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Staff training that creates trust between guests and servers

Last updated May 24, 2024 · By Dylan Blake

When Alicia Rogers was serving at age 20, a table asked her what White Zinfandel they served. She froze—she had no idea.

That moment of freezing was critical because it was right then that the guest lost trust in Alicia.

That trust is so important—if you feel like you're in capable hands while dining at a bar or restaurant, you can relax and let the drink/meal sort of wash over you. You can focus on your friends and family. But if you don't have that trust, you've just got more work to do.

In the years since that moment, Alicia—now a manager—developed a number of tricks and strategies to make sure guests would trust her and her staff. Read on to see what they are.




Industry profile: Bar manager Alicia Rogers

Last updated May 22, 2024 · By Dylan Blake

Alicia Rogers works as bar manager at Jeremiah’s Tavern in the Rochester, NY area.

She’s got plenty of experience relating to cocktail menu-making, staff building, and all the things a successful bar manager needs to ace, and we'll feature tips about all those in other blog posts.

But in this post we thought it'd be fun to relay Alicia's service industry history—how she got started, why she got started, how she learned different aspects in the industry, and so on.



The 5-step process for handling angry guests

Last updated April 04, 2024 · By Dylan Blake

Having an angry guest is a difficult situation. They're unhappy. Your server or bartender isn't happy. You're not happy.

It sucks when no one's happy.

Add to that the fact that everybody's stress level has been ratcheted up these last 2.75 Covid years and you're looking at a tinderbox. When you intervene, you really do need to thread a needle.

Josh Hurst, industry veteran and current Director of Operations and Hospitality Josh Hurst for Pies & Pints has a playbook for threading this needle, whether the angry customers have complaints in-store or via their website or social media.

Check out the post and clips below to learn all about Josh's process.




Bar owner: How to make local government work for you and the industry

Last updated March 01, 2024 · By Dylan Blake

Last week Megan Rickerson of Someday Bar spoke about how she first got involved in advocacy for the hospitality industry. (Spoiler: Covid kicked it off.)

This week Megan covers the next step of her evolution: getting involved in local politics, an effort which has now landed her on the executive board of the NYC Hospitality Alliance and a part of the NYC Mayor's Small Business Council.




A bartender extraordinaire's goal for 2033

Last updated January 18, 2024 · By Dylan Blake

Shaun McGuire is a 20-year industry vet and bartender coach. In previous newsletters we've covered a lot of territory with him:

Here's how I'd sum up our conversations to this point: advice from Shaun on how, in general, service industry folks can overcome challenges and set themselves up for success.

All that focus on advising others got me wondering: what is Shaun hoping for in his life? What does he want 10 years from now?

The result was more great advice for career bartenders:



What months will be busy for my bar? Which will be slow? After Covid, the schedule is so screwy.

Last updated January 18, 2024 · By Dylan Blake

The next few weeks we'll be including interviews with Megan Rickerson, a FL native who owns Someday Bar in Brooklyn, NY. Most of that content will involve how members of the service industry can—and absolutely should—get involved in local politics.

But this week I wanted to provide Megan the opportunity to provide some personal background and also talk about what Covid and its aftermath were like at Someday Bar, since it's that experience that set her on the track to become so involved with NYC politics.

Here are some takeaways from the convo, and please tune in next week for some tactical advice on how to get involved in your neighborhood, city, county, and state: