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Struggles All Bartenders Will Understand

Please... stop it.

Photo by Nykonchuk Oleksii

There are two well-known facts: British people like to drink, and British people have a tendency to be overly polite. ("Oh yes, sorry, can I just—sorry, do you mind if I just squeeze past? Sorry, yes thank you, cheers for that.") These two things, however, don't seem to combine. As soon as they walk into a pub, bar, or club all the politeness seems to be left at the door. So here are some things that really piss hospitality staff off, and why...

1. Waving Money

We understand you have money. It would be a bit weird ordering drinks if you didn't have money. So, understand that we have eyes, we know you're there.

2. Refusing Service

If you are too drunk, it's illegal to serve you. Simple. I'm not paying thousands of pounds in fines just because you want another vodka Coke. Also, we can refuse you if you're rude/aggressive towards us. Most places don't tolerate such behaviour, and a bar is not an exception to this rule. Also, if we refuse your mate, don’t try and get them a drink. Still illegal.

3. "I’m next." "Serve them next."

No. You don't tell us what to do. We have our own systems, knowing who to serve next. If you say that, we will make you, or them, wait longer. So, please be patient.

4. Whistling

Just... no. We're not dogs. This has to be one of the worst things people do, alongside clicking your fingers. I won't serve you if you click or whistle.

5. Not knowing what you want...

You've had long enough, especially when you've been waving money and whistling. If we come to you and you don't know what you want, you're wasting our time. While you're waiting to be served, maybe think about what you'd like to drink—or we'll just move on and serve someone else.

6. "I've been waiting half an hour."

No one waits half an hour for a drink. Stop being dramatic.

7. Discounts

Now most places do offer discounts and deals for industry staff, family, and/or friends. However, if I've never met or served you before, don't get offended if I have to double check who you are. Especially if you want that discount. Don't act entitled. We can also change our mind about giving you the discount if you become rude.

8. Buying Rounds

Getting a round in for your mates? No worries, that’s cool. What isn’t cool is expecting me to remember over 10 drinks (I’m good but not that good... yet); or on the other side of the spectrum: Ordering a drink, waiting for me to make it, only to then order another, and another, and another. The best thing to do is wait for me to get to the till, so that way I can read the order back and make sure I’ve got it.

9. Happy Hour vs. Regular Prices

It’s common in a lot of places to have happy hour deals, but it’s called happy hour for a reason. We’re still a business, we still need to make money, so happy hour isn’t all the time. If you want the deal, order during happy hour. If it’s the weekend, we may still have deals, feel free to ask us. Just don’t assume it’s always £2 a pint.

Now these may seem irrelevant, but to bartenders it becomes monotonous and rude. We know you've had a drink, I remember my first Carlsberg too, but you can have a drink and still have manners. So next time you're at the bar, please wait patiently, know what you're ordering, be polite, feel free to ask us for the deals and offers, and don't forget those sweet sweet words "please" and "thank you."

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