10 Things You Shouldn’t Say to a Bartender
Heading to the bar? Politeness goes a long way. Remember to be kind—and tip your bartender.
“Can you make this stronger?”
The extra alcohol isn’t free. If you want more, you’ll have to order another drink—or one with a higher ABV. See what else your bartender wishes you’d stop doing.
“It’s my birthday! Can I have a free drink?”
Unless a bar or restaurant has a particular birthday special they have advertised, don’t assume you can get the royal treatment on your birthday. If you’re set on getting gifts, choose a place where you can get free food and drinks on your b-day, or let your friends buy you a drink to celebrate.
“So, what’s your real job?”
This question makes it seem like bartending is not a “real” job since it doesn’t involve sitting at a desk or working on a factory line. Bartending takes a lot of know-how! Plus, whether bartending is someone’s full-time job or a side hustle to make extra cash is none of your business.
Asking a bartender to smile may make them feel uncomfortable. In general, catcalls, derogatory remarks and slurs are offensive and unacceptable. This is what your bartender won’t tell you.
Contrary to what some patrons may believe, bartenders are not mind readers. If you want to have a drink you tried at another place, try to describe it in as much detail as possible or find it on your phone before you go up to order (these copycat drink recipes might help). And if you have preferences of flavors or certain types of alcohol, let them know and they can make you something great.
“How much do you make in a shift?”
This question is unbelievably rude. How much someone makes is none of your business. Do you ask your friends how much they make, or vice versa?
“Can you make me something good?”
The more specific you are with your order, the easier things will be on both you and the bartender. Check out the secret cocktail ingredients bartenders swear by.
“I know the owner.”
Congratulations! So does the bartender if it’s a local spot. Knowing the owner of a bar does not give you any special privileges. And be sure not to lie: that bartender may actually be the owner.
“Hello? I’ve been standing here for a while.”
So have plenty of others. Keep in mind that just because you weren’t served immediately, does not mean you’re being ignored. This is how to get the best service at the bar.