Business cards aren’t just for starchy office types anymore. They are an incredibly handy way to build connections in any industry – and hospitality is no exception. They are a perfect (non socially awkward) way for you to share your contact information – whether it’s behind your bar, with potential customers or clients, or at industry events like Bar Institute or Tales of the Cocktail.
If you don’t already have some business cards of your own, here are some tips for getting started:
If you’re a bartender working your shift with no intention of ever changing jobs, getting freelance work, or building relationships with other people in the industry… well, feel free to skip the business cards, they may not be that useful. But if you have any of these goals (and I hope you do!) then Business Cards are a fantastic tool for connecting with people – and at a very low cost.
Ways you may use your business cards:
- While you’re out and about at other bars and someone finds out you’re a bartender, you can give them your card and let them know where you work. They’re far more likely to come visit if they have a card to remember your name!
- Your regular leans in and tells you she’s hosting a cocktail party next month. “You’re my favorite bartender – can you come work the bar?” Hand over your business card – you just got yourself a gig!
- You attend a local USBG event sponsored by a large brand. You get talking with their brand ambassador and they mention they’re looking for someone to join their team. Bam. Business card.
Business Cards for your Bar:
If you’re looking for a new job or to build your personal brand, skip this section and go straight to “Get your own Cards” below. Otherwise, it’s worth seeing if your bar / restaurant supplies cards for their staff. Explain why you want them (I’d highlight point #1 above) and how it’s in their interest for you to bring people back to the bar. They may just buy you some cards without any money spent on your part.
By the way: I strongly recommend getting a set of your own business cards (see below) even if your restaurant/bar provides some. You never know when you’ll have an opportunity arise where they will be more appropriate. Just my two cents!
Make Your Own Business Cards
Hopefully by now I’ve persuaded you that it’s worth getting some cards made. So how do you do it? Good news: it’s easy and inexpensive. So no more procrastinating! Let’s get it done.
The Bartender Business Card:
What to Include:
- Your Name: Should be obvious. Include your name so people can remember you.
- Title: What’s your role? Are you a bartender? Bar Manager? Bartender & Buyer? Mixologist? (Hint) Do you also offer cocktail design services for brands? What about private event bartending? Here are a few ideas:
- Head Bartender
- Private Event Bartender
- Bar Manager & Mixologist
- Website: Totally optional, but if you have one, definitely include it. I have also seen people include their Facebook profile page instead of website. (Our industry is very Facebook-centric, and it can work!)
- Email Address: Not optional! Include your email address here. If yours isn’t entirely professional (DrunkKing93@gmail.com, FuzzyPanda123@hotmail.com, etc.) then I’d recommend registering for a more professional email address. (Don’t worry fuzzypanda – you can set it to forward back to your original email.) FirstNameLastName@gmail.com is fine.
- Phone Number: I’ve seen business cards without it, but I think it’s a must. If you’re not comfortable sharing your personal phone number, sign up for a Google Voice phone number (maybe even with that new email address you just got) and set it to forward to your phone.
Once you’ve included everything above, you’re good! Don’t get so bogged down with this optional stuff that you procrastinate and never get cards made. (Been there, done that!) You’re allowed to spend an hour or two on this stuff, but seriously, don’t let it get in your way.
- Your Instagram handle or Facebook URL. Especially for freelance bartenders and event bartenders, an Instagram account featuring beautiful cocktails you’ve served is a great idea. But only if you already have one. Don’t worry about creating one for just this purpose.
- A picture of one of your cocktails. I’ve seen this done as a beautiful full color back to the card. It’s eye catching and beautiful. But if your photo is not high quality, poorly lit, or if the cocktail doesn’t look great, this can work against you. Again, if you already have a stunning photo you’re proud of, use it! Otherwise, don’t let this get in your way.
- Your address: Optional, and frankly a bit outdated. I can’t think of a reason you’d want to include your address here unless you have a physical brick and mortar location (like a bar or store owner.)
- Services you offer: Maybe you’re a jack of all trades freelance bartender. Adding a few bullet points suggesting some services you offer is a great thing to include, as it helps the recipient remember you and why they grabbed your card.
Get Them Printed
Now that you have your card sketched out, it’s time to get it actually made. Again, don’t let this slow you down. I would recommend using an inexpensive business card printing service (like Vistaprint, Moo.com or OvernightPrints.com).
Each of these services has a tool that will let you type in your card information and design it on the go. They are also very reasonably priced. Usually the price per card drops dramatically, so I’ll buy 250 or 500.
No more procrastinating! We procrastinated for years on getting business cards because we wanted them to be “perfect” – and as a result, missed many opportunities to give out cards that may have been great business opportunities or relationships. Don’t be like us. For $25 you can get 250 business cards that are good enough – and those 250 card will buy you some time to design something perfect and reorder when you’re ready.
OK, no more reading. Go get some business cards made!