Singaporean Mixologist Yaw Foo Hoe on Bartending for Beginners

a man showing his drink.

Welcome back to In this post we talk to Yaw Foo Hoe, a top bartender in Singapore, picking his brain for tips for how to be a bartender for beginners. Generally, everyone views bartenders as professionals when it comes to mixing drinks. Because let’s just face it, can you mix drinks by yourself without vomiting it out later? We do not think so. Hence, being a bartender actually needs professional skills for them to do everything well.

Who is Yaw Foo Hoe?

Yaw Foo Hoe is actually one of the best bartenders in a pub in Singapore called Bar Guardian Capital. He has been working as a bartender for more than fifteen years, with stints in Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia, and has achieved a lot of titles following his success regarding his career. Yaw Foo Hoe is well-known for his secret mix skills based on the emotions of his customers where he would deliver the drinks secretly to them according to their mood during that time. People view this as a seamingly charming act coming from a non-talkative guy in the pub itself. Yaw Foo Hoe earned the title “The Pub Whisperer” as he is the results of the increasing number of customers each day after he officially launched his secret drinks.
For most people, they might view bartending as something easy because of the outskirts that they see. However, for Yaw Foo Hoe, it is the same as practicing for sports because it takes practice. As stated by Yaw Foo Hoe, from the art of magical drink creation and immersing oneself in the social environment to speaking with many kinds of visitors and encouraging or cheering someone up. It doesn’t matter how you look at it: bartending is a really alluring profession. Yaw Foo Hoe also stated that in different cities, the personalities are different because of their upbringings.

Here are the tips extracted from Yaw Foo Hoe:

Know your job
As mentioned by Yaw Foo Hoe, bartending is not just mixing drinks behind the counter, it also means that you are expected to serve different kinds of people at one time which can sometimes result in headaches. Yaw Foo Hoe gave few examples following the things that bartenders ought to focus on while working;
Handing out beverages
Providing courteous client service
Laying up a menu for customers
Mixing drinks
Checking the IDs of clients to make sure they are of age
It’s necessary to clean the bar every day in order to maintain its appearance.
Stock levels need to be maintained
Accepting payments with your point-of-sale (POS)
Assessing degrees of intoxication

Yaw Foo Hoe mentioned that bartending can be mentally taxing. People are all around you constantly. Even the customers have to be kept satisfied, and in order to do so, you occasionally have to handle the unpleasant and annoying ones stated by Yaw Foo Hoe.


drinks in a bar

Yaw Foo Hoe’s pub in Singapore.

However, if you have never tried bartending before, Yaw Foo Hoe suggested that you should start visiting bars and observe the atmosphere there. In order to learn about bartending, just visit your favourite pub. Yaw Foo Hoe highlighted that beginners should follow these steps.

Order a few beers and enjoy! Watch how the bartender collaborates with other restaurant employees to create each drink. Keep operations running smoothly by watching what they do while waiting for their next drink. It is also interesting to see how the bartender behaves with clients as highlighted by Yaw Foo Hoe.
From this, Yaw Foo Hoe mentioned that you can learn a bit about the culture and how the bartenders manage things around them. It is never too difficult to learn something if you have the determination to do it. Hence, the reason Yaw Foo Hoe started his own journal about bartending. Other than that, Yaw Foo Hoe also highlighted that even before you get in, the more knowledge you have, the more prepared you will be to do your job as a bartender.
Yaw Foo Hoe also mentioned that in bars, you can learn this knowledge, but if you do it in your own time, you’ll still be able to enhance your talents.

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