Glassies….the unsung heroes

I started working in hospo as security, but it wasn’t all I did. I worked in most of the roles there are(some more successfully than others, I still can’t make a coffee to save my life), but there were some I enjoyed better than others.

One of the jobs that got a lot of stick, unfairly I think, was the glassie. I got taught to glassie at San Fran Bath House when they got left short handed on a big gig. It was a sink or swim situation. I was running around like mad man trying to grab every glass I could find, trying to get as many glasses back to the dish station as possible. The stacks of glasses were teetering precariously higher than my head, and WAY higher than I was able to control. Then I spent ages rinsing them out, stacking them into the trays, running them through the sterilizer and putting them away.

Then I learned the most important thing about being a good glassie. Don’t. Stop. Moving.


You don’t need to blitz(grab every single possible glass) the floor every time you go out. You just need to always be bringing more back and keeping the rhythm of glasses getting sterilized going. Otherwise you’ll be left standing around waiting for the tray to finish and that’s when the rest of the staff are going to start getting stressy.

The glassie is the early warning system for the bar. Because you’re constantly moving around the whole bar you can see where things might develop into a problem. You can keep the security staff appraised of potential problems or people screwing up. You can keep the bartenders up to date on who’s taking a deep breath and concentrating hard on looking sober just before they get to the bar, when actually they’re toast.

When you’re also doing stock control you start to learn how to anticipate what needs to be restocked. When you go round the floor and see lots of empty beer bottle you know it’s probably time to run to the chiller and grab a couple of boxes of those beers for the fridges. If there’s lots of short glasses with ice still in them, time to do an ice run. Lots of cocktails glasses? Check the dry store for the cocktail ingredients that are getting low.

The odds are you will never be properly appreciated for the work you do. ‘Cause if you’re doing a great job the people around you will never notice. It’s only when you aren’t doing a great job that they notice. But for all that it’s a satisfying job when you know you’ve done it well. And it can be a lot of fun if you let it be.

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