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How to Create a Free Bartender Training Manual in 15 Minutes

Back in the 80s, popular movies, like Cocktail, were filled with Brian Flanagans that, somehow, possessed a god given ability to say the right thing, always know what needs to be done, and overcome adversity to win in love and fortune.

Nobody’s cooler than Brian Flanagan…If you’re born after 1982(ish) you’re probably asking “Who the @#$% is Brian Flanagan?!” Actually, you probably already googled it and know more about him that I do. But, in case you didn’t, Brian Flanagan, played by Tom Cruise in the cult 80s movie ‘Cocktail’, was a hot shot bartender who knew how to make any drink, did it with a lot of style, and at the end of the night, never went home alone. He was that guy at the bar that every woman wanted and every guy wanted to be… at least in the 80s.

Almost 30 years later, and in real life, we know things tend to be more complicated. Today, we know that success is hard work, and most of us don’t get a eureka moment that makes all of the chips fall miraculously in place, resulting is some advanced level mixology as ideology.

The ingredients of a good bartender

Efficiency and success depends on personality, experience, and, most of all, training. Sure, there are plenty of bartender courses available online and offline. Heck, spending half an hour on YouTube can help a college jock holding a bottle of rum fool his buddies into believing he is a bartending pro. But, we both know that YouTube videos (with all due respect) are not enough to turn your average Joe or Jane into a good bartender that’ll keep your customers happy. That requires some additional work and training.

Why do you need a bartender app?

What does your average bartender do on their break? Survey says, the number 1 answer is check their phones. 25% of millennials look at their phones more tha 100 times a day! Nearly 50% of them look at their cellphones at least 50 times a day.

If you want them to also enjoy their training modules, swap shifts on their own, fill in forms on their mobile phones then you need to be doing it with an app designed for bartender use.

Pour in the basics

Training sucks! But, it doesn’t have to. You can provide all the materials straight in the bartender app, without having to create specific orientation or employee onboarding days, which are uselss past the lunch break anyway as everyone slowly shifts into a food coma.

A good bartender app will offer a document library, where you can create, edit, and publish any type of manual or training material you want your employees to have access to. These can include your standard safety rules and corporate guidelines, but also other important and useful information you might not even think to include if you’re compiling a bartender training manual from scratch.

Mix it up

There’s no doubt that entering information once in your bartender app database is more effective that repeating information over and over to the new guys as they come aboard.

For example: You want a collection of interesting and uncommon drinks for you bartenders? Google search them, then copy and paste the link as an Object into the Asset. Now you have your very own customized list of unique drinks your bartenders can impress clients with every day for at least a month. You can also create a quiz to make sure your bartenders are aware and remember your weekly specials.

Adding the garnish

A good bartender app should remove the day-to-day grind by doing the following:

  • Send out daily task reminders – Instead of you having to walk around and do it.
  • Receive notifications when bartenders complete tasks – So you don’t have to micromanage them.
  • Send out daily updates on specials, stock status (86), and anything you like, really.
  • Receive updates on 86ed items, damage, stock (like glasses, etc.)

An app that can do all this for you is not only a time and money saver but creates a fun place to work.

Another feature hospitality service managers find useful in their bartender app is time and shift management. Features like integrated time clocks and dynamic shift swapping forms can make operations a lot smoother, and also give you a lot of insight into your bartender performance.

Last but not least – interactivity. Features like quizzes, employee polls and other types of gamification components you can add to your employee app making training and engaging employees so much easier than any other medium.

Put your bar data to use

If a certain bartender is not using the app you have full visibility and can send them a reminder to use it more often. On the other hand, if a bartender is very active in their use of the app, you can see that too and reward them accordingly. When it comes to processes and jobs, you can also see how long it takes a bartender to open, close or setup and reward those that are quick and efficient.

Last call

It’s impossible to mention training without talking about trainers – the people. Brian Flanagan knew that he was nothing without his mentor and father figure, Doug Coughlin, who taught him everything he knew. This is especially true with jobs that have techniques one can only learn by observing.

Odds are that every bartender you trust to serve clients has been personally mentored by a supervisor or an experienced co-worker. So when creating the training manual for your staff, consider not only the trainees, but also the trainers, and how they use the guidelines and manuals.

Arming your staff with digital, always-on toolsArticle Submission, to do their job better is no longer just about cutting training costs and streamlining processes. A bartender app gives you a competitive edge your business simply needs to attract and retain the Brian Flanagans of today.


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Jason Young

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