Are You Serving Poolside? Prevent Dehydration from Alcohol Use on Hot Summer Days

Summer drinksThe sunny days of summer are in full swing in Las Vegas! If you’re working poolside, you know that frosty mugs of beer and tropical cocktails are top sellers. Enjoying an alcoholic beverage on a hot day can be a refreshing treat, but it can also accelerate dehydration and can lead to heat-related illness.

Are you serving thirsty patrons responsibly? Extended exposure to the heat and sun can cause dehydration. In fact, many experts will tell you to avoid drinks containing alcohol while in the sun or heat. When a person is dehydrated, they actually have a lower volume of blood. With less blood in the system, it will take less alcohol to reach a higher blood alcohol content level.

So, add alcohol to the mix and party goers can quickly become even more dehydrated while drinking their poolside cocktails. How can pool party servers ensure that their guests have fun in the sun? Remember, the key word is fun. Heading to the hospital with heat exhaustion is not fun. Here are some tips to keep guests safe, happy, and having a great time.

  • With each drink order, also offer to bring your guests a glass of ice water. Drinking water is one of the easiest ways to help stay hydrated. By helping your guests to stay hydrated, you’ll work to offset the dehydrating effects of the alcohol, sweltering heat, and the sun.
  • With drink orders, remember to encourage your guests to order food. Food helps keep alcohol in the stomach for a longer period of time which means that it will be absorbed into the bloodstream at a much slower rate. Try offering your bar patrons an appetizer or entrée to go with their drinks. A simple, “Would you like to try some of our famous sliders to go with your cocktail?” is always a good tactic.
  • Don’t forget to keep an eye on guests and monitor their behavior. By keeping track of how much your guests are drinking, you can better judge when they’ve had enough. When in doubt, do not serve. You’ll learn all of the tips and tricks of save beverage service in your alcohol awareness course from TAM® of Nevada.
  • Keep an eye on your guests, and use good judgment. Suggest some shade and promote an alcohol-free beverage. You can say, “You know it’s really hot out here today. I don’t want you to miss out on the party. Let me find you a shady spot.

By following these steps, you up the fun factor and you keep yourself, your guests, and your establishment safe. What other advice would you give to TAM® Card holders working at Vegas pool parties?


Brush Up On Your Bartending Skills – Inspiration from Las Vegas’ Best Flair Bartenders

Flair bartenderThere are a lot of things that go into a great bartender: a winning personality, an attention to detail, and a dedication to the legal and moral responsibilities that come with serving alcoholic beverages. Think you might be right for the job? Why not get a leg up on the competition with additional skills and techniques to set you apart from the competition?

If you can flip bottles, juggle cocktail shakers, and serve up excellent drinks with a smile, you may be a great candidate for becoming a flair bartender. Additionally, flair bartenders can do pretty well for themselves, especially if they can entertain while serving. Flair bartenders 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 Las Vegas Weekly’s article, “From glass-juggling to bottle-throwing, the best flair bars in Las Vegas,” for a feature on some of the city’s most impressive and popular flair bars.

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

Obtain your TAM® Card. All hospitality professionals in Washoe and Clark Counties are required to obtain their alcohol education card prior to working at a location where they’ll be selling or serving alcoholic beverages. The Techniques of Alcohol Management® course will satisfy state training requirements and will give you the skills and knowledge you need to serve responsibly.

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.

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.

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?


© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

Back to Basics– Five Strategies for Becoming a Better Bartender

Bartending BasicsThere 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. Looking to improve on your own marketable bartending skills? Read on for some tips on putting your best foot forward.

  1. Get TAM® certified. Nothing is more important to your success as a hospitality professional than responsible service to ensure the safety of your patrons and to reduce the liability and risk for yourself and your business. Carry your TAM® card to show you received the best possible training, and sign up for one of our online or onsite classes today.
  2. Brush up on the latest cocktail and mocktail trends as well as any ‘back of the basics’ techniques you need practice with. A great bartender will draw in more customers, making more money for the bar, and themselves. You’ll need solid working knowledge of bartending skills, plus lots of practice, so it’s important to learn how to mix drinks correctly, and build up your bartending know-how of tips and techniques. Check out blog post “What’s On Your Summer Reading List? Best Books for Bartenders” for some reading suggestions that might help you to increase your knowledge and skill level.
  3. Keep your bar well stocked, your work area clean and neat, and have glassware, liquor and bar tools in the most functional place possible. By having a clean, efficient and streamlined work area, not only will it set the stage for your guests, it will make it easier for you to do your job well and turn out orders efficiently and effectively. At the start of your work day, make sure everything is in its place, and when you have down time between mixing drinks, make sure to keep things neat and tidy.
  4. Excellent customer service comes easier if you keep a cool head under pressure. Providing the best customer experience possible will be much easier if you are able to keep calm on those busy Saturday nights behind the bar. Don’t over-commit yourself, if you feel yourself getting stressed, take a few deep breaths. Examine what tasks you need to complete, prioritize them, and eliminate any tasks that aren’t necessary. Also, 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.
  5. Recognize your weaknesses and strive to improve. Nobody is perfect; maybe you’ve gotten constructive criticism from your manager in your last review, or maybe you’ve examined your own work performance and know areas you need to improve on. Whether it’s improving on multitasking, working under pressure, basic techniques, or something else, it can be done. Just remember that 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 and work to make necessary changes.

You should now be well on your way to making positive improvements in your work performance. What other advice would you give to someone looking to improve on their bartending skills and techniques?

© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

Looking for a New Career? A Job in the Hospitality Industry May Be Right for You

Ever you wish you had a job you love? If you’re looking to make a career change, you may want to consider looking for your dream job in the hospitality industry. Hospitality professionals work in a variety of positions including bartenders, servers, managers, hosts, security professionals, clerks and more. A career change could result in a number of benefits including increased job satisfaction, increased earnings, a chance to try something new and expand your skill set, and more.

You may enjoy a career in the hospitality or nightlife industry if:

  1. You enjoy interacting with customers. A desk job isn’t for everyone, and if you like being around other people, a career in the service industry may be right for you. Many hospitality professionals love that their careers allow them day to day interaction providing quality customer service to their guests. If you enjoy a job where you are face to face with your patrons, you may enjoy a career in the hospitality industry where you’ll get to converse with your customers, meet new people and listen to others.
  2. You have a great personality. One can make a lasting impression on patrons and increase their earning potential by having a positive attitude, being helpful and providing excellent customer service. As a server or bartender, you’re often the first, and last, staff member a customer encounters. Your interactions will set the tone for the evening so you want to greet your customers warmly, and leave them reflecting on a positive experience once they head for the door.
  3. You love living in Las Vegas and want to share that with others. Nevada in general and Las Vegas in particular is a very popular destination spot, and you’re likely to interact with tourists on a regular basis. By promoting and practicing safe alcohol service, and sharing your insider knowledge about what is great within the city, you can help do your part to ensure that newcomers to Vegas can have a blast, but make it around town and back home without harming themselves or others. Hopefully, they’ll return home to tell their friends what a great time they had! By sharing what the great state of Nevada has to offer, you can not only impress your guests and help them to enjoy a memorable experience, but hopefully they’ll spread the word, and that benefits everyone in the long run.

Are you ready to explore the idea of a career in the hospitality industry? A TAM® Card is required for anyone selling or serving alcoholic beverages in Southern Nevada, so be prepared! Many restaurants and bars will ask to see your TAM® Card before you start, so give yourself a head start and a leg up on other applicants by completing your alcohol awareness training and obtaining your TAM® Card today.

© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada