Nelson Reis’s commitment to making a great bar

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28/01/2022 What makes a great bar? A great bartender of course. What makes great bartending? Purely, commitment to great customer service.

Where do you work?

45 Jermyn St.

45 Jermyn St., A Destination Restaurant in the Heart of St James.

45 Jermyn St., A Destination Restaurant in the Heart of St James.

The exquisite dining room and bar bring back the golden age of glamour and service for contemporary London. Open every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we serve an innovative combination of familiar favourites and delicious surprises, across a menu inspired by the season and designed for a global palate.


Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you begin your career and how did you progress into this role?

I began bartending 10 years ago to raise money to travel abroad and get a degree. Rapidly developed a passion for hospitality and found myself a career.

Define your role and the tasks involved in your role.

I run the bar from the restaurant where I work. My tasks go from day-to-day procedures, working the shift behind the bar, ordering, stock taking, menu development, and staff training.

How can suppliers work with you to drive sales?

Suppliers can be vital in helping bars with special deals, being consistent with deliveries, and providing training to teams.

What do you look for in items that qualify for house pours?

Sustainability, local produce, quality, and affordability

Nelson Reis shaking things up!

Nelson Reis shaking things up!

What do you look for in items that qualify for non-house pours?

Rarity, quality, ethos, sustainability, and consumer's choice.

What are the four main things you focus on daily in your role?

Team, guests, products, and environment.

5 ways to upsell drinks at the bar

Great product knowledge is key, presenting a substitute of higher range; offer pairings; suggesting 'something different'; telling an interesting story behind a product; and menu placement.

A photo of the Signature Cocktails menu at 45 Jermyn St.

A photo of the Signature Cocktails menu at 45 Jermyn St.

Tips on training new bartenders

Understanding what skills new trainees need to develop. Helping define short-term goals and overseeing development. Setting up a solid base for continuous learning and recognising improvement.

What's trending in the UK drinks scene? Which cocktails, brand names, and categories?

Bottled cocktails came to stay for a while.

What is customer service to you?

Being hospitable, having great attention to detail, and delivering expectations.

Define a good bartender

A good bartender is a good host, has fine product knowledge as well as bar techniques, works well on a team, and is essentially hard-working.

How can you increase your beverage sales with the selection you already have?

Better product placement, create specials with the item intended to sell, social media promotion, brand cooperation events, and staff training.

How according to you has the role of the Bartender evolved, especially now during Covid times?

Covid came to show how volatile markets are and especially how vulnerable hospitality really is. With staff shortages, I've seen many bartenders having to do way more than serving guests from behind the bar and for much longer hours per week.

What else do you look for in a brand before saying yes apart from its quality, value, and package?

Their ethos, how far the bottle travels into the bar, their sustainability commitment.

Your favorite places to enjoy drinks in London?

Opium & Dim Sum Parlour, Tayer & Elementary, Home.

What's the best part of your job?

Creating memorable experiences. I've recently joined the bar where I work and a couple who had their first date at this venue, have been celebrating their 'first date anniversary' sitting at the same table and usually have the same food. This time they decided to join the bar for 'after drinks' revealing that it was such a great bartender atmosphere at the bar and so fascinating to watch that they decided to break tradition and start booking at the bar. That sense of validation and sympathy is what makes the best part of the job.

What's the worst part of your job?

Closing straight to opening the next day.



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