How to Get Your Bartender to Ignore You
Theories on Bartending
It is my firm belief that every person in the United States should be required to work for one year in a bar or restaurant. Screw the military draft, we should have a service industry draft.(Before I get raked over the coals for this one: I am by no means trying to undermine the sacrifice that the men and women of the military make on a daily basis.) Ok, bartending isn't rocket surgery or brain science, but I believe most people fail to realize how difficult working in the service industry really is. I also believe that most people who go to bars were put on this earth to test bartenders' patience and generally be a pain in the you-know-what.
Based upon the number of people who do not tip, I am going to lay this out for you. Your bartender works for TIPS. Sometimes they make $4.25 an hour, many times they work for nothing but tips. (It may not be legal, but it happens all the time) In addition, they are often required to tip out (that means give a cut of their money, in case you don't know) to their support staff. When you go out to a bar, tipping is part of the deal. The amount you should tip will vary depending on what type of establishment you are in and what type of drink you order (and how many), but a good average is at least one dollar per drink. EVEN IF THEY ARE FREE. Free drink nights are the bane of every bartender's existence. A little secret? Tip each drink, when you say "I'll get you at the end" it means you are not going to tip, or will tip very little. I will get to you much faster next time if you tipped me.
Yell ANYTHING at the Bartender
BOSS!, DUDE! , HEY!, lil momma! (my personal favorite), YO, Over here! , Can I get a drink?!
Or anything else you in your endless imagination can come up with. The quickest way to tick off your bartender is to yell at them. We see you, we know you are there. And, believe it or not we have a lot to do and everyone wants it done ten minutes ago. I am really sorry you just walked up to the bar and just HAVE to have a drink. So shut your mouth and wait your turn. Want a little secret? If you do happen to get skipped by mistake, we will be far more likely to toss you a free drink or pour yours a lot stronger if you were patient.
Wave Money in the Air or Pound the Bar
The quickest way to get sent to the mental back of a bartender's mind besides yelling? Wave a twenty in the air. We know you are not going to tip us a twenty. And pounding the bar? That is the fastest way to get a bartender to completely refuse to serve you. Hope there is another bartender in the place willing to serve you. If not, enjoy being the designated driver because you suck as a human being.
Ask for a Stronger Drink
If you want a stronger drink, ORDER A DOUBLE. Call it a "top off" or an "extra special" drink or tell me to "make it good!", it is all the same. Do you go into a clothing store and ask for a second shirt for free because you bought one?
Don't Decide What to Order BEFORE Getting to the Bar
This is particularly important at busy bars. If it is slow and there is no one waiting, most bartenders won't have a problem suggesting new drinks or helping you figure out what you want. But when the bar is five deep and we finally get to you only to hear "Well...I don't know." Then look at your friend and ask "What are you getting?". We are already on to the next person. Another secret? If you often go to busy bars, have a "regular" drink. If you go often enough, we will have it ready for you before you even get up to the bar.
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
I'll be the first to admit there are plenty of bad bartenders out there. And sometimes really good bartenders have really bad nights. It happens. But most of us are busting our butts making sure you and your friends have a good night. And alot of us do it sober. Think about how annoying it is to be the designated driver on a night where all your friends get sloshed. And multiply that by five or six or even seven nights a week. The golden bar rule? Don't be rude to the person who controls you alcohol. We are a spiteful bunch by nature.