You May Serve Our Drinks, But You Ain't God: Ten Etiquette Tips for Bartenders
Last week, I gave you a list of 10 etiquette tips for patrons of a bar.
Photo from the U.S. National Archives Tip #1: Dress like a dapper gentleman.
This week, in fairness, I'm turning the tables.
Sure, there are some really annoying customers out there, but sometimes bartenders need a little reminder about how to behave as well. Yes, you work hard for your money (I know -- I've bartended before), but so do we, and unless we're drinking with Gordon Ramsay, we expect to be treated fairly. Some bartenders just don't get it, and perhaps those select few are in the wrong industry. It's time to shape up or ship out.
And because I know many of you will get your panties in a bind about the thankless job of bartending, feel free to give me a piece of your mind in the comments. Just don't give me a piece of lime that's been sitting out all day. Thanks.
10. Don't openly judge the drink I just ordered.
Photo by Ben Lucier.
Some nights I just want a vodka and club soda. I know, I know, vodka is largely reviled in the bartending industry. You think it's flavorless and therefore useless. I get that. It's not great. But every now and then, I want something simple and low-cal that tastes like I'm drinking booze. I want it to burn on the way down, and I want to feel shitty the next morning. So don't make a face when I order a vodka and club soda or a michelada or something from the well. Don't tell me that what I ordered is nasty or not high quality. Just make it for me and accept my generous tip for stooping so low.
9. Don't make a scene of giving free drinks to friends
When I was bartending, I loved to have friends come see me on slow nights. It can be fun to show off for them or just have someone to chat with to kill time. But if there are other people at the bar within earshot, don't loudly proclaim that your friend is getting her drinks on the house. No one wants to feel that someone else is getting preferential treatment. It's totally fine to give a buddy a drink, but do it with subtlety. Same goes for that hot customer who you've been flirting with all night. If you want to buy him a drink, then by all means, do so! There's just no need to be showy about it.
8. Clean the freaking bar
I know you're busy. I know that it's more important to keep the wait short than to immediately wash every dirty glass that comes back to the bar. But for God's sake, don't let the used glasses, cocktail napkins, straws and squeezed lime carcasses pile up where customers can see them. Dirty dishes need to be cleared as soon as possible. They don't need to be washed the second they're returned (unless you're running out of glasses, duh), but they should never be allowed to sit on tables or on the bar. If you can't keep up with the used glasses, maybe it's time to hire a barback.