“JOH_0228” flickr photo by star5112 https://flickr.com/photos/johnjoh/6310088824 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

As a bartender, your barback can help you stay organized, increase your tips and maintain a busy bar. Your relationship is mutually beneficial because both of you depend on each other to make money and deliver good service — that’s why it’s crucial to develop a healthy, positive work relationship.

Here are five suggestions for how you can get your barback to love you and become the ultimate dream team.

Develop Rapport

Bonding with your barback is one of the easiest and most important things to do as a bartender.
Since you’ll be spending eight or more hours each shift working closely together, start each shift with a smile and a few rapport-building questions such as:

“How are your classes going this semester?”

“What did you get up to this weekend?”

“How’s your family doing?”

Questions like these promote open dialogue between you two, and will allow you to learn about each other. Doing this will make each shift more enjoyable and seem much faster! Plus, once you two establish a work friendship, you’ll feel comfortable making requests of each other and working as a united team.

Always Lend A Hand

When you’re not busy with customers and see your barback hard at work stocking glasses, liquor or cleaning, lend a hand. Your barback doesn’t work for you, your barback works with you. So make sure you’re never standing around or playing on your phone when your barback is working because this can build resentment and tension.

As a bartender, there are always tasks awaiting to be done because maintaining a clean and organized bar takes continuous work.

Assist With The End Of Night Breakdown

Cleaning up and breaking down at the end of the night is rarely fun, but it is important. Chances are, you already have a closing checklist of responsibilities and your barback has one too. But, if you don’t or if you finish your work first, help your barback finish completing his/her checklist.

Your barback might have certain procedures and steps in place for closing, so ask how you can help. Offer to organize the inventory, wipe down the bottles or re-stock the glasses. This way one person won’t be stuck with the majority of the closing tasks.

Ultimately, it’s in your best interest to establish a work friendship with your barback because it benefits both of you. By utilizing the five suggestions listed above, the two of you will easily be able to handle any shift and customer while staying organized and increasing your tips!

“JOH_0228” flickr photo by star5112 https://flickr.com/photos/johnjoh/6310088824 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Antasha Durbin

Antasha is a seasoned bartender with more than seven years of bartending and hospitality experience. She is also a spiritual writer at cajspirituality.com, where she writes free, easy-to-digest and highly actionable advice on spirituality, mindfulness and empowered living. You can follow her on Twitter @cajspirituality for daily inspiration.