Your business needs customers. It has to attract new customers to survive and grow. You could do worse than to hire a bartender.

No, you don't have to have a happy hour at your workplace everyday (though it might not hurt). But in many instances, a bartender acts as more than a service employee selling the products the business offers. Bartenders can act as a social medium for the business, engaging customers, and with more than idle chat or flirtation.

Namarketer: BartenderBartenders engage customers, and through that engagement, customers will often buy another drink, decide to stay for dinner, accept suggestions to try the special that day, or choose to come back again, simply because of the positive experience they have had with the bartender.

That experience extends beyond talk of food and drink. Customers depend on bartenders for--as Billy Joel sang-- 'a good joke and a light of your smoke', as well as local information (a good bookstore, the hot clubs, the nearest gas station), service (making change for the jukebox, calling a taxi), entertainment ("How 'bout those Cougars/Cowboys/Wizards? etc.) and opinion ("Well, of you ask me..."). Bartenders as content.

But the most valuable service a bartender can provide to the business owner is listening. Hearing what the customers want-like-need (or don't) is a critical pipeline of information that other companies pay dearly for. Customers who would never seek out a host or manager to complement or complain about something will open up easily to a bartender, given the unthreatening peer relationship they share.

Maybe you don't want to recruit your social media staff from T.G.I.Friday's, but if your next candidate has a bartending job in their past, you might want to give them strong consideration.

Authorbob namar