Working as a hotel bartender is fun. You get to meet new people every shift, introduce out-of-town guests to the local vibe, and welcome back regulars.
Many people have the misconception that being a bartender is solely about making drinks, but as one of the top hospitality employment agencies in the U.S., LGC Hospitality knows the job involves so much more. There’s always a few guests who truly want to keep to themselves, but most enjoy a rapport with their bartender. Beyond reading each person and gauging their desired level of interaction, you also have to engage them with interesting topics of discussion.
Five Conversation Starters for Every Hotel Bartender to Break the Ice
Point of Origin
Since you’re working in a hotel, many of your guests are obviously visiting from out of town. Get them talking by asking where they’re from and digging deeper with questions about their hometown.
Local, national and international news has its way of infiltrating most conversations, because it interests people. Engage your guests by starting a dialogue about a major well-known news event. Steer clear of controversial subjects — i.e., anything involving politics or religion — as you don’t want to get into a heated debate with a customer.
You’ll have to read your audience on this one, as everyone isn’t into sports, but for those who are, this is a great point of conversation. If there’s a game on in the bar, ask who they’re cheering for or if a famous player is currently making headlines, bring it up.
Chances are, alcohol is your area of expertise. Use your knowledge on the subject to get guests to open up and maybe even try something new. Base your conversation on what the person is drinking. For example, if a customer orders a glass of red wine, find out what their favorite winery is. Or, if they’re drinking a nationally-produced beer, ask questions to gauge their taste, then suggest a local option on the menu.
A topic that will get just about anyone talking, ask guests what they have planned for the evening. Since many will not be familiar with the local area, this can easily segue into you offering up recommendations for restaurants and nightlife that will make their visit even more enjoyable.
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