(NOT A FINAL DOCUMENT – this is a snapshot created on 19 March.  Estimated to be 85% complete.)

Oak and Shield Bartender 

Bartenders at Oak and Shield are often the first face that a guest sees upon entering the business, and are an integral part of the experience that guests will come to expect. Bartenders must understand that their actions represent the company at all times. Customers will come to count on their preferred bartenders for recommendations, as well as the high level of service and atmosphere they provide.

Bartenders report to the General Manager, as they are a key part of the Front Of House team. Bartenders are required to attend training and team meetings, and are expected to be active in their ongoing bar and spirits education.

Bartenders are expected to work a minimum of 15 hours a week, which may not be the same 15 hours each week. Bartenders with open availability for lunch, dinner and late night shifts as well as those who help cover shifts during the busy season and/or when another bartender or server is unable to come to work due to injury or illness will be given priority hours and first right to request off. Bartenders are expected to complete their daily, weekly and monthly side work, and lend a hand with other tasks as the General Manager may require.

Successful Bartenders

  • Are prepared
    • Come to work ready to work, are on time, and put forth a positive attitude
    • Notice when stock of needed items are running low and restock those items when possible
    • Check the 86ed list daily upon coming to work and note any items running low as they work
      • They then remember those items when speaking with guests, and inform guests of items that are unavailable prior to taking their order to minimize disappointment
  • Are friendly
    • Approach guests with a smile, a sincere greeting and offer at least one item that is on special or a personal favorite
      • “Can I start you off with one of our signature cocktails? My favorite is the Samus.”
    • Greet most guests within 15 seconds and all guests within 1 minute
    • Engage in ongoing conversation while performing other tasks behind the bar
    • Keep personal emotions, feelings and opinions about hot button items out of the bar
  • Are effective salespeople
    • Use their knowledge of the menu to make appropriate suggestions / upsells
      • “You know what goes well with the Triforce Burger? I highly recommend the Oak and Shield Brew, as the hoppy character will balance well with the secret sauce on the burger.”
    • Learn about / taste new items and can effectively describe them to customers
  • Orchestrate an environment and an experience unique to a group or individual’s needs
    • Recommend games to customers and are able to explain the game’s basic concept in 1 minute or less.
    • Pay attention to the lighting, the sound levels and the overall atmosphere, and make necessary adjustments to ensure guests are comfortable
    • Can accurately assess guests’ needs and meet their desired conversation levels
  • Continually educate themselves
    • Attend liquor, beer, mead or wine tastings and trainings.
    • Read recipes, experiment with new flavors, and watch videos related to food and beverage industry trends.
    • Try new cocktails and beers when they are out and pay attention to trends
    • Listen to customer feedback, especially on items they are not familiar with or do not like themselves so they can understand what it is that others like about that item.
  • Follows the Steps of Service outlined in the Employee Process Manual


  • Carries and maintains a valid City of Milwaukee Bartending License and abides by the laws pertaining to the sale of alcoholic beverages on the Federal, State and Local level.
  • Arrives on time to shifts (one hour before bar opens, or at scheduled start time)
  • Opens the bar in one hour or less, with all items in place to be successful (ice bins full, chairs down, specials visible, juices out, bottles uncapped, etc. For a full list of items, please see the Opening Checklist.)
  • Opens and closes registers accurately, money is present and accounted for
  • Has almost unnaturally strong multitasking skills
    • Is able to answer the phone, take a drink order, greet a customer walking in the bar and give a customer a menu simultaneously (with a smile).
  • Uses food safe practices when working
    • Washes hands regularly, especially upon starting work, when returning from break, returning from the bathroom, or touching anything that might be contaminated, like used customer dishes
    • Does not grip glassware by the rim
    • Ensures that dirty dishes never come in contact with clean dishes
    • Never dumps water into an ice bin
    • Keeps spaces clean, sanitized, and items that do not belong behind the bar away from food and drink items
    • Washes fruit before juicing, wears gloves when cutting fruit, uses toothpicks or tongs to handle fruit
  • Operates in a clean and orderly workspace
    • Puts bottles back where they belong immediately when not using them
    • Checks the side work list when there is downtime and completes tasks, even if those tasks are not scheduled to be completed at that time.


  • Checks IDs of all customers that appear to be under the age of 30
  • Does not over serve customers
    • Uses common sense, deductive reasoning and conversation to assess guests level of intoxication and take steps to ensure that they are not overserved
  • Is alert at all times and recognizes when someone is making another customer uncomfortable
    • Is able to diffuse the situation quickly and effectively, without losing their cool
    • Realizes when a situation calls for backup and acts swiftly


  • Uses knowledge of beer, mead, liquor and wine styles to recommend products to the correct customers based on the information they give
  • Completes sales training and uses those practices in day to day interactions with customers


  • Remembers names of repeat customers (bonus: can remember the names of new customers) and uses them in conversation in a sincere way
  • Has a good working relationship with all coworkers and management
  • Speaks aloud intentions and notifications behind the bar (“Behind,” “Sharp!”) and asks for help when needed (“Are you free? Can you grab me a bottle of Maker’s Mark?”)


Oak and Shield Gaming Pub is a combined effort born from the efforts of Board Game Barrister and 42 Lounge. Both companies value providing community-centric spaces with friendly and knowledgeable staff that welcome gamers of all backgrounds.

The culture and operation of the company revolves around core documents. The successful bartender embodies and instills these concepts into their actions and conversations with those that they serve. These documents are:

The Oak and Shield Path (attached)

SalesRx — a retail sales and management philosophy by Bob Phibbs. (

The Process Manual — an internal company document containing processes supplemental to training materials.

A Successful Bartender is

  • Eager to talk about games, TV shows, conventions, and other geek culture items that customers will relate to
  • Welcoming and eager to listen, even when not familiar with a topic or genre
    • Does not “shame” customers who have unpopular interests / opinions
    • Does not socially pressure a customer to prove their fan status by checking/quizzing their knowledge of their fandom
  • Accepting of all backgrounds, races and creeds, does not tolerate hate speech from anyone in the bar


Hourly rate of $5.00/hour when fully trained, increased to $6.00/hour with sales goals, plus tips.