Emerging Bartending Trends: A Look at 2017 into 2018


Just as in any industry, trends come and go. In the bartending industry, seasonal preferences go along with bartending practices to establish trends in service and in selection. Professional bartenders, such as the experienced mixologists at The Bartender Company in the San Francisco Bay Area, know that the successful drinking establishments stay tuned to emerging industry trends and practices. By catering to their patrons and their unique tastes, the best bars continue to provide memorable drinking experiences regardless of industry shifts.

Holiday Cocktail Trends

With the changing of the season, flexibility and skill on the part of the bartender comes into play. This is especially true during the holiday season, where carefully-crafted holiday cocktails are perennial favorites.

In recent years, the bartending trend has been to incorporate holiday flavors into classic cocktail preparations. Spices like cinnamon and cloves impart delicious flavors to cocktail staples, while variations in spirits can breathe new life into traditional cocktails. Examples of this include replacing whiskey with aged rum in a hot toddy, turning the cocktail into something new and festive. Another is the time-honored champagne cocktail, adding complexity by including a dash of Angostura or Peychaud’s bitters.

Garnishes are a great way to respond to emerging holiday trends. Studding a lemon wheel with whole cloves, or garnishing a cocktail with a cinnamon stick, imparts holiday flavors in new and unexpected ways.

Bartending and Industry Trends

In many ways, the bartending industry parallels the food service industry, and many trends that appear in one market segment bleed over into the other. Sustainability is a perfect example of this industry trend; in the food industry, sustainable farming practices and sourcing ingredients from responsible producers has transformed the industry. Likewise, sustainability has become a more important component in bartending. Sustainable practices such as eliminating waste, incorporating organic and locally-produced ingredients, and providing a more natural experience are all features that some of the very best bartenders are adding to their repertoire.

Perhaps the most important trend to emerge in recent years is in the experience itself. The most successful bar owners and operators know that consumer demand for incredible experiences is at an all-time high; for bartenders, simply delivering a well-made cocktail is no longer sufficient. Impeccable patron service, inviting bar environments, and signature cocktail preparations are the keys to success in this competitive market arena. A bartending staff that prepares its own syrups and mixers from fresh ingredients will stand out from competitors.

Signature or “theme” cocktails also help differentiate quality drinking establishments from others in their area. Obviously, this trend requires the expertise of a professional mixologist to pull off. Highly-skilled and professional bartending staff are in demand by event planners, bars, and clubs. For special events, the skills of a professional bartending service like those provided by The Bartender Company are a sure way of creating memorable experiences for party guests.



The Bartender Company Chosen for Wedding Wire’s 2017 Couple’s Choice Award


Northern California’s premier professional bartending service provider, The Bartender Company, was recently chosen for a 2017 Couple’s Choice Award by Wedding Wire, the world’s largest and most comprehensive online wedding planning resource. This prestigious award is based on customer reviews, with The Bartender Company receiving a perfect 5-star rating.

5star yelp

For wedding receptions, the bar and bar service often serve as centerpieces of the event. Party guests mingle, cocktails in hand, and a good bartending experience sets the stage for an elegant, memorable event. The Bartender Company is not satisfied with simply providing refreshments; the company’s goal is to add luxury and style to any event for which they provide their services. Handpicked cocktail favorites, sommelier-recommended wines, and handcrafted mixers are some of the hallmarks of the San Francisco-based company’s quality bartending services. The professionalism and skill of the company’s bartending staff has made them a favorite of tech giants, corporate leaders, and individuals throughout the Bay Area.

Event Process

Professional bartending is both art and science, and The Bartender Company has become a favorite for their approach to event planning and service delivery. For wedding events, the company works closely with the hosts, developing unique drink menus that highlight the tastes and preferences of the event hosts and their guests. The company goes far beyond traditional catering or bartending services, delivering luxurious refreshments with impeccable style and quality.

The Bartender Company uses an exclusive three-step event creation process to deliver memorable experiences and the finest professional bartending service available. Their process is, “Plan, Party, Polish”, encompassing all aspects of an event from initial planning to clean up at the end of the evening. The company creates its own syrups and mixers in order to provide flavorful signature cocktails, including seasonal favorites as well as time-honored classics. From start to finish, the company’s expertise in upscale bartending service is unparalleled.

About Wedding Wire and the Couple’s Choice Awards

Established in 2007, Wedding Wire quickly became the Web’s leading online resource for wedding planning. The company connects engaged couples with quality vendors in their area and serves as a platform by which event merchants can expand their businesses. The company created their Couple’s Choice Awards to highlight the very best in wedding event merchants including caterers, entertainers, venues, professional bartenders, and photographers. Each Couple’s Choice Award nominee is backed by consumer reviews; in fact, with over three million trusted reviews on the Wedding Wire site, it is clear to see that the Couple’s Choice Awards represent the very best in wedding event service providers.


How to Create the Ultimate Home Bar

Refreshing Grapefruit and Tequila Palomas

If you enjoy entertaining friends and family at home, a well-stocked bar is an absolute must. Being able to provide your guests with amazing refreshments sets the stage for fun. There are many options available to those who wish to create a home-based bar experience, and these options can be daunting. Here are some helpful tips on creating the ultimate home bar, with affordable choices and creative ideas. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Start Small

When setting out to create a home bar and become an amateur mixologist, the inclination is to buy a ton of product in an attempt to recreate your favorite watering hole. This is often a mistake, as it leads to high costs and shelves covered in poorly-aging liqueurs. Instead, think small! You can always enlarge your inventory in the future.

One tip for getting a modest start is to purchase the spirits and mixers that you and your guests actually enjoy drinking. That dusty bottle of Pernod isn’t doing anyone any favors just sitting there unused. Choose three or four popular spirits, especially those that lend themselves to multiple cocktail recipes. Typically, a small but well-stocked home bar will have vodka, whiskey, gin, tequila, and rum to start. These alcohols offer incredible versatility, giving you the option of creating flavorful and time-honored cocktails for guests.

The same goes for mixers… Select a few popular offerings to get started, such as tonic water and club soda, fresh juices, basic syrups, and soft drinks. A couple of specialized ingredients, like vermouth, bitters, or triple sec, can be purchased in small bottles and used to make delicious cocktail favorites. With just a handful of spirits and mixers, there are literally dozens of simple cocktails you can make an offer.

Be sure to have a small selection of beers and wines for guests as well. Two or three craft beer choices, a bottle of chilled white wine, and a handful of popular red wines will help set you apart and ensure that your guests will have access to their favorite beverages.

As for drinkware, keep things simple. You’ll obviously want a couple different kinds of cocktail glasses. Add highballs to the inventory, along with a few shot glasses. Stemware and pint glasses are ideal for the wine and beer drinkers you entertain in your new home bar.

Step 2: Learn the Basics of Mixology

A good home bar has a wide selection of drink choices, even from just a few choices of spirits and versatile mixers. Now, the trick to really set the stage is to become comfortable preparing favorite cocktails for friends. Invest in a cocktail recipe book as well as some basic measuring and serving equipment like a jigger, a cocktail shaker, a strainer, and a stirring spoon.

With recipe book and tools in hand, it’s time to practice. Invite a few trusted friends over for cocktails, and give your new skills a spin. With the feedback your friends provide, you’ll be on the right track to becoming the neighborhood bartender you’ve always imagined.

Step 3: Add Garnishes to Make Your Home Bar Pop

Think about your favorite cocktails. They almost always have something in common: A garnish. Whether that garnish is a rim of flavored salt or sugar, a maraschino cherry, or a lemon wedge, garnishes add that finishing touch to drinks and set them apart from more amateurish offerings.

Just as in your modestly-stocked bar, don’t go overboard to start things off. A few lemons and limes, some margarita glass rim salt, and a jar of olives can be pressed into service for many popular cocktail choices. Pick the ones you are most likely to use, and enjoy the appreciation of your well-cared-for guests! Or, include an arrangement of snacks to enjoy!

Continue reading: Customer Service is King >>

Customer Service is King

2016-12 Google Holiday Party

As a restaurant owner or operator, you want to provide your customers with a great experience every time they visit your establishment. Great food, fun cocktails, and a welcoming atmosphere go a long way in providing that experience and keeping your restaurant or bar full of patrons.

Remember that the experience is not only about the food and drinks offered. Service, especially in the restaurant and bar industries, is paramount to success. Providing expert service must be a priority if you want to achieve the success you’ve always craved. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips to enhance your operations with great customer service. Let’s get started!

Tip 1: Work on Efficiency

A great establishment, regardless of theme or menu, operates smoothly and efficiently. Think about some of the great dining and drinking experiences you’ve had in the past, and reflect on what made those experiences memorable. Most likely, you’ll remember that the staff worked to provide a great time from the moment you walked into the door, and efficiency is the cornerstone of that experience.

Review what your staff actually does. Do their work processes flow smoothly from station to station? Are wait times excessive, and can those wait times be improved? What about training… Is your staff receiving the training they need to perform their tasks efficiently? As an establishment owner or manager, it is your job to ensure that your staff is prepared, trained, and equipped to do what they need to do for customers. Ask your staff what works, what they might improve, and where can time be saved? Wait staff and bartenders often have great ideas you can implement in your operations, ensuring that efficiency is taken care of.

Tip 2: Build a Great Staff

It’s no secret that the staff of an establishment is the forward-facing aspect that customers remember. Friendliness and courtesy are those intangibles that differentiate a great experience from a bad one.

Unfortunately, restaurant and bar staffing is a volatile area. There is often a huge turnover in service establishments, making hiring and training a difficult task for even the most talented manager. The key is to build a team… When staff members are invested in the process, they are more likely to stick around. Keep lines of communication open by asking for insights into which processes work and where improvements can be made. By listening, you’re signaling to your staff that you care about what they do and how they do it.

Another great way to build and retain a great staff is to provide incentives. Too many establishments treat their staff as disposable players, making retention a tricky part of the operation. Incentives must go beyond great pay; think about implementing a reward system for hitting and exceeding targets. Provide flexible work hours, bonuses, or team-building activities like sporting events or social programs to help staff feel like they’re a part of something greater. If you keep your staff happy, they are more likely to stay and to provide your customers with a great experience at the same time.

Tip 3: Address Complaints and Review Processes

In any bar operation, there will be complaints about service, selection, or pricing. It is human nature to complain about things in our lives, and in the service industry, a bad experience can bring on a flurry of complaints.

Good managers treat complaints as an opportunity for improvement. Rather than dismissing these complaints (even the complaints that are nit-picky or off the mark), approach them as a way to review and improve processes. Take the time to understand each complaint, and you may detect patterns in them. It could be an inefficient process, poor staff training, or substandard ingredients or supplies that are the root cause of complaints. By listening to complaints, identifying ways of overcoming problems, and engaging staff in the process of improvement, you can help mitigate future complaints and provide the fantastic dining or drinking experience that helps you stand out from the competition.

Source: https://www.rewardsnetwork.com/blog/improve-customer-service/

and The Bartender Company

The Many Benefits of a Private Bartender Service

Planning an event is a process full of challenges. No matter what kind of gathering, from small, intimate affairs to large corporate events, the goal is to provide a memorable time for guests. One of the ways that any event could benefit is by the use of professional private bartender services. At The Bartender Company, we have been the preferred provider of expert professional bartending services for over ten years. We’ve handled a wide variety of individual and corporate events during that time, and know about the valuable benefits our service can provide.

Who Can Benefit from a Private Bartender?

Think about the last party you hosted: getting everything together to ensure your guests had a great time was a big challenge, right? Preparing foods, decorating the event space, sending out invitations; these are all parts of hosting any size event.

Now think about the drinks. Serving drinks at a party is a challenge unto itself, and many party hosts feel overwhelmed by keeping their guests refreshed with cocktails, beers, or wines. That’s where a professional private bartender service comes in. We handle all aspects of drink service, from helping you to create a menu of seasonal favorites to stocking the bar, pouring and mixing drinks, and after-party cleanup. As an event host, this is one area you no longer have to worry about – let our talented bartender staff take care of keeping your guests smiling.

Events that are perfect for private bartender services include:

  • Weddings and wedding receptions
  • Bridal showers
  • Corporate events
  • In-office happy hours
  • Promotional events
  • Business dinners
  • Holiday parties
  • Conventions
  • Graduations
  • Retirement parties

The list is endless! With an expert private bartender to lend a hand, you can help create lasting memories for your guests with minimal effort.

Our advanced bartenders are highly-trained and insured. We can help you select the wines or cocktails that work best for your event. Our mixologists excel in planning out the drink menu with fresh fruits and homemade syrups for our signature cocktails. We even employ experienced sommeliers to help you pair your event menu with the ideal wines. There are many benefits to a private bartending service for large or small events. The Bartender Company is ready to help!

Working as a Professional Bartender


The life of a professional bartender can be an exciting one! Events throughout the year offer bartenders the opportunity to meet new people, do a bit of travel, and to show off their skills to guests. There are many events that can benefit from hiring professional bartending services, such as weddings, company anniversaries, bridal showers, and holiday parties. With all of these events comes the possibility of many jobs for bartenders to tackle.

What is it like to work as a professional bartender, even as a part-timer? In this blog, we’ll explore some of what it takes to start your own bartending business.

Start Small, but Market Aggressively

First things first: make sure you have your business plan and any required licenses in place before embarking on those first professional bartending gigs. Licenses may include business licenses as well as food service or liquor licenses – check local and state regulations carefully.

Once all of that is in place, it’s time to get serious about marketing. Create professional-looking flyers and business cards, and ask around for referrals. Your friends, neighbors, and coworkers can be a goldmine of possibilities for landing bartending jobs. Also be sure to list your services in local online directories and on Google’s Local Maps, which are often free. If you present yourself and your marketing efforts in a professional manner, great jobs will come rolling in!

The Social Component

Throughout modern history, the bartending profession has been characterized by friendly, outgoing personalities. If you are a social person, professional bartending opens the doors for social interaction with a wide range of people. You never know what kind of event you’ll be hired for, and some of these seemingly random events may turn into something beyond your dreams. Of course, providing your bartending services at events and parties is a fantastic way to network with others; and you may soon wind up with many great new gigs just by being yourself.

Think About Value-Added Services

Competition in professional bartending can be fierce. One great way to stand out from the competition, even if you’re just getting started in the business, is to offer “value-added” services. Adding snacks or gift baskets to your roster of services are two ways of providing that little bit of extra flair. There are many other ways to add value to your services; a bit of brainstorming can help you unlock the very best ways for your personal style and business plan. 

For more awesome tips from Bartending professionals, click here.

Private Event Bartending: Tipping


In a previous blog post, we discussed some of the factors that go into professional bartending service pricing. The type and duration of the event, the number of guests, and the drink menus themselves all go into determining the costs associated with hiring a professional bartender (and his or her assistants).

What about tipping, especially at open bar events? Not all bartending services are the same, and each has its own policies about tipping at the events it works. Here is some information about tipping policies to help you understand more about the professional bartending industry and its experts.

The Tip Jar

Tipping sometimes depends on the event itself, not the bartending service that is handling the event. For certain gatherings, tipping may not be allowed. The lack of tip jars can create a loss of income situation for professional bartenders, and they may charge a higher hourly rate or other fee structure to recoup those losses. Again, some of the rates will depend on the number of guests, the bartending company’s own policies, and the type of the event itself. Be sure to understand the bartender’s own tipping policies up front so as not to cause confusion and misunderstanding.

Open Bar Tipping

In bars and nightclubs, it is traditional to offer the bartending staff tips as a reward for great service. There’s no reason the same cannot apply for open bar events, whether those events are weddings, showers, corporate gatherings, or simple backyard parties.

As with any tipping arrangement, some of the guests will tip, and others will not. Open bar events sometimes bring out the worst in people; many see these arrangements as “free booze”, and will not even consider tipping. Others, of course, have better manners. As with any bartending interaction, offering a small tip is a courtesy that goes a long way toward building goodwill between bartending staff and event guests.

In order to ensure that the professional bartending staff is adequately compensated for their work, it is often the practice of event hosts to add a 15 to 20% gratuity to the bill for service as a tip. Not every bartending service is the same, so it is critical to ask before the event whether company policies will allow such tipping arrangements.