Buffalo Wild Wings
Shift Lead + Bartender
September 2017- Current
While bartending, a certain level of understanding and interpersonal communication takes place. Alcohol is a tricky substance not everyone realizes, paying attention to guests interactions with each-other and staff becomes very important. This entails picking up details quickly, if I can notice someone's mannerisms as soon as they sit down it becomes easier to see the shift in their attitude after they have been drinking.
Phone calls are slowly becoming obsolete, there is a definite generation gap of communication skills on the phone. I spend a lot of time on the phone at work taking orders and dealing with unhappy guests. It is important to be extra kind over the phone as a lot of people are sensitive to tone of voice.
Working in a sports bar there is a lot of excitement, sometimes it can be directed wrongly. I once work a UFC fight where a knife was pulled as two were having a dispute about the results of the fight. It is important to read body language and deescalated whenever possible. Even on busy family days when the restaurant is on a wait it communication grows in importance to keep peoples patience.
This seems like an odd skill to list, but it took me some getting used to! I have worked in many restaurants, but never a sports bar. I am not a sporty person and do not know how to talk about sports. Now not everyone that comes to Buffalo Wild Wings comes for the sports on the TV and some actually want to chat. Striking new conversations never used to be a thing I was good at, but now I can talk about almost any topic. Still struggle with sports, but I am able to 'fake it until I make it' a little more now.
Inevitably there are unhappy guests in every service industry. My current boss has taught me to focus on retaining the customer. I try to make the customer feel mutually respected by first listening to what was wrong on their end and then telling them what I think went wrong with their order as the man on the inside. I then explain all of the options they have to make up for it.
Leading has always come naturally to me without seeming bossy. I take pride in trying to be the nicest person I can be to everyone. I believe that people do things much quicker and more efficient out of respect for the person they are doing it for over anything else. When I am shift leading I make sure to say hi to everyone and make myself approachable. When something goes wrong people don't really hesitate to ask me for help, even when I'm not shift leading.