We’ve all been there, Friday night after works drinks, packed bar and you order one of the most labor-intensive drinks on the menu only to be welcomed by a death stare from the bartender. From spitting a complicated bill to requesting a phone charger, we know in our gut what bartenders’ pet peeves are, but here are a few reminders of what really ticks them off.
1. Charging cell phones for rude guests
We have accepted that charging phones has become a part of our job description, but we still appreciate common courtesy. If you’d like the bartender to charge your phone, ask nicely. You’d be surprised at how often, it is a demand, not a request. And don’t ask for your phone back every few minutes to check your texts. We do have drinks to make.
2. Splitting one round of drinks on five different credit cards
If the bar is slow, we don’t mind as much, but if we are slammed, this just takes so much time away from the line of guests waiting to order. And there are other options. Buy a round for your friends. Venmo. Or just pay cash.
3. When patrons don’t give us a chance to do our jobs
Yes, there are a lot of bad servers and bartenders out there, but we are not them. When you sit at the bar, please give us 30 seconds before you ask for something. Within 30 seconds, we will greet you with water and a menu. If we don’t, by all means, demand those items. But, often customers will ask for water or menus as we’re pouring water for them or handing menus over. That just sets us off on a bad foot.
4. When new guests don’t give us a chance to clear the bar after previous guests have left
We get it, when the bar is crowded and you are waiting for seats, as soon as someone gets up, it is a race for that open spot. But if we are busy, give us a minute to clear and clean the bar before you start ordering things or asking for menus. We see you, promise!
Mojitos are the classic example, but really it is any multi-step cocktail that takes a while to prepare. If you work at an upscale cocktail bar, you expect to make drinks like this more often, but if you at the average bar job, these drinks always seem to be ordered when you are slammed. It’s not that we mind mojitos, it’s more that these drinks slow down our flow, which is frustrating during a busy shift.
Like on the subway, it is rude to take up unnecessary space whether from manspreading or from purses and bags left on multiple bar stools. When you are at a bar, be aware of your surroundings. If the bar gets crowded, condense.
It’s extremely annoying when guests give you a lecture on liquor or cocktail making (to be fair, this doesn’t apply only to male customers, but it’s certainly more common). We are happy to have a conversation about scotch or discuss a cocktail technique, but don’t talk at us about how you used to bartend and know better than we do.
8. When your drink order is “surprise me”
Unless we know you well, this is a frustrating order. Because cocktails vary so much in flavor profile and composition, how do we know if you are more into a Gimlet or a Manhattan? Save this question for speakeasy-style cocktail bars that specialize in individualized drink orders.