How to Be a Good Bar Patron

A guide to doing your part to get great service and a memorable experience (and maybe a free drink or two!)
  1. Be prepared.
    Read the menu. Know what you want before getting the bartender's attention. Have your cash or credit card in hand. In a busy bar, those few seconds of "um, I don't know" and digging into your purse or wallet really add up. A bartender loves and appreciates a prepared, decisive order.
  2. Have patience.
    You're not the only patron at the bar. A good bartender knows you're there and won't let you wait too long. Don't wave him or her down. Don't stick your finger in the air. Don't yell "excuse me!" Of course not every high volume bartender is on top of everything, so expect to wait a few minutes sometimes. It's not the end of the world.
  3. Boundaries.
    Never touch your bartender or server. Introduce yourself and chat with them if you want, but don't treat them like your therapist. They don't get paid enough for that. Know your limits when it comes to alcohol consumption. This may be difficult, but work on it. If your bartender/bouncer tells you you've had enough or it's time to go, respect their decision. They are in charge, and it's for your own good.
  4. Tip accordingly.
    Bartenders don't even get paid minimum wage. Tipped minimum wage is based on the assumption that they're getting tipped and the wage covers taxes alone. It's IMPORTANT. A dollar a drink is extremely dated and applies to simple orders like beer. A complicated cocktail deserves more gratitude ($2-$5 depending). On credit cards, 20% applies. If you get exceptional service, match your verbal tip monetarily. You will be rewarded accordingly!
  5. Don't be a dick.
    Life advice in general. Honestly, most that behave like this are lost causes. If you act like a privileged piece of shit, you will be ignored at a busy bar. If you are demanding and unappreciative, you will be ignored at a busy bar. If you make other patrons uncomfortable, you will be kicked out. If you yell at the bartender, you will be kicked out.
  6. The bartender is always right.
    "The customer is always right" does not apply. The customer is inebriated. If your bartender suggests a water instead of your 7th drink, say thank you. They have been trained to assess what's best for safety reasons. Saying, "Could you put more liquor in this?" without expecting to pay more is cheap and insulting. Bartenders are also trained to pour exact shots that cost specific amounts in your cocktails. And for the record, you cannot sue for discrimination if we don't want to serve you.