I think the best way to start out this blog is by laying down some house rules. Below, I have listed the top 7 rules of barroom etiquette. READ, MEMORIZE, and FOLLOW, or else your bartender will despise you and mentally plan revenge.
- Tip your bartender– Most service industry workers do not get paid by the hour, including bartenders. If they do, the rate is not much. Bartenders are paid with the tips of their patrons. In South Louisiana, an acceptable tip for a good server or bartender is twenty percent. If paying cash, it is a good idea to tip after buying each round of drinks. Although the tip will still be appreciated if you save it for the end of the night, your bartender may think you are stiffing (or refraining from tipping) him or her throughout the night. Tipping after each round will ensure a happy bartender and prompt service.
- Quit asking for free drinks– Everybody wants them, but no you cannot have them. Unless the bartender owns the bar, which is highly unlikely, the bartender has a running tab just like you do. If your bartender gives you a free drink, it is because he or she is BUYING you a drink. Sure, if you are a regular, if it’s your birthday, or if you’re just an awesome person, your bartender would probably love to buy you a drink. When they do, consider yourself the coolest person in the bar and then TIP them! 🙂 If you walk into a bar for the first time and ask for a free drink, do yourself a favor and just leave. Your bartender now thinks you are a cheap person who will not tip, and will be sure not to let an extra drop of liquor fall into your cocktail.
- The bartender does not care if you know the owner– Everybody else knows him too, and you are still not getting a free drink.
- You cannot start a tab without a card– Unless you are the bartender’s best friend, he or she does not know you from Adam. Often times, people get aggravated when they have to hand their card over to the bartender to save their tab. Without your card, your bartender is likely hanging on to false hope that you are going to come back and pay for your drinks. Let’s face it, not everybody is as honest as Abe. If you would like to keep your card to yourself, pay for your drinks with cash.
- Don’t ask what’s good– Everybody has different taste buds and likes different things. I have no idea what you like to drink, and neither does any other bartender. Instead, maybe ask to see the drink menu or if the bartender recommends a drink with _________. (fill in the blank with your personal preference of liquor)
- Don’t tell your bartender to smile– I get it, you want to see my pearly whites; however, I’m not at your desk demanding smiles out of you all day. Bartenders live a busy life just like every one of you do. Sometimes it’s hard to remain jolly at all times. Plus, I think it would look like I had a mental disorder or did some serious drugs if I smiled as much as patrons ask me to. If you want your bartender to smile, SAY SOMETHING FUNNY! That will usually do the trick.
- Don’t clutter the bar– If you are in a nightclub, there are 30 people behind you waiting for a drink, and you already have your drink, please stop using the bar as an arm rest. Your bartender will hate you and want to spray the soda gun in your hair until you move. By blocking the bar, you are preventing others from buying drinks; this means less money for the bartender. You are in a nightclub; GO DANCE.
After all, going out for a drink is supposed to be fun! I do not want to scare anybody away from bars with these rules, but they are important to follow. These rules ensure a happy bartender, and therefore, happy patrons.