6 Tips On How To Get Great Service At A Bar (As Told By A Bartender)



In most professions the way you treat the people who are serving you is fairly obvious.  Most patrons would not think to treat someone who is working for them poorly, however, when alcohol gets involved people tend to lose their sense of judgment.  Therefore, it is necessary for there to be simple advice given to those people who visit bars on a regular basis to avoid having your bartender hate you.  He/she is the one that provides you with ability to let loose after your stressful week at work.  I’d say it’s fairly vital to have a respectful rapport with him/her.  Having worked as a bartender for a few years, I have the ability to give you some of the important dos and don’ts on how to treat your local bartender to make sure that you have fun time this weekend and every other weekend in the future.

1. Don’t be a penny pincher

If you ask me what the cheapest alcohol we have is, I’m going to judge you pretty harshly because A) I know that you have no standards and B) I know that I probably won’t be getting a tip from you.  To solve this issue, bring a reasonable amount of money out with you to drink.  If you only have $8 in your pocket, consider going to the bagel store and buying a 6 pack and drinking it at home.  I really don’t have the time or the energy to count the $4 in quarters that you just gave me!  I have had people even attempt to pay for a beer with dimes and nickels.  On a related note, don’t ask the bartenders for a buyback.  Getting a free beer is privilege; did you ask the guy at the gas station to give you an extra gallon of gas?

2. Leave when we’re closing

Apparently this is a foreign concept to most people.  When your local McDonald’s closes do you stay and force them to kick you out?  If you answered no, then don’t do it at a bar.  Listen, I know that your drunken argument about whether Ozzy Osbourne has used drugs is crucial to the survival of humanity, but please have it outside.  After last call I can’t serve anymore drinks, meaning I can’t make any more money.  I know you would be pissed if you had to spend extra time at your job if you weren’t getting paid.  Please do not ask for any drinks after 4AM or whenever your bar closes.  I can get fined; that extra $20 that you try and bribe me with isn’t worth the risk of getting fined or fired.

3. Don’t yell at me asking for water

I understand that you want to drink water to help you sober up from that extra shot that you drank.  This doesn’t mean that you get to yell at me as if you need water immediately because your best friend is literally on fire.  Just because you’re done drinking doesn’t mean that everyone else is done.  Please be courteous to me and your fellow patrons and let me do my job; I’ll get you your water when I’m done serving the person next to you.  More than half the time a customer asks me for water they don’t even take a sip of it which is why I don’t jump up and run to get you a glass of it.

4. Say what you want clearly

I know that you saw that Bud Light commercial when the guy makes a hand motion to get his beer.  This does not mean I can recognize that ridiculous gesture that you just made up.  I’m sure you think you’re cool, but I have no idea what you want.  It pisses me off when I get you the wrong light beer because you couldn’t be bothered to use words.  This would be like a person going into a Holiday Inn and making a sleeping gesture instead of asking for a room.  That sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?

5. Don’t start a fight

When you are drinking alcohol it sometimes makes you more pugnacious than you would be if you were sober.  Trust me, if you are thinking of fighting someone I guarantee you that it is over something insignificant.  At least when animals are fighting in the wild they are trying to secure the best mate.  You just started a brawl because someone called you Italian.  Using this logic, rams are smarter than you when you fight while intoxicated.  Fighting when you are at a bar will get you kicked out, kicked in the face, and ruin everyone else’s’ buzz, so please don’t do it.

6. I DO want to hear about your problems

As long as the bar isn’t packed, I enjoy having conversations with the customers.  Being a bartender requires you to be a good conversationalist; I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t like having a good discussion about anything that is on your mind.  It’s fun for me to try and play the part of your shrink for a night.  Your bartender may be smarter than you think.  Just because he/she is in this profession doesn’t mean he/she is a loser and an idiot.  Share your feelings with me next time you come in.  You’ll likely be more honest with me with a beer in your belly than you would be with your friends.  I’m an unbiased person for you to chat with, so why not spill your heart out to me?

There are many more topics that I have not gone into, so I may do a second part to this article.  Thanks for reading; have a fun, safe weekend!