3 Ways to Piss Off Your Bartender

Drink Features Bartender Etiquette
3 Ways to Piss Off Your Bartender

In case you were wondering, you’re apparently not “projecting” or “being insecure” when you get the creepy sense that your bartender is judging you. He or she probably is. In fact, your bartender expects to be tipped for thinking you’re a tool. And only 38% of them think $1 per drink is a sufficient gratuity for their gratuitous inner (or not so inner) monologues on how lame you are because you ordered the wrong drink.

Yep. In a great cosmic irony, the guy pouring your Appletini “thinks less of you” than if you’d ordered… something he considers cooler. And since I know that your greatest fear is probably being held in disdain by the person pouring your pint, I wanted to report on the results of some recent mob-polling so you can either hold these data firmly in mind in an effort to court the approval of your bartender. Or alternatively, to become a house-bound recluse because you just can’t take the snide side-eye of the man-bun neckbeard hipster standing between you and your pomegranate-acai Cosmo.

Alcohol.org surveyed over 250 bartenders on what they really think of your tavern schtick. Because if we’re not here to seem impressive to people in bars, I don’t even know what, right? Here is a partial list of things you are probably screwing up:

Asking to charge your cell phone.
No, it doesn’t matter why you didn’t do it on your own time. It doesn’t matter if your battery’s run down because a family medical emergency has erupted, and it doesn’t matter if you’re drowning your sorrows down the street from the veterinary ER waiting to hear if you’re going to have to euthanize your pet. You can’t borrow their electrical outlets. Don’t be a dick OK?

Obviously, ordering an Appletini.
They Just Can’t. OK? And if it’s not clear why, there’s no point even trying to explain it to you. What you might not realize is that about one in four Tapsters also think you suck for ordering (in descending order) a Jaegerbomb, lite beer, or water. Yeah. You’re less likely to get the big L-shape-finger-on-forehead behind your back if you order a White Russian than if you trouble these arbiters of courtesy for an H2O. No data at this time on whether your cool points go up or down if you call the White Russian a “Caucasian.”

Flirting with the bartender.
Because it is of paramount importance to make sure the total stranger behind the bar holds you in high esteem, please note that flirting with the bartender is annoying (no data on whether they think it is in their purview to flirt with you, but my unofficial data set suggests a possible double-standard here). But flirting is nowhere near as annoying as asking the bartender to “surprise you” when making a drink. And In case this wasn’t obvious, you should not flash money to get their attention. No matter how long they’ve been ignoring you having “excessive conversation” (annoyance 5 of 10) with the guy three stools down.

According to the survey, cocktail bartenders are more likely than any other servers to sneer at you if they think your order displays a lack of hipness. A server in a restaurant conveying your order to the bar apparently and unsurprisingly has less bandwidth to devote to contemplating how much of a jerk you are for wanting a daiquiri.

Let’s be clear, these stalwarts do have to deal with some serious stuff. Three out of four have had to call someone a cab. Over 25% of bartenders will not cut you off no matter how much you’ve had. Among those who will cut you off, the average is about four drinks if you’re a woman, and six if you’re a man.

On tipping etiquette: 38% of bartenders felt $1 per drink was the reasonable average. 0% of bartenders surveyed made a connection between tip percentage and whether they were serving their patrons without patronizing and judging them.

Check out Alcohol for more juicy details. Meanwhile, remember: Never ask for a free drink, do not claim you know the owner if you do not know the owner because you might in fact be talking to the owner. And drink your lite beer in the safety of your own home where no one can make faces at you behind your back, because the holiday season is rough enough already. Slainte!

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