What Do Customers Want?

what do customers want?

Of course when opening a bar, everyone thinks of their customer base and what they want.  You condition your actions on what you think people will like; from the food, to the entertainment, and the lighting; considering the local atmosphere is second nature to running a successful bar.

It’s actually a lot simpler to please customers than people may think.  The following are a few simple tips to consider, to make the customer experience in your bar as enjoyable as possible.


This should be a given, but you wouldn’t believe how many people forget to do this when working behind the bar.  You basically want to give off the impression that your staff is not only happy to be there, but happy to be doing their job, as well.  Know that if you have a host/hostess, they are responsible for these first impressions, for the entire team. 

Genuine Greeting

There’s nothing worse than walking into a new establishment, and being completely ignored.  First impressions are everything, and if you miss the opportunity to give a genuine greeting, you risk losing the repeat business. 

A “genuine,” greeting means it shouldn’t sound forced, and the bartender or staff member should be honestly greeting the customer, and inquiring about their day.  Greeting the customer correctly, sets the tone for the rest of their visit.


No one ever wants to sit at a messy bar for long.  Cleaning should be an all day, everyday, ongoing process.  Bartenders should be wiping bottles during downtime, sweeping, cleaning water spots on glasses, etc.  Establish a routine for every staff member that includes some aspect of cleaning, so your establishment is always in tiptop shape.

Available Staff

When customers enter the bar, they want to see someone behind it.  Seconds seem like hours when your bartender is absent.  Staff should have well defined breaks, and be kept busy at all times.  Your customers should never have to get up to look or inquire about assistance, no matter how slow the bar is.   

Knowledgeable Staff

If you have a customer that wants to venture out of their comfort zone and try a new craft beer or cocktail, it is absolutely imperative that your staff is knowledgeable about the products, to make the best recommendation.  Nothing impresses customers more than discovering a new drink based on the knowledge of your staff.  Hosting a pairing dinner for employees is a great way to introduce them to all of the products you offer, and what goes together well.

Make sure that staff are making useful suggestions.  If someone asks “What’s good here?” the response should never be “everything.”  It’s much too vague, and it makes your employees look uninformed.


Although picky customers and substitutions can be difficult, there’s no better way to ensure repeat business, than when you give people choices.  The littlest things like light dressing for a salad, or an extra olive in a Bloody Mary, will go a lot further than you’d think.  People tend to remember places that make them feel catered to. 

If you offer drink specials, or change your beer menu, make sure you update everything immediately.  TapHunter is a beverage management & marketing program that can help you do this with lightening speed.  You can update your website, social media platforms, and printed beverage menus all from one simple dashboard.

It’s generally not difficult to keep people happy.  Most customers want a few simple things.  They want to feel acknowledged, wait less, be informed, and most of all, have a genuine good time.  Ensuring yourself and your staff practice these few simple steps to customer interaction, will not only bring in repeat customers, but will have a positive affect on your revenue, and overall bottom line.