Behind the bar

What goes on behind the bar to prepare for a sparkling summer?

Is there really anything better than sitting in a beer garden in the sunshine with an ice-cold beer, cocktail or mocktail? With summer on the horizon, we caught up with some of our bar team to find out how they prepare for a sizzling summer behind the bar as part of a M&B bar team, as well as finding out their top tips for a sizzling shift.

Chloe - Head Bartender at All Bar One Victoria, Dan and Jack both part of the fantastic bar team at Miller and Carter, The Hayes gave us the low down on life behind the bar.

Why did you decide to join our bar team?

Chloe, queen of the cocktails, is Head Bartender at All Bar One Victoria and joined our team three years ago because she “loves providing great service, meeting new people and seeing how happy the drinks made make our guests. It’s a nice social job and it’s just a great way to get yourself out there.”

Jack, bartender at Miller and Carter, The Hayes, joined our bar team thanks to the one and only Tom Cruise.

“Cocktail is my favourite film of all time. I enjoy getting people to try new things that become their favourites. When I first started, I’d trawl Instagram looking for my cocktails. Everything I make-even when I’m busy looks ready for the ‘gram’!”

What is a typical shift like for you?

For Dan, also part of the Miller and Carter bar team, it seems coffee is the key before setting everything up for the day. Next up is a stock take and some bar prep including sugar syrup and cutting up fruit. By Midday guests begin to arrive and “the next few hours are all about having fun with my bar team and making sure our guests get the best experience possible.”

Jack likes to take the quieter lunch-time service to prepare for peak trading and “spend some time with the new starters to give them some extra support reading for the evening rush.”

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What’s your favourite drink to make?

Chloe doesn’t have one specific favourite drink to mix up, but the All Bar One cocktail menu features many of her favourites!

It seems cocktails are all our bar members favourites with Dan loving to stir up a classic French Martini and Jack claiming he makes “the best mojito this side of Cuba” and would like to challenge anyone who thinks they can prove him wrong!

What’s your least favourite drink to make?

“My least favourite would have to be coffees, I’m just not the best with the coffee machine” says Chloe.

Dan really doesn’t enjoy making any drinks with Pernod in, whilst Jack doesn’t like “any cocktail request that should be left in the 80’s” despite his favourite film being an 80’s classic! He thinks Pina Coladas should be left on holiday.

What is the best thing about being part of the bar team?

Camaraderie tops the list for our terrific trio, the friendships developed at Mitchells and Butlers really do last a lifetime and even when times get tough our teams know they are in it together.

Dan: “Camaraderie of being part of the team. Knowing you’re going to be busy- but you’ll get through it together.”

Jack: “Camaraderie. Interacting with people who are generally in a fantastic mood and of course the cocktail masterclasses.”

Chloe: “No matter what you are going through in your life outside of work, when you walk into your bar you become a new person.”

Can you give us your top 3 tips for a successful shift?

Chloe: “A positive attitude, team spirit and enjoy the company of both your guests and team.”

Jack: “Prep everything, think about your most used products so you don’t have to move far to get them and try to keep things topped up as no one wants a warm bottle of prosecco or cider!”

Dan: “Three words; prep, prep, prep!”

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Why should others join the bar team?

“It’s a good place for quick progression and you can build up great transferable skills. In my opinion, interaction with the team is better than those you meet in an office. I’ve tried 9-5’s and sitting at a desk all day is definitely not for me!” says Jack.

Dan loves “being part of a constantly moving industry that combines passion with expertise – making lots of new friends along the way.”

Have you gained any hospitality qualifications whilst at Mitchells & Butlers?

Dan completed his WSET Level 1 qualification in Wines whilst Chloe and Jack have both been exploring our apprenticeship and graduate opportunities.

Jack: “I’m studying full time outside of work at the moment at the moment, so I’ve got a fairly full schedule but have taken a long at the apprenticeships for something to do after I’ve graduated.”

Our bar teams have a great time mixing up creative cocktails, making new friends and interacting with our guests. Want to join our friendly team for a summer of fun? View our current vacancies

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