From The Bartender's Friend by A Mixer.

Tips for Beginners

  1. Always be on time for your shift. A few minutes ahead is generally appreciated.
  2. If you open the morning shift, fill all bottles needing it, except decanters for bitters, syrups, etc., which should be only three-quarters full to facilitate dashing.
  3. Cleanliness is of prime importance in places where people eat or drink, not only cleanliness of the place and surroundings, but of those who are there employed in handling the food and drink. Therefore, see that you are at all times clean in person and clothing. No matter what class of trade you may be serving, 99% of your customers will enjoy their drinks the more when served by a bar man who is neat in appearance and clean in fact. White is undoubtedly the best and most popular color in which to be dressed behind the bar, as you can tell quicker when your clothing is dirty, and so can every one else.
  4. See that the place is well aired out in the morning and throughout the day.
  5. Keep the place free from house flies and see that the glassware, the bar, and all surroundings are as clean as possible.
  6. See to it that your milk, eggs, and fruit are always under refrigeration and away from flies.
  7. Watch your beer coils. They should be cleaned every few days.
  8. See that your beer is kept in a temperature around 40 in the summer, if possible. Consult the brewery representative on this and other points concerning beer, and learn all possible with respect to new methods in this consideration.
  9. Don't keep bottles of any liquor or beer directly in contact with ice.
  10. Keep all dry wines cool, but not chilled.
  11. Keep sweet wines at room temperature.
  12. Do not permit customers or other outsiders to come behind the bar.
  13. Do not try to invent new drinks. You will succeed in inventing nothing but a new name for an old drink. There can be no new drinks until some new ingredients are discovered. All combinations of old ingredients have been played. Hundreds of new cocktail names are being born and buried on the same day. Only the mixtures themselves live on. You will be rendering a signal service to your profession and humanity in general if you refrain from contributing to the already unhappy confusion of names for drinks.
  14. Keep the bar dry at all times. Never let empty glasses stand upon it.
  15. Don't set a hot drink directly onto the bar--have something under the glass.
  16. When a drink contains fruit or berries be sure to serve with it a spoon.
  17. Be careful in refilling glasses for a group of customers, particularly beer glasses. The best practice is to wash all of the glasses after each round.
  18. While preparing a drink or drinks get the price firmly fixed in your mind so that you won't have to hesitate in front of the customer or the cash register.
  19. Be careful to collect the right amount and equally careful in making change. Should you inadvertently short change a customer, or should he make a claim that his change is short, adjust it immediately with an apology and without argument or discussion, particularly when the amount is small or the customer is known to you. Don't loose a customer for the sake of a little change. Either one or both of you may be wrong, but you can at least be friends.
  20. When a customer enters show readiness to serve him, but don't be too quick in asking him what he is going to have. Greet him with a pleasantry and let him ask you for what he wants. Most people like to see that you are interested in them more than in how fast you can get their money.
  21. Be pleasant and cheerful at all times, smile when you can, and listen to the customer. If things are wrong with you and troubles bear you down, keep it to yourself. The customer may have dropped in to get away from troubles and to forget. Or, he may have troubles that he wants you to listen to. So why take up his time? Be sympathetic and interested. You are selling service as well as drinks.
  22. When a customer tells you a "funny" story he just heard, try to remember that you have "never heard it before", and laugh when it's finished. It pleases him. It costs you nothing. Anyway, it's 999 chances out of 1,000 that you have never before heard the story in the way he tells it.
  23. Do not be too prominent before customers. Avoid expressing opinions not asked for, particularly on politics and religion. And even when you are asked, do not be too positive in your opinion. You can be wrong. Bartenders don't know everything, even though they hear it.
  24. Do not enter into conversations between customers unless you are addressed.
  25. Do not decide arguments between customers if you can possibly avoid it. If you have to (and you seldom do), be tactful and perhaps you can decide that both sides are right in some degree.
  26. Keep your attention well divided between the various customers or groups at the bar. Do not allow one customer to monopolize your attention and cause others to feel that you are not interested in them.
  27. Do not use foul or profane language. Customers who use it generally like the exclusive privilege. Customers who don't use it, do not like to hear it, and they may expect you to stop others from using it in loud and boisterous tones. You are hardly in a position to do so, if you are guilty of the same offense yourself.
  28. Don't sell intoxicants to a drunken man or woman, and don't be afraid to refuse drink to a man or woman who you know has already had enough. In other words, prevent your place from becoming one in which one can become drunk or drunker. The souse does your place no good. He hurts your business.
  29. Do not drink while on duty. Be sober when you leave for the day.
  30. Do not hang around the place after your shift is finished. If you have nothing else to do, call on some of your friends or others in the same business. You may see and learn something new. At least you will be making an effort to create and maintain friendships with those who have an understanding of your trials and successes.
  31. Finally, in other words, be the gentleman, polite, kind, considerate, sypathetic, tactful, and careful.
  32. AND REMEMBER!--Good bartenders make as many customers as does good liquor. The two together are an unbeatable combination. When a place lack either one, it lacks business.