What Your Bartender Wishes You Knew
It’s nearly midnight on Saturday night and you’ve finally gotten out the door. You and your friends pre-gamed like such champions one could question why you decided to go out in public to continue drinking. You’re feelin’ fine, lookin’ better, and you can’t wait to sidle up to the bar, wink at that cutie behind the boards, and dance your face off for the rest of the night.
That’s all well and good and you’re going to have a great night, but if you’re a good person, you’ll want to ensure that everyone else around you is also having a great night, and that includes your bartender. Yes, we have feelings too, but between the hours of 10 p.m. and 1 a.m., most of those feelings are anger towards inconsiderate, drunken customers who somehow, despite going to the bar three nights a week, every week, don’t know how to behave here.
So, from your friendly neighborhood bartender, here’s a list of rules to follow if you want a happy bartender and a good report with the bar:
First off, and most importantly, be patient. If you saunter into a full bar at 11 p.m. and expect to get served immediately, you’re a moron. Even if you manage to push to the edge of the bar, don’t expect us to get to you right away. We know who’s been waiting longer than you, and we will avoid your eye contact and flailing arms like the pros we are. Wait. Your. Turn.
To go along with that, don’t motion us over towards you. Again, we know you’re there. We see you. We’re busy helping someone else. Drinks take a while to make, and we’re generally unable to move from our spot when we’re making them. No amount of yelling or gesturing will make us faster. In fact, we’ll probably brush right past you if you’re getting on our nerves. We have that power.
Speak up when you order. Bars are loud and we’re ruining our hearing by working in them. The louder and clearer you can make your order—and the fewest amount of words you can use while doing so—the faster it’ll get back to you.
When it’s a busy night, don’t try to chat us up. Now if we’re talking happy hour on a Wednesday, absolutely tell us about that time you went skydiving or how you help orphans learn to ride bikes. That’s great. But when we’re sweating and running around like Laura Croft, the last thing we’re trying to do is get a date. Time and place, people.
Order all of your drinks at once. If we give you your shit and you send us back for something else we could have been making at the same time, you suck and we don’t like you.
Tip in cash, even if you pay with a card. Tips of all sorts are always welcome and very much appreciated (and completely necessary, we get paid like, $5 an hour), but tipping in cash will make any bartender jump with joy. See, we have to report the tips we make on credit cards with the rest of our income. That’s taxed. Cash tips are not. Nobody knows how much is there, and nobody can do anything about it. This one won’t get you any personal brownie points with your bartender, but know that those little pieces of green paper are quite literally worth so, so, so much more than a stroke of a pen on a receipt.
Bring your empty glasses back to the bar when you’re done. We never expect customers to do this, but when they do, it’s such a happy day. Barbacks spend half of their time collecting empty glassware from around the bar, leaving dishes to pile up and beer to fly off the shelves without being restocked. The more time you save our barbacks, the more time you save us, and we love you for that.
Say thank you! Slightly sad that it needs to be included on this list, but manners go a long way! We’re working our asses off for you guys, and it’s nice to be thanked.
Now this should go without saying, but when the bar closes, leave. Unless you’re sleeping with one of the bartenders, you have no reason to be there. Even friends don’t get the same privileges as bed buddies do, so save us the trouble of shuffling your drunk ass out the door while we’re working hard to get to bed before 4 a.m.
Now go home. You’re drunk.
Feature photo by Taylor Davidson VIA Unsplash