Bartending 101

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Bartending 101

Post by Dear Booze »

When did bartenders turn into the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld?
Recently, I’ve seen several versions of a Bar Etiquette 101 list flying around the internet. They seem to have been written by bartenders. Perhaps you’ve seen them. In case you haven’t, I’ve copied and pasted them into a list for you:

1. Have your money ready
2. Don’t whistle. This is an absolute No-No. You whistle at dogs, not people.
3. Don’t wave money to get the bartender’s attention.
4. Don’t be too loud.
5. Don’t throw ice.
6. Don’t ask the bartender to plug in your phone charger for you.
7. Don’t high-five your friends every time a round is brought to your table.
8. Don’t yell out the bartender's first name. There's something deeply psychologically disturbing about hearing your name called out, turning around and seeing a complete stranger.
9. Don’t say “make it strong!" or "put a lot of liquor in it."
10. Don’t ask the bartender to charge your phone behind the bar.
11. Don’t make eye contact with the bartender unless you want to order something.
12. Don’t get too drunk.
13. Don’t give the ever-expanding drink order. You want a Bud. I go get it. I come back and now you want a Margarita. Okay, no prob. I come back, and (oh yeah!) now you want a shot of Tequila, too. You really could have told us this all at once.
14. Don’t order High Maintenance shooters.
15. Don’t assume we know you; just tell the bartender what you want to drink.
16. Don’t tip with coins.
17. Don’t be "The Microbrew Aficionado"
18. Don’t ask for the drink that will "Get you the most fucked up." You will be asked to leave. And you'll be undrunk. You don't really want either one.
19. Tip. Tip heavy right off the bat, and you're the first person we aim for every time you come up to the bar. Did you get that? Go back and read it again. The word will spread to the other bartenders and you'll be treated like a prince. It will pay off in better drinks and the occasional free one.
20. Be patient. All you really need to do to get waited on is make eye contact. We see you, and we'll get to you before the guy right next to you waving money and whistling. Remember, this isn't insulin we're passing out here. If you really need the drink that bad, you've got a problem to address, Jack. The meek shall inherit the bar.
21. Know your bartender’s name. Guess what? Your bartender’s name is not “Bud.” Nor is it “Chief.” And it is certainly not “Dude.” Ask their name when you place your first order. From that point on call them by it. This is not Advanced Metaphysics and Epistemology, folks. [what about # 8? ~DB]
22. Do not reach over the bar and grab your own olive out of the garnish tray. Don't grab your own cherry. No grabbing.
23. Do not yell “FREEBIRD" when the pianist asks for requests.
24. Don't rearrange the furniture. You can be pretty certain there are chairs at a table because that's where people sit. If you need extra seating, ask.
25. Do not send your drinks back because they "don't taste the way you had it at ___. Do you send your steak/chicken/pasta/chopped salad back when it doesn't taste just like Cut/ Zankou/Mozza/The Ivy's? By all means, if the thing tastes bad, back it should go, but different?
26. Be patient and polite. Wait for an appropriate moment to get the bartender’s attention. If he/she isn’t available to take your order at that moment, be polite and say, “Hi, I understand that you’re really busy now, but when you do get a chance, could I order a drink please? I’ll be waiting over there.”
27. Have your order ready. By the time the bartender approaches you, make sure you know your orders, and order them all at once. If you’re with friends, consolidate their orders before getting the bartender’s attention.
28. Know how to pay. Don’t order if you’re not the one paying—this makes it very confusing for the bartender. Order individually if you’re splitting the tab. Also, if you’re planning to have a few drinks at the bar, keep a tab open instead of having them ring you up each time you order a drink.
29. Always agree with the bartender.
Sometimes, people drink more than they realize and start to become a nuisance to others. If the bartender refuses you a drink and asks you to sit down, listen to the bartender and do whatever they tell you to. The bartender is always right. Always.

WHAT THE FUCK??

So, there you are. Ready to sit down in a nice, cool, dark bar. Ready to order your favorite drink and relax. What could be better than that? Wait. Where's the bartender? The dick-bag fuck-stick is more interested in doing anything BUT getting you a drink. He's too busy fucking around with his phone or catching up on the latest bullshit with another employee or kissing up to another customer.

What happened to the good old days when the bartender understood that the most important thing in a bar isn't the selection of booze, the address, or the decor? None of that matters without the customer. Without the customer, the bar would fold and the bartender would be out of a job. Seems like a pretty simple concept. Right? Unfortunately, there seems to be a new crop of bartenders who are either unable - or unwilling - to grasp this concept.
I'm not talking about walking in while it's busy. I'm talking about a time of the day or night when NO bartender has an excuse to make you wait for a drink. Even I don't expect a bartender to stop and discuss the details of the US Open or the NBA Playoffs or my latest tales from Las Vegas when he's super busy. I'm a fairly reasonable man. What I do expect is that the bartender understands the dynamic between me and him. It's simple. I tell him what I want to drink, he makes it, I drink it and I give him money. If any part of this breaks down, there's a problem. If he can keep me in drinks while I'm sitting at the bar, he has completed his basic duty. If he has a good personality and is efficient, I'll keep drinking and spend more money. If he ignores me, is distracted with personal bullshit, or doesn't give a fuck about doing his job, I will take my money elseware. Why should I have to put up with bullshit when I come to the only place on earth where I can get that peaceful, easy feeling? For christsake, it's called “happy hour” for a reason.

So, dear bartenders, the way I see it, it's really simple...

1. I'm here. I'm a customer. I have money and want to spend it on a drink. Your job is to make one and set it down in front of me. How fucking hard can this be?
2. Yes, we all know that you are in charge of the bar. Don't be a dick. I don't give a shit if we agree on which team is the best in the NFL, or what day of the week it is. And, I really don't care if you like me or not. Just act like you do. It's your fucking job. If you insist on always winning, you will always lose, so don't argue with me. I'm here to pay you. Don't fuck up that relationship by being a dick.
3. Fill an empty glass and empty a full ashtray; You are there to take care of the customer. Just do it.
4. Quit fucking around on your phone and get me a drink.
Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Give a drunk man tortilla chips, Velveeta and a hair dryer and he has nachos.

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John Barleycorn
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Re: Bartending 101

Post by John Barleycorn »

If they don't want us customers to act like assholes they should work as barristas instead of bartenders.

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Re: Bartending 101

Post by Mr. Viking »

I don't understand why so many bartenders complain. If they were any good at their job they wouldn't have bad customers. My favourite bars have no bullshit policies. If you dick about you say sorry. If you don't say sorry everybody stares at you until you leave. It's a joint process. The bartender alone doesn't decide. They also need a sense of humour. If a bartender can't laugh at the stupid shit drunks get up to, they aren't up to the task. Get a different job, like a florist or a greengrocer rather than whingeing that tips aren't big enough
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Re: Bartending 101

Post by oettinger »

At one bar I freqeunted some years ago the owner refused to hire university students for bartending jobs because they were not bartending but rather chatting with collegiates all night. He sold that place later.
I met good bartenders, a rare sight, just like the art of gettin hammered.
To me a good bartender is the one welcoming you back in around noon the next day after you thoroughly misbehaved seven hours before,
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Re: Bartending 101

Post by Frankennietzsche »

Mr. Viking wrote: If they were any good at their job they wouldn't have bad customers.
I disagree with you on that. The two things do not necessarily have anything to do with each other.
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Re: Bartending 101

Post by mistah willies »

frankennietzsche wrote:
Mr. Viking wrote: If they were any good at their job they wouldn't have bad customers.
I disagree with you on that. The two things do not necessarily have anything to do with each other.

Damn fine deductive logic.

Coincidence does not equal causality.



Dude...

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Re: Bartending 101

Post by peetie44 »

"This isn't Nam, Smokey, this is MDM…there are rules."

http://www.drunkard.com/issues/01-02/01 ... _rules.htm
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Re: Bartending 101

Post by Palinka (RIP) »

peetie44 wrote:"This isn't Nam, Smokey, this is MDM…there are rules."

http://www.drunkard.com/issues/01-02/01 ... _rules.htm
Nailed it!
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Dear Booze
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Re: Bartending 101

Post by Dear Booze »

Bartending used to be an honorable profession. I recently visited a bar called the Crow's Nest in Santa Cruz, CA and met a guy who has worked there for 42 years, another that's been there for 30, and the "new guy" who's been there for 18. These are guys who have families and mortgages and have put kids through college. Bartending is a real job.

My point is this, I don't think the newer crop of bartenders think of their job as a real career. To them it's nothing more than a job at McDonalds. Furthermore, many of these newer bartenders don't understand how important the customer is to a business. Instead, it's all about them. "How can everyone make me happy?"... "Tip me and do what I want."...

What if we had physicians who insisted that each patient dress a certain way and only makes appointments on certain days and never call the doctor "Doc"?

There are things with any job that can drive a person nuts. The key to being good at the job is how a person deals with it.

For bartenders, being a walking encyclopedia of drink recipes is only part of the equasion. How you handle a room full of drunks is the rest of the job. Telling the customers "don't call me by my first name," and "don't ask me to plug in your phone charger," may make you feel better but it doesn't make you more money.

So, if they are good at their job, customers will like the place better. And if they are good at their job, they will not see the customers as adversaries, but see them as customers with real money, who are ready to spend it, and help pay the bartender's rent.
Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Give a drunk man tortilla chips, Velveeta and a hair dryer and he has nachos.

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Re: Bartending 101

Post by oettinger »

Got all your complaints. Understand the other side aswell.

Stole that quote:
US cab driver. Apparently sick of bad attitudes and poor tipping needs love.
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My latin ends here. Hell, does that even make sense?
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Re: Bartending 101

Post by Dear Booze »

Regarding my last post on this topic:

I don't think that EVERY young bartender has a shitty attitude. There are just more than there used to be. There is a sort of entitlement mentality that's starting to become prevalent with the profession.

I blame Applebee's.
Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Give a drunk man tortilla chips, Velveeta and a hair dryer and he has nachos.

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Re: Bartending 101

Post by Frankennietzsche »

Dear Booze wrote: There is a sort of entitlement mentality that's starting to become prevalent
That is everywhere.
“Süßen witwe Mutter-Hosen — kommst du hier mit mein knackenpfeife schnell, oder Ich zeige Ihnen mein Zuhälter Hand!”

"I am going to pistol-whip the next person who says 'shenanigans' "

"Rectum? It nearly killed him!"

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