for the guests, themselves, and the boss.

Bartending is a profession, not a job, that takes skill, knowledge, awareness, and passion to do it well. The most memorable and admiral bartenders are the ones who do it for the enjoyment and thrill, not for the money or bragging rights and it is obvious when you compare the two that they are not cut from the same cloth. It is not to say that good bartenders don’t have bad days, but they actively leave their woes at home unlike drink pourers who feel they’re the boss, it’s their bar, and you owe them admiration in the form of tips for simply standing behind the bar and acknowledging you exist. They aren’t entertaining, engaging, welcoming, or grateful and they do a big disservice to the profession and business of hospitality.

Big City Nites is committed to sharing insight about the traits and practices that make the best bartenders successful and what principles will make you a more successful and celebrated star of the bar. This the first post in a series of blogs that will discuss the nuances of bar and bartender etiquette. They will be based on years and years of real life experience and observation that has taken place all over the United States during a variety of events and situations. It has been an awesome career and I would love to see more people embrace a passion for it and succeed while exemplifying the cool and fulfilling living that it can be.

I hope you find value and enjoy what is shared and please do share your feedback and comments. I thank you for visiting Big City Nites dot com.

-Queen Eileen,

Big City Bartender Extraordinaire

Talko Tuesday Mafia Style

Big CIty Nites on Money105.5 April 24, 2018

Brickyard 4/24
The TACO MAFIA was just on the radio!! Big CIty Nites on Money105.5 Gave us a big shout out and boosted our show tonight! See you all at Brickyard!

Bartenders – Directors of Sales


Bartender: What can I get for you?

Guest:  I’m not sure what I want. What do you recommend?

Ask any Bartender and they will tell you that this is a scenario that happens regularly.  There are plenty of  guests who are looking to the bartender for a recommendation on something they know to be delicious, unique, and new.  Of course, there are those guests that just can’t make a decision on what to have (even though they have been flagging you down for 15 minutes).  The point is, bartenders have a lot more influence on sales than they are usually recognized for.

The Bartender makes direct repeated contact and is one of the most powerful influences on a future fan of your brand.  They are one of the most important parts of building brand loyalty in the beverage industry, and interact face to face with hundreds of people a week.  They are your brand ambassadors and it seems to be a consistently overlooked avenue to achieve future sales and market share.

Sales reps who regularly visit their clients always stand ou, and usually interact with the Bartender before meeting with the Proprietor.  It has been my experience, that when a brand rep builds great repertoire with the bartender, that bartender is more likely to regularly recommend that rep’s brands and brews.  Unless the owner is working some shifts behind the bar themselves, the bartenders have significantly more interaction with the patrons, and sometimes, have a much stronger relationship with them.

This valuable opportunity to expand the brand and market share in this way is under recognized, underutilized, and under appreciated.  For instance, with Vodka, there are always several brands available and a bartender usually has a go to brand when the customer asks for an upgrade from the well.  If you consider that a bartender can interact with as many as 500-600 potential end users in a busy shift, then it becomes clear how many opportunities there are to build brand recognition, and that is in just one bar on just one night!

The best brand ambassador that a distiller, brewer, or vintner can have, and should utilize, are the bartenders serving their product.  I have been in this profession for over 16 years and I assure you that bartenders can play an important and instrumental part in your in your success, or failure.  It is something that is both concerning and frustrating. It is a powerful position that carries a lot of opportunity for very little extra effort.

I hope that with one of the biggest days of the year in the industry fast approaching, you see just how hard bartenders do work and how skilled you must be to do it well, especially under the amount of pressure and physical demand required on a day like St. Patrick’s Day.  It is not simply a job, it is a profession and not just anyone can do it, so remember to take care of your bartenders. After all they are the ones you want taking care of you.