It feels like a lifetime ago since I was last slinging cocktails behind a bar. And if I said I missed it and those were the best years of my life would you think less of me as a parent? Wait….I don’t care. Those were the BEST days of my life. I stayed up all night. I slept all day. I got all the attention I craved as a self-conscious 20-something. It was a great life. There were, of course, some down sides. People being the main one.
There are a lot of people when you work in the service industry. People who have never worked in the service industry. On the rare occasion that my husband and I actually get to go to a bar, I still pay attention to how bartenders/servers are treated by the general public. Same bar problems; same bar place. If you’re in your late 20’s and beyond, please pay attention.
Always Tip. Your argument for not tipping is invalid.
Drink In Your Lane. Chances are in you’re in this age group you at least have a job. Maybe not a great job, but a job none-the-less. You’re, for all intents and purposes, a grown up. Please act as such. Walking up to the bar in your $200 jeans, $150 shoes, $600 purse and asking what the specials make a bartender want to punch you right in your outrageously debted face. Now, I understand drinking on a budget. Why do you think you can find me on any given Friday wine drunk as fuck on my couch watching the new season of Better Call Saul at 10PM? However, don’t drink some disgusting concoction that is only on special because they got a case of shitty flavored vodka for free and need to get rid of it. You’re not in college anymore. Order a Well vodka and soda, and move on.
Read the menu. That’s why they’re there. A bartender’s time is precious. Especially if they’re busy. They make their money off tips, so volume is key. If you don’t know what you want, just ask them to come back around, or backup from the bar until you’re ready. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT ask the bartender what they have on draught, make that poor bastard rattle off all the craft beers with small descriptions of each, and then order a Jack and Coke. Read the fucking menu! Anymore, bars are really good about describing what beers and booze they have. Granted, if a bartender isn’t busy, they would probably be more than willing to talk IPA’s with you, but if the bar is 3 deep, decide what you want before you get to the plate.
Leave your Wolf of Wall Street impression at home. So, as a young professional you might be kind of a big deal within your company, industry, region, whatever the case may be. And good for you. Buy a round for your friends and celebrate. But overall, the rest of the people in the bar, including the bartender, don’t give a fuck where you work. There is nothing worse than some cocky bastard walking up to the bar, pushing people out of his and making a spectacle of himself to get a drink. “Do you know who I am?” “Don’t worry, I know the owner here” “I work at XYZ Company, this place would be nothing without us.” It does nothing but makes everyone hate you in every way… and assume that you have a very tiny penis. It is a great way to get ignored….for the rest of your life.
Make a connection. At the end of the day, bartenders are people. They want to be treated as such. Ask their name. Spark conversation, preferably interesting conversation. If you create that connection, you will get served immediately. You might even get a free drink or shot out of the deal. It’s basic human nature. We help out the people we like. The girl who hangs over the bar to get your attention and then leaves you a $0.50 tip is going to get ignored the rest of the night. The girl who makes small talk while the bartender is obviously annoyed by the one guy who is trying to order for 20 people, will always get served as soon as he sees her walk back up to the bar. Shocking!! Bartenders don’t want to be treated like shit. It really is that easy.
In conclusion. Tip your bartender. Know what you want. Get to know them. Don’t be a dick.