Bartender Pet Peeves To Avoid

At every level of the industry, from people who learn to cook online to tenured restaurant professionals, there is a word-of-mouth list of pet peeves. We’ve collected them from some beloved bartenders. These may be simple manners mess-ups or intricate issues known only to those behind the counter. Check out our list so you don’t irritate the bartender the next time you visit the local watering hole or a fantastic foreign locale.

  • Fights are an occupational hazard for bartenders. Customers who have had one too many and get rowdy should just leave before causing trouble. If your friend it getting feisty, please remove them from the bar. If you’re the one getting sassy, know your limits and head home before causing any trouble.
  • Making moves on the bartender with the expectation that they will give you free drinks is just silly. They’re just doing their job and giving you, or anyone, free drinks could jeopardize that job. If you want free drinks, make some moves on another customer. They can get you drinks without jeopardizing their job.
  • Indecisive customers are the worst. Most bartenders are totally happy to explain the ingredients and process of making drinks and the nuances of sherry versus brandy, but don’t expect liqueur 101 at the busiest point in the night. Know what you would like before stepping up to order and your bartender will thank you.
  • Don’t ask for happy hour to be extended. Yes, you’re only 10 minutes late, but that’s 10 minutes and several customers who would have also had to receive special treatment. Even if you are there with a large party and plan to spend a lot of money, be respectful of the establishment’s rules and timing. If you wanted to receive happy hour prices, you should have come earlier.
  • If you frequent a certain bar and have a good rapport with a particular bartender, good for you. If you go there one night and your usual bartender isn’t there, don’t be disappointed. Whoever is on staff that night can make a dirty martini to your specifications, just be sure to tell them exactly how you like it. You may even end up with two favorite bartenders.
  • Several bartenders mentioned that they dislike when bartenders judge a person because of their choice of drink. It’s irritating when the response to an order is an eye roll or a rude comment. Sometimes you just need a really frilly, fruity drink, regardless of your gender. That’s totally OK! You should feel free to order whatever you want and not have the bartender judge you.
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