Thursday, April 23, 2009

Major Bar Faux Pas

Most of the time, I really enjoy my customers at the bar. Honestly. No joke. I am very fortunate to work in an environment where my customers are respectful towards our staff and are a genuine pleasure to serve. The smile on my face is for real because I truly am happy to be working behind the bar I am at now.

Over the years, I have come across customers who want to make my night a painful one, whether it be intentional or not. There are a few things a customer can do that can really annoy or piss a bartender off. If you fear you might be getting ignored by the bartender or receiving exceptionally weak drinks, check to see if you are committing any one of the following major bar faux pas:

1. Placing the same drink order with multiple bartenders.
When a customer places an order with one bartender, that customer needs to stay with that bartender throughout the whole transaction. Otherwise, if the customer places the same drink order with more than one bartender, that customer is going to receive more drinks than they bargained for. Not only does this eat up valuable drink making time, but it costs money and wastes product. The bartender has to try and sell those extra drinks or throw them out. Either way, the bartender will remember that customer on their next round and make the customer pay in the form of an extra wait or an extra weak drink.

2. Picking up the napkin a bartender places in front of the customer.
When a bartender places a napkin or coaster in front of a customer, they are communicating to the rest of the bartenders behind the bar that the customer has been acknowledged, approached and had their order taken. If a customer picks up the napkin and uses it to blow their nose or clean off the bar, the other bartenders behind the bar have no way of knowing whether or not that customer has been helped without having to ask them. The marking with the napkin or coaster prevents the customer from being bombarded by multiple bartenders for their drink order. Customers should relax. It's their night off. Leave the cleaning of the bar top to the bartender.

3. Snapping fingers to get the bartenders attention.
Bartenders are humans, not dogs. There is no reason to treat a bartender like a dog. It's disrespectful and rude.

4. Telling the bartender to "Make it strong!"
If a customer places their drink order and follows the order with the instructions to "Make it strong!", that customer is assuming that the bartender would have made them a weak drink. Customers should give bartenders a chance. If a customer orders their first round and finds that the drinks were on the weak side, they should mention it to the bartender on the second round or ask for a double. A customer should never assume that the bartender is going to make a weak drink or else that is exactly what the customer will get.

5. Not leaving a tip.
This goes without saying. Bartenders provide a service for their customers in hopes of being rewarded by their customers in the form of a tip. If a customer stiffs a bartender, that bartender NEVER forgets. EVER.

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