After wanting to write about hospitality, customer service, and being a good customer for ages – a friend suggested I do so in the form of an advice “column.” I’m still workshopping names for the feature, but would love to know what questions are out there!
Why do I think this is a good idea? Well, I’ve been pretty public about the fact that I fell in love with this industry because of my social anxiety. I frequently worry about making a misstep that will offend someone or make me look like an idiot. When I was new to drinking and attending business functions, I asked an internet forum for some drink ideas that looked sophisticated but weren’t too strong. It was that question that led me to one of my early regular orders, the Sidecar.
People have always had these questions, but I think this is more important than ever as most of us are out of practice with socializing thanks to COVID-19. And it’s not just customers who are out of practice – entire staffs have turned over and there are lot of new folks in the industry. There are questions to be had from both sides of the bar – and the rest of the business too.
Why am I qualified to do this? Because since starting to log bar visits, I’ve been to almost 400 venues in over 50 cities around the world. I’ve built up a network of friends and professional acquaintances in every imaginable hospitality role and at every level of venue. My work with the local chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild has allowed me the opportunity to straddle the line between customer and insider. I care about everyone having the best experience in a way that leaves all parties feeling satisfied. And most of all, because social anxiety and unanswered questions kept me from exploring the world for far too long – and if I can get even one person to feel comfortable in a new situation, it’s worth it!