With St. Patrick's Day right around the corner and it being on a Saturday this year, now may be a good time to discuss bar etiquette from
a former bartender's point of view.
Here are 10 tips that will go a long way in making sure you don't embarrass yourself or your friends and, most importantly, will speed up your service:
1.) The bartender(s) will be the busiest people in the joint, that you can bet on! Know what you want when you get the bartender's attention. There are several things that will put you on the back burner as far as prompt service goes and standing there tapping your chin thinking about what you want at a packed bar is one of them.
2.) If you are ordering multiple drinks, go from easy to hard. For example, if you are ordering beer, that's first because it's the quickest to get. Then, it depends on the degree of difficulty and number of ingredients in mixed drinks. A two-ingredient drink would be next (Gin and Tonic, Jack and Coke, Vodka Soda etc.) Multiple liquor drinks next, like a Long Island Iced Tea and something labor intensive like a Mojito would come last.
3.) If you want to order more than one drink at a busy bar, NEVER order a frozen drink like a Mudslide! The bartender will avoid you like the plague, and may even give you the stink eye for the rest of your night. They take a ton of time to make and time is money.
4.) When trying to get a Bartender's attention, there are a few things you should never do:
- Don't raise your hand, it makes you look like an idiot...you aren't in school
- Don't wave money at the barkeep
- Don't yell "Excuse me!"
- Don't EVER whistle...they aren't your dog
- Don't touch them!
- And unless you want the bartender to come at you over the bar, NEVER EVER snap your fingers!
5.) Getting the Bartender's attention is all about eye contact (but not creepy eye contact). Once you do get their attention, follow rules 1 - 4 above and tip well. A good tip will keep your face in the bartender's head so next time you are at the bar for a refill, you will get served a lot faster!
6.) Now that you are in good standing with your mixologist, it's about maintaining that relationship. Here are several things that could jeopardize that and put you back in the dog house:
- Don't ask for more alcohol in your drink. Most places have strict pouring policies for varying reasons.
- Don't drop your drink. Motor control is something bartender's keep an eye out for.
- Don't fall off your barstool or chair...that'll end your service right then and there!
- Don't flirt with a busy bartender or ask for their digits...they aren't there for that. You'll just be slowing them down..try Tinder!
7.) Shut yourself off! Don't leave that for the bartender to do. They aren't babysitters.
8.) If a bartender does shut you off, act like an adult! They have to watch out for themselves and the establishment's Liquor License! They aren't going to lose their job or face criminal charges if you get into an accident.
9.) If you do end up unable to drive, program the taxi service number in your phone or download a service like Uber or Lyft. If that's beyond your ability a bartender will always call a taxi for you so don't be afraid to ask.
10.) Be polite! Say please and thank you...but that's just common sense for all and a bartender will notice and appreciate it.
Now get out there and enjoy St. Paddy's Day... just do it responsibly!