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Bar rant of the week: Ringing and running

Servers, wait until your drinks are ready before walking up to the service well.
Servers, wait until your drinks are ready before walking up to the service well.
A. Gallatin 2009

I know a lot of quick and efficient servers.

Some of them are so quick, however, they can get around to the bar from the service line after ringing in a drink order before their ticket even manages to get itself out of my printer. Running around to the bar and waiting for your drinks to be made is called "Ringing and Running." 

This is incredibly frustrating for bartenders, no matter what they are doing when a server orders a drink, for several reasons.

First, it makes you look lazy. 

Good bartenders are constantly moving, even while they are talking to a guest. They should always be stocking, cleaning, organizing, preparing, or even experimenting. If you are lucky enough to have a good bartender who works diligently and constantly like this, follow suit. While the bar guests are noticing how hard this bartender is working, they are also noticing how hard you are not. You'd be surprised how many people are actually paying attention to you.

Second, it's inefficient and unproductive to stand there and wait for your drinks. 

It takes an average of thirty seconds to one minute to make most cocktails, sometimes even longer, and this doesn't include the time it takes to walk over to the printer and begin--or even to make any other drink orders that popped up before your ticket. So a reasonable amount of time to wait for a drink is somewhere around three minutes (depending on the level of business in the restaurant of complexity of cocktails, of course). Stop and consider how many things you could accomplish in three minutes, and reconsider standing in the well waiting for your drink, wasting that time. It's really just a matter of common sense.

Third, working in a restaurant is a team sport.

Hosts, expos, line cooks, bartenders, servers, managers--we're all in this together. Some servers maintain the attitude that they are the main attraction and everyone else is their support staff, and this is absolutely not the case. By treating everyone in the restaurant as if your time is more important than theirs, you are sloshing about heavy ladles of disrespect. And people don't like this.

And, of course, any good bartender knows that respect is a two-way street. This means making server drinks in a timely manner and treating those servers as you would treat any guest at the bar. 



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