Saturday, January 8, 2011
"What would you like to drink?"
This is how I typically start every single one of my bar transactions with a customer.
Every now and then I get a customer who responds to my question, "Well, what's good?"
It's fine. I get it. People like this are trying hard to be funny in front of their friends. If it's slow enough at the bar, I might humor the customer and ask them what types of drinks they normally drink or what spirit they would like their cocktail to be based on. But in most of my experiences, the wisecracking customer always seems to ask this question at the wrong time...when I am knee deep in drink orders from servers and have a packed house at the bar. I'm talking standing room only. It's at times like these when all I can say in response to the customer is "Well, EVERYTHING is good", just as I take the drink order of the person standing next to the wise guy.
That's right. People who try to be funny when a bartender is busy generally get skipped. It's not that we are trying to be rude. We are just trying to be efficient. If not only for the tip jar, but for the bar.
When a bar is busy and there is only one bartender taking the drink orders and making the drinks, there isn't a whole lot of time to have a discussion about what "good" drink a customer should have. If a bartender does stop in the middle of a rush to have this type of conversation, you better believe the rest of the bar will be watching angrily and slapping their fists full of cash on the bar.
Do yourself a favor potentially wisecracking customer. Be mindful of the bar and save your funny comments and responses for the slower portions of the evening. Trust me, you will be better off annoying the poor bartender who has to pretend to laugh and strain to find humor in your comments than having to deal with the wrath of countless thirsty bar patrons who already know what's "good" and are ready to order.