May 18, 2012

A __________walks into a bar...

 A grasshopper walks into a bar. The bartender says, "We have a drink  here named after you." The grasshopper says, "Bob?"

How many jokes to do you know that involve someone or something walking into a bar?  Whether it is a priest, rabbi, duck, monkey, rope, horse, guy, girl, or grasshopper named Bob I think we have all heard one. How would you complete this question: "I walked into a bar and_________      _____.  Would your blank be filled in with one of these answers?
  • it took forever to get the bartenders attention.
  • I ordered the same thing I order at any other place.
  • I left because I didn't want to sit there by myself.
  • I had the best time!

Whether you are meeting friends or flying solo going to a bar should be a fun experience. I am working on a blog that I hope will help people make the most of their bar experience. 

I started watching Bar Rescue on Spike-TV with bar expert (guru) Jon Taffer as he consultants bar and restaurant owners on how to not only make their business successful but also improve the customer experience.   The information junkie in me is fascinated by the science he has developed when it comes to the industry.  It started giving me a new perspective on bars and restaurants I walk into.

Over the past few years I have been fortunate to get to know many outstanding bartenders in the Twin Cities who have an infinite amount of drink knowledge.  I have had the opportunity to improve my own experience and drink knowledge just in spending time with these bartenders.  I have asked them to share their tips on how to improve a customer's experience for my upcoming blog.  Asking them questions such as, "What’s the best way to get a bartender’s attention?" and "When a customer comes into your bar and is not sure what they want what do you do?"

Here is what I need you to do, answer these questions. You can answer as many or as few as you would like.  Copy and paste them into a Comment below or send them to me via email at  When I mention "bar" this includes restaurant bars.

  1. How often do you go to a bar? (No one is judging here)
  2. How long do you stay at one bar in a typical night out? 
  3. Do you bar hop or stay at one place?
  4. Do you typically go to the same bar when you go out or do you try new places?
  5. When selecting a new bar to go to, what factors most influence your decision? (Location, Atmosphere, Specials, Bartender, etc.)
  6. What factors are most important when determining whether or not you will become a regular patron of a bar? 
  7. Do you typically go out alone, with a few people or a large group of people? 
  8. Where do you usually sit at a bar? (at the bar, a table, away from the crowd, etc.)
  9. What do you dislike most about the bars that you have been to? Does that determine if you will go back to that bar or not?
  10. Do you have a favorite bar to go to? If yes, what is it and why?
  11. Do you typically order the same drink when you go to a bar? If "Yes", what do you typically order and why?
  12. What question(s) would you want to ask a bartender?
  13. Would you be interest in a class to improve your drink knowledge?
Any other comments or questions you would like to share?

Thank you for helping me answer questions from the customer perspective.  Thank you to the members of the North Star Bartenders Guild for helping me with the bartender perspective.

NOTE:  If you are a bartender I have a list of questions for you too! Let me know and I will get those to you. 

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