Bartending is an awesome job. It’s certainly the best job I’ve ever had. You get to hang out at the bar all the time, make creative drinks for people, have great conversations, go on cool brand-sponsored trips and booze-soaked summer camps, do shots of mezcal with your coworkers in the back. That’s the best part I think, my coworkers I mean, not the mezcal. Agave spirits are pretty wonderful too of course.
The camaraderie in this industry is like no other. I don’t even mind when I have to unclog the toilet during a happy hour rush because I know my coworkers have my back and we’re all on the same team. I’ve met some of my best friends in this industry and have had some of my most memorable experiences behind the bar. Everywhere I travel, I feel like I’m part of the tribe when I visit bars in new cities, and I am often treated as such. I think many would agree, this job is pretty fucking great!
It’s not all fun and cheekys though. Sometimes bartending is really shitty, like when you have to cut off overly drunk patrons, or when a shooting happens, or when ABC pulls a sting operation, or when a fight breaks out and you get a pool cue busted over your head. These situations are unfortunately inevitable and they can and do happen to everyone in our industry.
Hospitality is the part of this industry I love the most and it is arguably the most important. Being able to handle difficult situations when they arise is a critical part of good hospitality. The ability to handle bad situations is as important as greeting guests or efficiently building rounds for fast service, though it’s talked about far less frequently. We definitely need to start having conversations about handling bad situations, and that’s precisely what we are going to do here at You’re 86.
Every week, we will talk to a different bartender about how they deal with the challenging circumstances they face at their bars. This isn’t going to be a cheesy corporate training seminar: “Bob has had too much to drink. What do you do?” No, we will be having real conversations, with real bartenders about how they handled real situations with good and bad outcomes. Hopefully if we get enough of these stories in our heads we will be more prepared to handle similar situations when they arise at our own bars. Then hopefully our jobs will be safer, more fun and generally less shitty.
Every episode of the podcast will also have a corresponding blog post right here on the website, where we’ll dive deeper into whatever topic we discuss in the interview. We’ll link to additional resources, post diagrams, talk to experts, analyze court cases or whatever it takes to give you the best information on the topic that week. It’s also all free, because we bartenders don’t make a lot of money.
About me: Your host and editor
Hi! I’m your host, Justyn Myers. I care deeply about this industry and I want to make it better and safer for ourselves and our customers. I thought I could be more effective at doing that by helping share information and resources with our community so we can all learn together. That’s why I started this podcast and website in 2018, to gather all of this great information from some of the most experienced people in the industry, put it all together in one place in a meaningful and enjoyable way and make it freely and widely available to everyone.
I am a bartender and writer from San Francisco. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, studied journalism in college and I’ve been bartending in the city since 2012. I’ve had to deal with plenty of shitty situations myself at the bar and I hate doing it, it’s the worst part of my job. I just want everyone to have a great time and drink the best drinks I can make for them. I hope You’re 86 will help us all handle these situations better.
So thanks for turning in and checking us out! I’m very excited to kick this thing off, it’s been a long time in the making and we have a lot of great stuff coming up for you.
You can subscribe to the You’re 86 podcast at this page or wherever podcasts are found. Sign up for our mailing list to stay up to date with everything happening. You can also like and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. But most importantly, share us with your friends and colleagues because that’s what this is really all about: Sharing knowledge so we can all improve together as an industry.
Stay tuned for much, much more!