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From flirting rules to not being your therapist, your local bartender needs you to know these unspoken rules of the bar. As a way to make the night not only better for your bartender, but for your quality of service, it is important to recognize the needs of your bartenders.
It's always a great idea to put yourself in other service workers' shoes. Next time you're ordering a drink at the bar, keep in mind these things every bartender wished customers understood.
I don't want you to buy me a shot.
Though it might seem like a great idea, as many ideas seem when you've had a few drinks, but no matter how well the night is going, and how nice I am being to you, that is my job. And buying me a shot will only make things a bit uncomfortable and unnecessary. The first on my list of the things every bartender wished customers understood, please don't buy me a shot.
If you would really like to buy me a drink, this should be done after I finish my shift, not when I'm obviously on the clock. And to be completely honest, if I wanted a shot, I'd simply pour myself one. Though bartenders would never drink on the job...
I can't help you with your emotional problems.
We've all been there, what seemed like it would be a night filled with fun, turned you into a drunken emotional mess. And though your bartender might look like a therapist to you through your beer goggles, one of the number one things every bartender wished customers understood, they cannot help you with your emotional problems.
This goes for dating advice, deep conversations, or even crying, bartenders have a job to do, and it has nothing to do with providing you therapy. There is nothing wrong with having lighthearted banter, but alcohol tends to release the person in you who loves to share, and loves to be over-emotional. Let's save that for the women's bathroom, or even better, on the Uber ride home. Though I would love to help, there are just way too many things I have to do throughout the night.
I'm not hitting on you.
Please don't refer to me as "sweetie," "honey," or anything similar, as a way to get my attention. What it will do for you is remind me to make a mental note to not immediately get to you when you need a drink, and focus my attention elsewhere when you're trying to strike up a conversation. Just please don't hit on me while I'm on the job.
It's uncomfortable, and makes my job much more stressful. I don't want to spend my night trying to avoid giving you the wrong message, and simply being nice to customers does not mean I'm hitting on you.
Please don't hand me folded cash.
A small thing every bartender wished customers understood, but handing me folded cash is one of the most simple ways to piss off a bartender. I know it only takes a second for me to unfold your cash, but if you would have done so in the first place, it would make my job much easier and my pace much faster.
And this is especially true with crumpled up cash that was clearly just sitting in the bottom of your pockets. It takes a few seconds, and it won't piss off your bartender. Which means you have a more likely chance to get their attention better next time you need a drink.
Please do tip me.
This is a thing that bartenders need you to understand to benefit both you and me. Tipping is important for bartenders because this is what we rely on to make an income. Much like other serving jobs, your bartenders are not being money hungry when they assume you're going to tip them. And simply a dollar tip is very appropriate for a cheap drink, but be sure to keep it consistent if you like to order fancy $15 drinks.
If you are struggling to be served in a crowded bar, tipping your bartender well on your first order will give you a much better chance to be remembered, and be chosen to take your order before others. Just be sure to keep your tips consistent throughout the night.
It's not my responsibility to charge your phone.
Yes, bartenders have often been nice enough to allow you to charge your phone behind the bar, but this shouldn't be an every night thing. As my next thing every bartender wished customers understood, it's really not our responsibility to charge your phone. And if you have an Android and I only have an iPhone charger, there's no reason you should get angry with me.
It's not the bar's responsibility to make sure you have enough juice in your phone. It's your responsibility to make it to the bar and make it home, I really don't care if you need your phone to call an Uber. I will happily call you a cab.
It takes a lot for me to cut you off, so please don't make it harder than it has to be.
Honestly, it takes a lot for a bartender to cut of a customer. And this is for a bunch of reasons. Everyone at the bar is drunk, we understand you're there to have a great time.
Plus, it's our job to serve you, which means if you're buying a lot, we're not going to want to stop you, that just means more tips and more business. However, besides it being our job to make you drinks, it is also our responsibility to make sure you aren't going to hurt anyone or yourself.
So when it comes down to cutting you off, I really don't want to, trust me. It's uncomfortable, and the last thing I want to do. So please understand that I'm a person too, and causing a scene and making things harder than they have to be is not the way to go. If you are cut off by a bartender, consider the fact that they are looking out for you.
Don't be afraid to ask me questions.
Next on my list of the things every bartender wished customers understood is the fact that there is nothing wrong with asking questions. This is especially true during a time that the bar isn't so crowded.
Rather than pretending to know what you're talking about, ask us what kind of alcohol is in the drink you're ordering, ask us what our favorite drink is, it'll only help us best serve you.
However, if you come into a bar asking the bartender what you should drink, it's more likely they're going to suggest a more expensive option, so be aware of that. If you give us more power over your order, you'll get the best drinks, but maybe a higher tab.
Please stop waving your money in my face.
Waving your money at a bartender is really the most obnoxious things you can do. It's very similar to snapping your fingers at a waitress, but I'd even consider it worse.
I don't care how drunk you are, or how impatient you are, waving your money at me will not impress me, get my attention, or get me to take your order faster. You will wait longer than you would if you simply waited your turn like everyone else at the bar. Please don't do this.
And last on my list of the things every bartender wished customers understood, simply be responsible with your drinking. This is a tip that will help everyone involved, and of course, a concept that is said over and over. And for good reason.
No matter the occasion, being sloppy is never a good thing when it comes to spending your night at the bar. And if you are more responsible with your drinking, not only will you make the night better for yourself, the next morning, and for your friends, it will also improve your bartender's night as well.