A Bartender’s New Year’s Eve Survival Guide!

A Bartender’s New Year’s Eve Survival Guide!

With New Year’s Eve and 2020 just a mere matter of hours away, no doubt you’re all gearing up for the various celebrations you have in mind. For members of the general public, a big bash at this time of year holds nothing but the promise of fun with friends and family, but for those on the other side of the bar it could be quite a different story!

If you’re dreading what New Year’s Eve could hold for you as a bar owner or bartender, having just achieved your level 2 award for personal licence holders, here’s a handy guide from us here at Learning Plus to help you weather the celebratory storm and make it past midnight and well into January 1st in one piece. Got any tips of your own? We’d love to hear those, as well!


Hire enough staff members

You’ll want to minimise the amount of stress you’re likely to experience on what is sure to be one of the busiest nights of the entire year, so make sure that you have enough staff members on hand to keep the drinks flowing and the punters more than happy.


Don’t charge too much for entry

You don’t want to put people off from coming through your front door and a hefty entry fee could do just that, especially if you’re a little country pub somewhere rather than a bar or nightclub in a big city.

What you could do, perhaps, is ask people to buy a ticket before the event so you can keep an eye on the numbers and ensure it doesn’t get too crowded, but let them know that their ticket gets them their first drink for free.


Prepare properly

Making sure that you’ve done a thorough stock take and that you know you have enough alcohol, food, decorations and so on to really make the night memorable is wise.

Preparation really is key so think about shutting the pub down for a few hours before the big party starts so you can clean up, decorate, restock the bar, fill up the ice buckets, put the champagne in the fridge to chill… there’s a lot to do so make sure you give yourself enough time to get it all done.


Think about future business

If people have an amazing time at your place of business on New Year’s Eve, they’re far more likely to come back in the near future, so try your best to keep everyone happy, whether they’re regular punters or frequenting your establishment for the first time.

Don’t push the prices of your drinks up (as this is sure to annoy those who visit you all year round) and try not to make people wait too long to be served… again, this is where hiring the appropriate number of people will really prove very useful indeed.


Try to keep your cool

You know you’re going to be busy, you know you’re likely to be rushed off your feet. It is New Year’s Eve, after all! So try to maintain that smile and that cheery exterior, no matter what happens and how annoyed you might become with the sheer number of people clamouring for your attention in order to be served.

Dealing with drunk people is a big part of your job and as the night wears on, it’s likely that you may start to find your customers a little on the tiring side… so if you need to go and catch your breath for five minutes, make sure you do just that.


Don’t go out the night before

It’s true, you’re not going to be able to celebrate the evening in the same way that your customers will but this is something you’re going to have to accept.

And you would most certainly be wise to ensure that you don’t go out the night before so you too can have a bit of fun… you’ll certainly regret that hangover if you have to stay up well into the small hours of the morning, serving punters and then cleaning the pub up after everyone has gone home.


Close the bar at midnight

While you won’t be able to party in the same way as everyone else, you should still be able to ring the new year in with your customers. All you need to do is close the bar ten minutes before midnight and open it again ten minutes afterwards, giving you a solid 20 minutes to have some fun and celebrate in style as well.

Just make sure that you make it clear to all your customers that this will be happening so you don’t have any disgruntled people queuing up for a drink for no reason.


Think about January and February

These months are likely to be quite quiet after the hedonism of December, so think about how you’re going to bring people through your doors at the start of 2020 so you don’t lose out on too much business.

This could include anything from putting on live music to hosting a regular pub quiz, relatively standard offerings for bars and pubs but try and increase your efforts in this regard so you don’t lose out.


Find top tips for new bartenders on the Matador Network website.