Bar Behavior - Don't Be A Loser
by Brian Fynch
There is a right and wrong way to act in a bar. While some may disagree with my list
it probably won't be a bartender or pub regular. They understand that a customer
not only has a duty to behave in a responsible manner he also should do things that
are right and proper for the pub and those involved with it. You won't find these in
any official guide but they are rules I follow every time I'm in a bar. So here is my list:
1. No whistling or snapping your fingers or waving money to call the bartender.
Each is a great way to get ignored as is calling the name you just heard from
2. Come with the right amount of cash. You’re not only wasting the bartender’s time
and delaying his tip by at least a week when you use your credit card for a beer or
two. The really savvy customer carries enough for his bill and tip and never asks for
3. You may feel like talking with the person next to you but they might be there for
some quiet time. Take the hint and watch the TV until someone more social comes in.
4. Decide on your drink before being asked for your order. You're clearly a loser if
you always ask a usually uninformed water or bartender to give you tasting notes on
every beverage available. Make a choice and drink it with a smile.
5. Forget fizzy drinks and those with the little umbrellas. Let's be honest, bars are
for people who enjoy drinking and those things barely qualify. If your drink does
come with an umbrella quietly put it in your pocket. You can play with it later.
6. When you're in a seat with an empty one on either side of you and a couple walks
in, don't wait for them to ask you to move, do it. It's polite and you won't have to put
up with them crying about having to sit apart or making the male play martyr by
standing behind the female as she sits.
7. If you're out with a group of friends and you get stuck in an end seat get up and
stand in the middle. The idea of being out with friends is to actually be with them. A
little standing might even encourage a sitting pal to buy you a drink.
8. When you notice a buyback (free drink) on your bill tip half the value of the drink
or at least $3 to $4 per. When a bartender comps me a $10 drink my tip on it is
generally $7. Never do that after the round. The tip should be included when you
get your total bill or when you leave. And yes, you still tip in the normal fashion on the
rest of the bill.
9. Another tip on tipping. If you expect good service and want to be remembered on
your next visit a tip of $5 a beer might do it. And by the way, a $5 bill is more noticed
than 5 singles. Ask any bartender if you don't believe me.
10. Always stop drinking before you think you can have just one more before feeling
it. Since that last one is usually one too many you're already at your limit.
11. If you're with someone don't play with your phone. It's rude. Besides someone
may spill a drink on it. Maybe even unintentionally.
12. Never as for a "good pour" since it implies the normal pour is garbage. Besides,
it's like asking for stuff for free. You'll be taken care of if you tip accordingly.
13. Try to be a regular at several bars. When you're a known customer you get
better service. That's just good business for all involved. My definition of a "regular"
is someone who goes to the same bar at least once every 7 to 10 days.
14. When your bartender says he/she is closing out on their shift do not ask that
they carry over your bill. They've done the work and they deserve your tip.
15. If you and your group are on a single tab don't argue about shares. If you have
to put in a few extra bucks so be it. And always be sure the tip is appropriate. Most
group bar tabs tend to be light on the tip unless someone is an accountant.
16. If the bartender hints you've had enough or cuts you off don't argue. He's
looking out for what's best for you and the establishment. If he calls you a cab he
deserves an extra thank you tip the next time you're in the pub.
17. Sorry but you will not get more liquor if you ask for no ice in you're drink. Ice or
no ice your drink will probably have about 1 1/2 to 2 ounces of liquor. That's it.
18. Don't be a litter bug. There's no reason to rip up that napkin or coaster, it hasn't
done anything to you has it? Besides, a mess means an unhappy bartender and
that's never a good thing.
19. No four letter words unless they are G-rated. People who shout out profanities
at a bar show their class...... all low.
20. The Prime Directive - your bartender is always right.
There you have it, 20 rules I've followed in many years of bar going. They've held
me in good stead as they will you. Cheers and happy drinking!
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20 rules for bar goers