Working in a neighborhood bar can be a tough job. You work long shifts, always on your feet and on the go. You face customers who are at their best when they’re celebrating and at their worst when they’ve had way too much to drink.
But, it can also be great job because you get to meet a lot of different people, which makes it fun and interesting. And, you can make good money in tips if you provide excellent customer service.
It also takes patience because not all customers understand the etiquette servers and bartenders have been trained with. Working in the bar industry for three years I have realized a few things customers tend to forget or not consider while on their night out bar hopping. Below are a few tips bar hoppers should to keep in mind while visiting their local neighborhood bar for a great night out.
1. Be Patient
Most neighborhood bars tend to get a large crowd during peak evening hours. Even if servers don’t look like they noticed you, they will get to you as soon as they can. They are trained to attend to people in the order in which they arrived. If you think a server forgot your order or something you requested, simply ask nicely again to remind them. Being rude doesn’t speed things up.
2. Treat your bartenders with respect
Almost all neighborhood bars are casual and the majority of the people who go tend to go have a few drinks with friends and family while listening to music. While the music may be loud at times, it isn’t appropriate to shout things like “Girl!’ to get your bartender’s attention. Simply stand in front of them and they will look up and ask you what you’d like or they will ask you to wait a second. If you must call for their attention a simple “excuse me” will do.
3. Know what you want to order
Most neighborhood bartenders on average just make the most popular mixed drinks and don’t know how or have the time to whip up a fantastic drink like a specialized mixologist can.
It can be hard in a noisy bar to have a conversation about what names of cocktails to recommend for a person who wants something sweet but not too strong, or someone who likes gin but not a gin and tonic.
But if you share more or less what you want, most bartenders are likely to see what they can do for you because it is fun to create drinks. But with that in mind, you can’t be picky. If you think it is absolutely disgusting you still have to pay for it.
4. Prices aren’t made by bartenders
Understand that bartenders do not make the prices for beers and cocktails, they simply enter the item on their register and the register’s system totals it all up ready for them to provide to you.
If another bar has the same drink or beer at a lower price telling your bartender won’t cause them to change the price, just accept it and pay your tab and don’t fight your bartender over the bill cost.
Do keep in mind how many drinks you’ve had and what you’ve had sometimes bartenders do have over 10 tabs at a time with more than one John drinking Bud Light and can make a mistake.
5. Don’t ask for a discount
When some customers run up a pricey tab they think they should some reward for it. They expect free shots or a discount. Don’t try to make up something that was wrong to get a manager to get a discount. Most of the time the manager will stand behind the bartender and accuse you of being under the influence and you will lose the battle.
Many more times do bartenders get asked to “hook up” a customer, by giving a few free drinks and shots. This does nothing but turn off a bartender, automatically it says you don’t want to pay like everyone else and the chances of you leaving a nice tip for them is slim. Do not ask for the “hook up,” if they want to hook you up, they will if they are allowed to by the establishment.
6. Make sure to tip
It is not required to tip but it should be done out of courtesy. Most bartenders rely on their tips and many of them get a $0 check after taxes are taken out based on sales. There is no required amount to tip. If a bartender does make you a drink, a simple dollar is appreciated. When you order more than four drinks, or shots at a time it is nice to tip a few dollars. Many times people will ring up a large tab, and a “large” tab is considered anything over $50 and still tip about most customers will tip $5 at the most.
Again, there is nothing completely wrong with it, but if you think about it the average drink costs $5 so if you have at total of eight drinks the bartender served you and it is nice etiquette to tip a little higher such as %15.
7. Know when enough is enough
Legally, it is part of a bartenders job to serve customers accordingly and to avoid over serving anyone at all costs. Bartenders can get fined for over serving if TABC shows up on sight and notices any customer is in fact extremely intoxicated. If a bartender feels you have had too much to drink they will most likely cut you off, if they do accept it gracefully, cash out and leave via Uber, taxi or some form other of transportation that does not involve you driving. Remember, if bartenders cut you off chances are you are acting intoxicated and they are taking precautions to make sure you and everyone around you is safe.