Going out to the bars can be a great release when you need a little fun, but sometimes your bar etiquette can be a little off. Are you making these common mistakes at the bar that most bartenders hate? Read on and find out.
Not Being Prepared
If you walk up to the bar, it’s typically expected that you’re ready to order. If you’re not, it can be a little annoying to bartenders. Mostly because they’re just left standing there while you contemplate your order, and if they’re busy that’s time and money being wasted. It’s especially annoying if you’ve been flagging them down with dramatic persistence only to have them wait for you to decide. This is a pretty easy fix, just decide what you want before approaching the bar.
Look around, is the bar completely packed? If the answer is yes, then the bartenders are most likely very busy. This means that your wait time can increase ever so slightly. Try your best not to dwell on how much you’re craving that martini and give the bartenders a break. They are doing the best that they can to quench the thirst of an entire packed bar. Waiting your turn won’t kill you.
Asking for Water but Never Touching it
There is nothing wrong with a little hydration while you drink, in fact it’s often encouraged. Water can help to curb your hangover and keep you from getting sloppy. But if you ask the bartender for a water and then never touch it, it’s a waste of time and glassware, not to mention water. Fix this mistake by, you guessed it, drinking the water! Your future self with thank you when you wake up headache free.
Ordering A Ridiculously Complicated Drink
Hey, I like a well crafted cocktail as much as the next person, but if you order a drink that takes at least 10 steps to prepare, you may be going overboard. And the bartenders may hate you. Stick to ordering the complicated drinks off of the menu. Chances are the bar staff is well trained at making these and can get them out quickly to you. They may also taste better then a recipe you just spewed off the top of your head.
Criticizing Them Over A Drink They’ve Never Made
That being said, if you muuuust have that one drink that one bartender made for you that one time in LA, and your current bartender has never heard of it, don’t be overly critical. There is nothing more insulting than a dramatic scoff followed by a condescending remark. Ingredients and names for drinks can change from location to location so judging a bartender by what they can’t make is offensive and just plain rude.
Standing In The Well
This one is particularity annoying to bartenders and cocktail servers. If you’re standing in a spot with an unusual amount of bar mats and a fantastic collection of drinks, you haven’t just won the drinking lottery, you’re likely standing in the well. If you’re at a bar that has servers who also take drink orders, the well is the spot where they go and pick up all their drinks to serve to their customers. And by standing in front of it, you’re pretty much directly in their way. And have you ever tried to move through a crowd holding drink orders for 10 people at a time. Not easy. Just do the bar staff a favor and steer clear of the well.
Not Starting A Tab
Some people get unnecessarily angry or confused when bartenders ask if they want to start a tab. If you’re in an uproar over the bartender asking for your credit card, then you probably haven’t been to very many bars. Your bartender is not a con artist or identity thief in disguise. Opening a tab is just a way for bartenders to protect themselves in case you have one to many old rum and cokes and forget to pay your tab. If you don’t like the idea of the bar holding your card, you always have the option to pay as you go.
Bartenders are not your servants. They are people just like you, working their asses off all night. If they made something that you didn’t like, or are taking a while to make their way to you, please don’t be rude about it. It’s just tacky. And most of the time it will just make them resistant to get your order out in a speedy manner or fix the issue at hand. You hate it when people are rude to you at your job right? It’s just easier to be courteous here.
Going Too Hard
Alright, alright, we’ve all been there. One minute you’re fine, and the next you’re trying to dance on the bar and singing Lady Gaga at the top of your lungs. Well not only will this severely embarrass you tomorrow, it will most likely annoy your bartender. Drinking more than you can handle can lead to more than one annoying problem for the bartender. Weather you start fighting over the number of shots on your tab, or hardcore making out with the stranger next to you, or getting sick all over the bar, it’s an added problem to their job that they’re left to fix.
I feel like most people should know this, but I am going to say it anyway: most bartenders live off of tips. Often times bars will pay their staff a ridiculously low hourly wage and expect them to work for tips. That being said, you should ALWAYS be tipping your bartenders. This often isn’t a ridiculous amount of money. Try tipping $1-2 if you only get one round, or tipping 20% on a large tab. And hey, if your bartender was a badass, feel free to leave a little extra. But sticking with the basics of tipping ensures that bartenders can make a livable wage.