Are You New to Nevada? You Must Complete Nevada-Specific Alcohol Awareness Training

TAM CardAlcohol education cards from out-of-state won’t transfer in Nevada. Industry professionals should complete alcohol awareness training with TAM® of Nevada to meet local requirements.

Are you a new resident in Las Vegas? Welcome to Nevada! Workers are drawn to this great state for its booming entertainment and nightlife industry, and all of the hospitality jobs that come along with the action.

Have you already received job-related alcohol training in another state? We often receive inquiries from out-of-state students asking if their alcohol education cards and education are valid in Nevada. Unfortunately, liquor laws are specific to the states, counties and municipalities, so no, alcohol licenses are not transferable. All individuals hoping to work in the beverage sales and service industry in Nevada must complete an alcohol training program that has been approved by the Nevada Commission on Postsecondary Education. TAM® of Nevada is an approved provider, and the only official provider of TAM® Cards in the state of Nevada.

Individuals that need to obtain their TAM® Card can complete their training online or in a traditional classroom environment with our certified instructors. Additionally, we now offer open lab time on Tuesdays for students who would like to complete their alcohol awareness training online, but do not have access to a computer. Students are welcome to visit our training center and use our computer lab to complete their training on Tuesdays between 9:00am and 5:00pm. Likewise, classroom-based training is available at several convenient times throughout the week, including Spanish classes on Tuesday evenings. Check out our alcohol awareness class schedule to find a class that is convenient for you!

© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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What’s On Your Summer Reading List? Best Books for Bartenders

We’re well in to summer, and hope everyone is enjoying the warmth and sunshine. Have you had the chance to do some summer reading yet? Whether you’re planning a beachy vacation getaway or just some downtime at home, the relaxed summer months are a great time to curl up with a good book. Instead of the usual bestsellers, why not pick up one of the many great books out there for bartenders and other hospitality professionals? Whether you’re looking for a good book to explain the basics, insight into the industry from bar gurus, or just a light and fun fiction novel set with a bar as the backdrop, there’s something out there for everyone. Here are some suggestions from TAM® of Nevada to help get you started:

  • The Joy of Mixology: The Consummate Guide to the Bartender’s Craft by Gary Regan – A must-read guide to bartending and mixology by a fantastic author. Gary Regan’s book is a classic for any bar professional and will give insight and tips on not only how to memorize drink recipes, but begin creating your own. With insight into cocktail history, advice on bar etiquette and insights into his own experiences in the industry, this is a fun and entertaining read. If you’re impressed with this book, you should also pick up Regan’s newest follow-up book, The Annual Manual for Bartenders – 2011.
  • The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails by Tony Abou-Ganim – A guide to cocktails and creative and fresh bartending techniques from Las Vegas resident and bartender extraordinaire Tony Abou-Ganim. This book is a great read for novices and professionals alike. The Modern Mixologist is another great account of the industry from one of the most well-known bartenders in America. What better way to learn your craft than with the insights of a great professional?

Looking for even more suggestions on good reads for bar professionals? Check out Jack Robertiello’s suggestions in his article, “Books for Bartenders,” for Nightclub & Bar. What are you reading this summer?

Resources

Books for Bartenders – Nightclub & Bar

© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

Tending Bar… With a Little Flair!

Flair bartenderLearn a new bartending skill and stand out from the pack.

There are a lot of things that go into a great bartender: a winning personality, an attention to detail, and a dedication to public safety, and the legal and moral issues of serving alcoholic beverages. Think you might be right for the job? To get a leg up on the competition, being able to entertain patrons with flair bartending techniques can be the cherry on top. And the best part? A flair bartender can do pretty well for themselves, especially if they can entertain while serving. A flair bartender will draw in more customers, making more money for the bar, and themselves.

Flair bartenders are known for using bar tools and liquor bottles as props to entertain while they are mixing drinks. It can be quite a sight to see someone juggling liquor bottles, mixing drinks behind their backs, carefully setting fire to mixed drinks, and more. Las Vegas is home to some of the best flair bartenders in the country, and boasts several bars and clubs that showcase their talents. If you’re considering a career as a flair bartender, Las Vegas is the place to be. Make sure to check out Vegas.com’s article, “Behind the Scenes: Flair Bartending in Vegas,” for a video interview with Rock & Rita’s flair bartender Anthony Pullen.

So you’re ready to become a flair bartender? TAM® of Nevada has some tips on how you can get started:

  1. Get educated on bartending techniques. Flair bartending requires a solid working knowledge of bartending skills, plus lots of practice, practice, practice! Before you start juggling liquor bottles, it’s important to learn how to mix drinks, and build up your bartending know-how of tips and techniques. It won’t matter how well you can entertain if you don’t know how to make a martini. Consider attending a bartending school if you haven’t already, there are several reputable establishments in Southern Nevada. Some of these locations also offer flair training, so be sure to ask for details of what their programs offer when you’re checking credentials. You can also get lots of practical education tending a bar and learning the ropes from other traditional, and flair bartenders.
  2. Obtain your TAM® Card. All hospitality professionals in Southern Nevada are required to obtain their alcohol education card prior to working at a location where they’ll be selling and serving alcoholic beverages. The Techniques of Alcohol Management® will give you the skills and knowledge you need to serve responsibly.
  3. Practice makes perfect. Every day at work you’ll have the chance to handle bottles and shakers, so practice spinning shakers in your hand and doing simple tricks when you have some downtime. Starting with the basics and working your way up to more difficult tricks, you’ll begin to feel comfortable with your props and impress your guests at the same time. You can also watch plenty of flair training videos online for tips and tricks to learning basic flair bartending moves. A great resource is TAM of Nevada’s YouTube channel; we’re always adding our favorite flair bartending videos and tutorials. Another tip? Try practicing at home with plastic bottles until you get the hang of things – you will inevitably drop some bottles, and nothing will put a damper on your day faster than a mess of shattered glass to clean up.

Flair bartending is not a skill one will learn easily or overnight, but it can be done! For more information on flair bartending news, training and industry information, and a place to network with other bar professionals, you can always check out the Flair Bartenders’ Association.

Our most important advice of all of all? Remember to have fun! What is the best advice you would give to someone looking to start a career as a flair bartender?

Resources

© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

Feel Like You’re Stuck in a Pressure Cooker? Managing Stress on the Job

The hospitality industry isn’t for the faint of heart. Staff members in bars, restaurants and casinos have fast-paced, high stress careers. Bartenders, servers and security personnel contend with long hours, demanding customers, high workloads and a requirement to remain cheerful and upbeat. Have patrons lined up at the bar for drinks? Do you get that sinking feeling when you see a group of 30 diners walking in the door right before closing? It’s no surprise that one might get stressed out on the job.

It can be hard to do your job with a smile when you’re being pulled in so many different directions. If you’re worried you might be headed to on the job burnout, it’s time to make some changes to how you handle stress. When the going gets tough, take a deep breath and try these tips.

Helpguide is an amazing resource for stress management information and support. They offer a multitude for tips on dealing with on-the-job stress which are helping to hospitality professionals including:

  1. Don’t over-commit yourself. If you find it hard to say no when you’re already over-extended, you might be setting yourself up for a very stressful night at work. Examine what tasks you need to complete, prioritize them, and eliminate any tasks that aren’t necessary. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Your supervisor and coworkers are a part of your team and want to see you succeed, and your guests leave happy. Just be sure to return the favor when you can if one of your coworkers is over-extended at some point too.
  2. Resist perfectionism. One wants to always do their best work, but no one is perfect. You will drop a glass or forget an order at some point. Nothing good will come from beating yourself up over it, just breathe and realize that these things happen. You can only do your best, and you’ll do great.
  3. Flip your negative thinking. Approaching your work with a glass half empty approach is never a good idea. Sometimes it can be difficult to see the good in a difficult situation, but do your best to think positively.
  4. Find humor in a situation. Laughter is sometimes the best medicine.

For more tips on handling stress at work, you can refer to Helpguide’s website here. Sometimes you just need a minute to take deep breaths and center yourself. Taking a minute to get focused during a stressful shift is perfectly understandable. Managers and Supervisors must also be aware of the pressure their staff works under on a daily basis. Managers should refer to Nightclub & Bar’s article, “The High Cost of Bartender Turnover,” for information and ideas on keeping staff stress-free and motivated.

What tips do you have to stay calm and focused at work?

Resources

© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada