By Stacy Liberatore
What if you could hear everything your bartender is thinking. You’re in luck. I am a bartender and I’m about to tell you everything that goes through a bartender’s mind while she is serving you.
This insider knowledge will help you get stronger drinks, faster service, flirtatious smiles and if you’re lucky, maybe even free drinks. Here are my Top-10 bartender secrets that can make any night out – better.
Know What you Want: This is common sense, but I’d say 50 percent of all bar patrons don’t know this. They hail you like a cab in the rain, but when you walk over, they have no idea what they want to order. A bar isn’t a sit down restaurant. It’s an “in and out” type of place. The longer you make the bartender wait for you to decide, the more frustrated they will become and remember it on your second round.
Choose your Words Wisely: You should never treat your bartender like she is your servant. In fact, if you really want to score better service, treat her like she is a police officer. Ask questions, rather than demand. Don’t tell her, “I want a beer.” Instead, ask for a specific beer. We aren’t mind readers.
Master the Body.. Language: Don’t whistle, wave or yell, “Hey!” It will only make you wait longer. If you want the bartender’s attention, use social graces. Smile or nod when the bartender is making eye contact with you and she will know that you are ready to order.
Don’t Brag about Bartending School: It’s not like you want to an Ivy League University. There is no bonding between bartender and patron if you attended bartending school. Patrons are always telling me they went to bartending school while I am making their drink. I didn’t go to bartending school, so what does that mean for me? Most bartenders got their gig by working hard to get their foot in the door. All I will say next is, “Oh really? And what bar do you work at?”
Get a Room: The worst view for a bartender is the tonsil hockey display right in front of their bar. That’s great you’re in love or met your fling for the night but no one wants to see how your romance story ends.
Tipping: This isn’t just a city in China people. Bartenders make their living on what you give them. We won’t smile at you for the dollar you left after your ordered your $12 drink. Here’s a secret. If you plan on camping out at a bar for a few hours, I would recommend a decent size tip on your first round. Every time you make your way to the bar after that, your bartender will make sure you get speedy service.
Don’t ask me to make your drink stronger: If you want a stronger drink order a double. It’s as simple as that.
Don’t Hit or Hit on the Bartender: As a bartender, we get hit on all the time. I’ve heard every line in the book and seen all of the tactics. We may be super nice to you, but it’s part of the job. If you ask for our number and we reply with “I don’t give my number out,” do us both a favor and leave it at that.
Don’t Ask for Personal Favors: If the bartender is busy, don’t ask us to charge your phone. It might seem like a simple favor, but when we’re hustling to serve drinks and we have to shuffle your Iphone in between, it takes time. And if you absolutely need to recharge your phone, wait until the bar scene is less hectic.
Give us some Credit: We aren’t just bartenders; we are therapists, matchmakers, best friends, and entertainers. If you have always followed these bar rules, then hats off to you. If not, I guess you learn something everyday. Follow all of these the next time you go out, your bartender will thank you.