7 Quick Tips To Keep The Bartender From Hating You


Bartenders are probably some of the coolest people you will ever run into in a social setting. I happen to tend bar for a living and I know I’m pretty damn cool.

I’ve been on both sides of the equation and I can say without a shadow of a doubt, that as long as you don’t go out of your way to be a complete douche, the bartender will love you. Or at least put up with you. I know we get pretty bad raps for being insensitive at times, but if you follow these 7 surefire tips when you’re at your neighborhood bar or nightclub, then there is no way in hell you should get on your bartender’s nerves (unless of course they are always a Debbie Downer, which no amount of alcohol can fix). So let’s begin:

1. Stay away from our garnish trays.

You know when you see all of those strawberries, cherries, orange,s and olives on the bar top? And the lemons, limes, and cucumbers? Don’t they look delicious? Yeah. Stay away from them. Don’t start picking at them or eating them or tossing them around the bar. It’s annoying and it’s a waste. I’m pretty sure if you ask the bartender for an extra lime or lemon for your Rum-n-Coke or Long Island, they’ll gladly oblige. Just don’t be that guy and definitely don’t be that girl downing strawberries at the bar. It’s not cute.

2. Avoid entering deep-ass conversations when you see us getting “in the weeds.”

“In the weeds” is simply bar terminology for whenever a bartender is completely slammed at the bar. We have four to five drink orders in our heads with eight different people yelling at us, demanding their Fireball shots. So if we were flirting with you for a couple of minutes and the bar gets busy? Don’t take it personally if we cut the conversation short and get back to our jobs. The worst thing you can do is sulk or catch an attitude with us because you no longer have our complete undivided attention. It’s better to wait until last call to try and reconnect with us when there are fewer distractions around.

3. Don’t ask us to charge your iPhone and then spend every five minutes asking us, “What does the battery life look like?”

If a bartender decides to charge your phone behind the bar, you should consider it a privilege. We don’t do it for everyone. If management is cool with it and we aren’t too busy, then hand it over. Just don’t become a pest about it. It’s OK to ask us maybe once after 20 minutes if your phone is halfway charged, but if you keep bugging us about it, we’re likely to give you back a cell phone that’s still dead.

4. If you do ask us for relationship/dating advice, expect us to be 100% honest in our answer.

The one thing that all bartenders have in common is we have no filter (and I’m not talking about our photos on Instagram). Any good bartender has seen enough couples cheat on each other at the bar that we become immune to the notion of tiptoeing around the truth. So if you ask us why your boyfriend hasn’t texted you in four days and we just saw him last week in VIP with some brunette, we’re liable to break your heart. So be warned.

5. Have your money ready when you order, but don’t wave it in our faces (we will resent you).

The quickest way to get on your bartender’s bad side is by waving money in their face. I don’t know when or where this practice became synonymous with good behavior, but even the busiest bartender will skip over you if you wave greenbacks in front of them. We aren’t servants (even though we may get paid like it), and we’ll get to you when we get to you. I promise. You honestly have a better chance of raising a single $100 bill in the air (which we will notice) rather than waving a $5 bill rapidly in front of us. We all know money talks…but rude money falls on deaf ears.

6. Avoid getting stupid drunk at the bar and throwing up all over the place (we will REALLY resent you).

Nothing on earth is worse than the guy or girl who drank too much but still wants to sit at the bar. I mean, really? We understand that you can’t hold your liquor and decided to get shitfaced on a Thursday night to impress god knows who, but could you please do us a favor and take it outside? Pretty please? You do understand that one of us will have to clean up that Amaretto Sour mixed with Doritos Cool Ranch you just threw up, right? Don’t make us hate you just because your bros or homegirls couldn’t convince you to take it to the parking lot. Either don’t get drunk (just a crazy thought) or bring a doggy bag when you come visit.

7. Tip more than $0.00 after we’ve served you more than enough drinks.

I will be completely transparent here. I did not understand what all the fuss was about when it came to tipping until AFTER I started bartending. The truth is bartenders are paid shit. Actually, they’re paid less than shit. I personally know bartenders who aren’t even making minimum wage at popular hot spots. So for whatever strange reason the US government thought it to be fair to tax bartenders on every thing that they serve. So what does that mean in layman’s terms? Well since you asked, it means when you don’t tip you are literally taking money out of our pockets. Now I’m not here to be the moral police or anything but you should be tipping if you are going out to drink socially. Period. That shouldn’t even be a conversation. 20% is the standard, but whatever you feel is necessary for the service your bartender provided, by all means tip that instead. Just don’t leave a big ass donut on that drink receipt when we’ve just served you four Coronas. It leaves a nasty taste in our mouths. And it may leave a nasty taste in your next drink. Just kidding… (*Secretly rubs hands together like Birdman)