Life + Arts

Bartenders empraise, entertain

Student bartenders Francisco Calza and Maria Moya both maintain a commitment to service, despite tending at venues with completely different customer bases.

Calza, a communication senior, tends at Caf’eacute; Annie, a fine-dining restaurant ranked among the top 20 restaurants in the U.S. by ZAGAT, a dining magazine.

Moya, a finance junior, tends at Sakari Seafood Restaurant, a small Japanese restaurant.

Moya and Calza share the same routine for greeting customers.

‘As soon as they sit at the bar I come up to them, ask them what they would like to drink and then serve them the menus,’ Moya said.

Calza enjoys asking questions and mingling with his elite clientele, who are often oil tycoons and large business owners.

‘You never really know what to say. These people have been all over the world, so it’s usually me trying to find out about them.’

Moya said she prefers to speak to her clients about television programs or whatever is on her mind. Her restaurant attracts businessmen from the local office buildings during the mornings, but nightfall brings in a mix of partiers and casual drinkers.

Calza said he makes the best mojitos in town, while Moya said she enjoys surprising her customers with new blends. Moya’s typical orders are beers and margaritas.

‘Margaritas or beer is what I serve most during lunch, but at night people usually order the Hurricane. Jager bombs are also the most common drinks,’ Moya said.

Calza’s customers typically order wine or martinis.

‘Lots of wine! Caf’eacute; Annie has one of the most extensive and impressive wine lists in the United States with over 1,000 wine choices. We also make tons of martinis, (such as) cosmos, lemon drops, French martinis, Manhattans, you know,’ Calza said.

Moya reels in few tips on weekdays, but the weekend brings in bigger customers.

‘It depends. Monday and Tuesday are really bad days for me at the bar. On Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays it usually picks up. I usually get sometimes between $20 to $150 a night,’ Moya said.

Calza said he expects a tip percentage of about 15 to 20 percent per ticket. He regularly earns $100 to $200 per shift, but one time a gentleman who hosted a party at the caf’eacute; left him a $7,000 tip, he said.

Moya and Calza said flirting is typical for garnering tips.

‘Yeah, you have too, because most of the people who come into the bar are usually guys. Usually ladies tip less than men,’ Moya said.

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