Updated: May 1, 2007

This is either going to be easy or very difficult. Winning over management and getting them on your side and more importantly behind you and supporting you is a key component in your Flair bartending success.So take this very seriously or it will come back later and make things tremendously difficult for you later. First you have to prove to management that Flair bartending is a good thing. How can you do that? Simple. Show them…

  1. You’re performing the moves with accuracy and creating a safe environment.
  2. You’re making the bar more money.
  3. Your guests are having fun and enjoying themselves more now.
  4. You’re increasing return revenue by returning guests.
  5. You’re promoting the bar in a positive way.

Mig_stack_smLets break these down a little more. First… “performing the moves with accuracy and creating a safe environment”. You have to show yourself, management and your guests you can perform Flair without slowing down service, spilling liquor, breaking anything and creating a negative experience. So this goes back to what we talked about before. “Practice at home and perform at work”. Only perform the moves at work you can do 9 out of 10 times. No one including management wants to see you spilling the profits or breaking unearned revenue. So by performing your working Flair moves you have down solid will help insure you performing the moves with accuracy creating a safe environment every time. Now as for the second part of creating a safe environment… Never perform Flair while intoxicated. Even one shot can impair your timing and someone could get hurt. Also insist on rubber floor mats. I will never Flair somewhere unless I have thick rubber floor mats. That’s like performing without a net! Look we are only human and we sometimes make mistakes. With thick rubber floor mats you will greatly decrease your risk of breaking something. Another important factor, try to purchase the correct pour spouts when Flair bartending. I prefer using Spill-Stop 285-50 metal pour spouts. These are the most accurate pour spouts in the world and are also perfect for Flair. They almost never slip out of the bottle while performing even the craziest moves.




Mig_pour_smSecond… By you performing Flair you will generally notice your customers staying longer to enjoy the show. Which in turn means they are drinking and eating more as well. With more customers staying longer the bar will look busier and attract more people who in turn will stay longer and eat and drink more as well. I still find it funny that people will order drinks just to see me Flair, even if they were not going to have another one. They enjoy it that much. A perfect example is when someone orders a round of shots and I do an accordion pour (which is usually four to twenty shots with a tin for each shot stacked on top of each other, then poured into individual shot glasses at different heights) and they can’t believe their eyes when I’m pouring all of their shots at once. They start to point, cheer and tip better when I do this. Also they are more inclined to order more shots just so they can see me do it again. Which in turn means a higher ring at the register and even more tips.



Rob_ringThird… Remember you are showcasing our sport to a skeptical audience. A key factor in winning over management is winning over your guests and having them back you as well. They are a huge factor in this. So try to perform Flair correctly and efficiently while involving your guests and making them feel special. “People love entertainment and any movement is entertainment. Keep things moving and you will keep them entertained.” Remember Service first and Flair second. If you’re slammed then pour and pump out drinks, try not to have people waiting to long for a drink and upset them with poor service.   If you have time to Flair, then do so. If you don’t… DON’T!






Cao_pour_smTry to involve the guests any way you can as well. Give them a lime and let them throw it to you so you can snatch it out of the air with your tin and then into their drink. Give them a little look when you are actually pouring their drink. Make eye contact with the person your are making the drink for when you are Flairing.   Remember to smile… so many bartenders forget that. If you are having a good time, odds are your guests will to. Try to be as approachable as possible when Flair bartending and don’t use Flair as a wall between you and your guests. Something else I like to do is when someone orders a round of shots I will prepare all the shots in the tins and (depending on if I know them and trust them) give them the stack of tins and let then pour their own shots “accordion style” into the already set up shot glasses. The guests tend to get a huge rush out of this and they feel important in front of their friends. Everybody deep down wants to feel important, so let them.

Also try to educate your guests about Flair. Let them know about the Flair bartending competitions and even bring in some Flair competition DVDs to play on one of the televisions at your bar. That is a great way to spark interest and an instant conversation starter as well. This worked great at every bar I worked at. The more involved and educated they are the more interest they will take.

We will stop there and continue next month with “How to Win over Management? Part 2″. Until then start working on steps 1 – 3…

Win over your crowd and they will help you win over management.



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