Saturday, 25 April 2015

B Is For Bar Etiquette

Day 2 of my A to Z Challenge. B is for Bar Etiquette.

If you don't know how this works, I've posted the link back to the rules of the challenge at the end of this, along with a link to yesterday's post. If you want to ready my full alphabet, just keep following the links. Each day has a link back to yesterday's post.
As some of you may know, I work as a bartender. I do enjoy it, and for every customer who acts like an idiot, there's maybe 50 who don't, but as with anything, it's the idiots who tend to stick in your mind. So I have put together 10 rules of Bar Etiquette. Follow these rules and you will never be THAT customer in any bar :)

1. Know what you want
This applies to the people who stand in a queue bitching that they have to wait (and I’m talking 2-3 minutes here not the 20 they’d have you believe). Then it’s their turn and they start yelling over the packed pub to their table “Dave what you having?”, “Margaret do you want vodka or gin?”, etc and just when they’ve finally got the order sorted, I’ve made the drinks, and I think it’s over, they decide they want to try something new but don’t know what. This is why we have queues!
2. Say please and thank you
Something I wouldn’t have believed would have to be included (bearing in mind everyone in the place is an actual adult) until I started working in a bar – it’s not that hard people!
3. Never ever whistle, snap your fingers or bang on the bar at me
Unless of course you enjoy waiting while I serve literally everyone else, go to the loo and touch up my lippy, have a smoke break, make a coffee, drink the coffee, file my nails, pop outside to see if anyone wants to come in, collect all the glasses and wash all the tables whether they've been used or not. I really can’t stress this one enough!
4. Order all your drinks at once
It makes it quicker for everyone – you, me and the queue behind you if I do all 3 of your vodka and cokes in one trip rather than one at a time. I do this every day. I can and will remember your 6 drink order.
5. Don’t be arsey if I ask you for ID
Not only is it my job, it’s the law – if you are underage and I serve you alcohol, not only will the pub and I get fined, you will too. Take it as a compliment that you look under 21 (we do challenge 21). I have to say though it does give me a laugh when I ID someone and they make a massive show of eye rolling, moaning and all the other stuff they insist on doing, then show me ID that says there were 18 like 3 days ago.
6. Have some money to hand
I’m not insisting you have the exact change, or have the money ready the second I ask, but have it were it is easy to access. You know like a purse or wallet, in your hadbag or pocket not at the bottom of a locked suitcase. You know you have to pay, be getting it ready while you stand in line moaning about waiting!
7. Don’t argue about the price
I don’t mean if you genuinely think there’s been a mistake. I mean the person who asks, for example, “How much is a pint of Carling?” I say “£2.30” and they then say “I’ll give you £2”. Erm no. No, you won’t. Also when buying a packet of crisps, telling me they are cheaper in Asda doesn’t mean I can magically lower the price just for you, but congratulations on your observation skills!
8. Don’t blame me for your mistake
If you ask for a vodka and coke and you meant vodka and lemonade, don’t make out I’m an idiot that made the wrong drink. Admit that you made a mistake ordering it. I am much more likely to switch it for you based on you being a reasonable person who made a mistake than an arsehole yelling at me.
9. Don’t assume buying me a drink means you’re somehow “in” 
I’m not one of those bartenders that thinks every customer has some sort of obligation to buy me a drink. For those that do, I do appreciate it, but I don’t think I’m somehow entitled to it. If however, you do choose to buy me a drink, I think of it as a thank you and by accepting it, I am accepting your thanks, not agreeing to go on a date with you/sleep with you/push you in the queue/sneak you an extra measure or any of the other things some people seem to think it means.
10. Don’t tell me how to do my job
I don’t care that you ran a chain of pubs for 17 years (read here was a glass washer for a weekend and couldn’t handle it). Unless I am on your payroll, I will be doing it my manager’s way, not your way. And for the record, you are not paying my wages, the owner of the pub is. If you don’t come in, I will still get paid believe it or not!

Can you think of any others that should be added? Or how about what bartenders do that drives customers up the wall?
Follow me on Twitter @randommusings29 and feel free to comment :)

A is for Awesome link:

You Baby Me Mummy
Mami 2 Five
Modern Dad Pages


  1. It irritates me when people don't say please and thank you to bar staff, my mum was a barmaid when she was younger and always drummed that into me. The other thing is pushing in front of other people, if someone was there first say it!! #TheList

    1. Me too! It's something that is just common courtesy when speaking to anyone. I think it would be harder to not say it because its always been something my mum drummed into me too.
      Yeah that's a good one the pushing in - people are so impatient!

  2. Noooo do people still click their fingers, tell me that's not true! I thought we were past the time of not realising bar tenders are actual people?! Great post, I think you've covered it and spot on for the please and thank yous. I think now I'm a mum I instinctively say (before I can stop myself!!), what do you say?! hah! thanks for linking up to #Thelist xx

    1. Sadly people do still click their fingers! I do tend to tell them off for it though, so hopefully they don't do it in the next pub! I think I might start using the "what do you say" as a response to rude customers lol. Thank you for hosting, I love #TheList!

  3. Great list! I'm amazed at how rude people can be to anyone in the service industry. When they get drunk it gets even find out exactly what type of person they are. Here's hoping you at least get some decent tips to make up for some of your worse patrons! Elle @ Erratic Project Junkie

    1. Thank you :) You're right even the nicer customers can become rude when they have a drink! Generally I do ;)

  4. I'm with you on this. I think most things are excusable if someone has the right attitude - I might sometimes stand there and order and then think oh shit - I forgot someone's drink etc. but explaining it and being polite always means I get a nice response back! I feel for everyone in the service industry so many people treat others like shit for no reason - other than they think they are better than the person serving them. Mel xx #effitfriday love the A-Z post idea - might have to jump on board. Mel xx

    1. I agree - if someone is nice to me I'll be nice back. I'm lucky in the sense that the club I work in isn't one of those arse licky places so if someone is a dick to me, I will be a dick back :) I'd definitely recommend the A-Z posts, they really got me into the swing of blogging to a schedule :)

  5. What a great post. The hubster used to be a barman (in fact he was literally working as one when we met - yes I fell for the dishy barman ;) ) He always told me the banging on the bar thing would get you no service at all. He always said he always served those who waited patiently and those who looked a bit bewildered first hahaha. #effitfriday

    1. Same here! The guaranteed way for fast service is to not moan or be rude, maybe even smile a little lol!