Advice for New Bartenders: Jason Kosmas

Jason KosmasJason Kosmas
Co-founder of The 86 Co., Co-founder of Employees Only, and Co-author of the cocktail book Speakeasy

On Hiring and Promoting

As you rise into a position of higher management and/or ownership, the responsibility to fill your previous shoes can sometimes fall on you. You might begin your search, and even see yourself in the people who have been with you.

You see the “potential” in people who have natural gifts as bartenders, servers and cooks but have never been in the position of management. For example, because they are a great server, you believe they can be an even better floor manager. But ultimately, that is a slippery slope.

When someone is ready for an opportunity, it is because they have to have earned it outright. Only work with people who have the skill set, are hungry for the opportunity, and have a level of maturity worth rewarding.

You might be afraid to lose this person if you don’t promote them – but if they are not ready for the opportunity, you are setting them up for failure. And the worst part is, they will ultimately resent you for it.

Read more advice for bartenders from the experts.