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8 Things You'll Never Hear a Bartender Say

by Melissa Allen Mar 20, 2019

Bartenders talk a lot — it’s a necessary part of the job. But after years behind the bar, we know that there are certain things that will or should never be uttered. Here are eight things you’ll never hear a bartender say.

1. “I’m a bartender.”

Of course, if someone asks about what we do, we don’t hide it, but we tend not to offer up that information, especially when we’re out at someone else’s bar or restaurant. Usually, bartenders can spot fellow bartenders anyway, but there is something that feels disrespectful about bringing it up. It feels like we’re fishing for free drinks, even if that’s not true.

2. “What’s your favorite drink to make?”

This is the single most irritating question to ask a bartender, therefore, you’ll never hear us ask someone else. We will ask another bartender for recommendations or specifics on a cocktail, but never this question because the answer has very little relevance to what we might enjoy.

3. “I love brunch.”

Bartending ruins brunch. Either you have PTSD from years spent bartending brunch or you’re so exhausted on weekend mornings from working until 5:00 AM that the last thing you want to do is rush to a crowded restaurant the minute you wake up. Brunch can be a beautiful thing, but bartenders hardly ever enjoy it.

4. “I don’t do shots.”

Of course, one probably shouldn’t do shots. Things never end particularly well when shots are involved. But there is something about the camaraderie of shots that gets us every time.

5. “Well is fine.”

When at a dive bar, we drink like it. But, in general, we’re picky about what we drink, especially if we’re having a martini or a spirit neat. If we’re going to have a drink, we’ll pay the $5 extra and have a tasty one.

6. “Can you remake this drink?”

Even if another bartender completely botches our cocktail order, we will never send a drink back. We’ll probably even drink it all. We’re not saying this is the correct way to handle said situation, we just have a complex over bothering people after years of dealing with it.

7. “There goes your tip.”

There is a special place in hell for the kind of people who vocally threaten a server or bartender’s tip. If you don’t want to leave a tip, don’t leave one. If you want to speak to management about poor service, ask to speak to management. But never throw an expression like “there goes your tip” around like you’re reprimanding a child. No matter how bad the service, a bartender would never say those words.

8. “I wish I had an office job.”

Most bartenders bartend because they’re not the nine-to-five type. Yes, sometimes we long for weekends off and our nights free, but in general, we’re pretty happy living our lives in reverse.

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