Bar etiquette illustration

BAR ETIQUETTE

The age old golden rule can exist even in the chaos of a bar environment .
We will follow an interaction between guests at a cocktail bar and a mindful bartender step by step,
and analyze the etiquette on both ends.

Matt Grippo Contributing Writer

by Matt Grippo
Published April 2015

The age old golden rule can exist even in the chaos of a bar environment .

We will follow an interaction between guests at a cocktail bar and a mindful bartender step by step, and analyze the etiquette on both ends.

 

Guest: [approaches bar with order ready and cash and card in hand]

Bartender: [smiles, makes eye contact, and greets] “Hello, how are you this evening?”

 

Guest: [looks bartender in the eye] “I’m well thanks, how’s your night so far?”

Bartender: “It’s going great thanks, here’s a menu, let me know if you have any questions.”

 

Guest: “Thanks, is there a tequila drink you can recommend for a friend? They like margaritas typically.”

Bartender: “Of course, I can certainly make something that would satisfy.”

 

Guest: “Thanks, that would be great, I would love an IPA for myself if you have one.”

Bartender: “I certainly do!” [bartender walks away to quickly pour the beer so that the customer can enjoy a sip while he crafts a tequila cocktail]

 

Guest: “This is great, thanks.” [after sipping his beer]

Bartender: “You’re welcome.”

[begins making cocktail]

 

*While the Bartender is finishing the cocktail a young woman approaches the bar blurting

out an order after waving at the bartender.*

 

Bartender: “I will be with you shortly.“ [while smiling, hands guest the cocktail] “Need

anything else?”

Guest: “That will be all for now.”

Bartender: “Ok, these two will be $14.00 please.”

Guest: “Do you take credit cards?”

Bartender: “Yes we do.”

Guest: [hands bartender credit card]

 

Bartender: “Would you like to start a tab?”

Guest: “That would be great.”

 

Bartender: “Perfect, you’re all set. Enjoy your drinks.”

Guest: “Thanks.”

Bartender: “You’re very Welcome.”

 

Bar Etiquette illustration

Not all interactions will go this smoothly. Now lets get back to that impatient customer and see how our mindful bartender deals with the situation.

 

Bartender: “Hi, how’s it…”

Guest #2: [cuts off bartender mid-sentence] “Give me 2 shots of Jamo and a Shocktop.”

 

Bartender: “I’m sorry I don’t have Shocktop. Can I get you a Hefeweizen?”

Guest #2: “You don’t have Shocktop?”

 

Bartender: “Unfortunately no, but I have a nice orange wheat beer. Would you like to try it?” [pours 2 shots]

Guest #2: [handing the bartender a card while looking at his phone] “Just close the tab.”

 

Bartender: “Sure, did you want me to pour you a beer?”

Guest #2: “No, I don’t like wheat beers. I’m ok.”

 

Bartender: “That will be $16.00.”

Guest #2: [signs closed tab] “Actually, gimme a Bud Light.”

Bartender: [takes a deep breath] “Yes, coming right up.”

Guest #2: [hands bartender his card again while shoving hand in fruit tray and helping himself to a handful of maraschino cherries] “Close it.”

 

Which guest are you?

The Golden Rule

One should treat others as one would like other to treat oneself . A mutual respect is maintained between guest and barkeep. It’s a simple symbiotic relationship in which both parties need each other. They can coexist cordially and politely and have swift yet thoughtful interactions where all are satisfied and the next customer is now ready to interact hopefully in a similar fashion.

 

Here are some tips for the next time you are in a similar situation.

1. Make eye contact, it’s just respectful.

2. Stay off your phone while ordering.

3. If you are in a group, get the order straight before

approaching unless you have specific questions.

4. If you have questions or need a recommendation, trust your bartender.

5. Have your cash ready or your credit card in hand, it’s always good to know ahead if the bar accepts credit cards. If they do accept cards, open a tab. Chances are you will have more than one.

6. Be patient, especially when ordering craft cocktails. Know that making cocktails is an art form.

7. Only hand the bartender cash or card once they give you the total.

8. Never wave and or shout to get the bartender’s attention.

9. Remember to say “Please” and “Thank you.”

10. Know when to say when, and always drink responsibly.

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