6 Things Your Bartender Knows, But You Might Not Like

Like what you did last night...

Whether you like to go out with a full crew and hit the town or just have a couple of drinks at your local bar, you're going to run into some of the most knowledgeable people on the planet: bartenders.

Part shrink, part life coach, part bouncer, and part babysitter, bartenders see and hear things that other people aren't privy to. Here are six things that every bartender – including yours – knows.


1. Your bartender knows you're there, so stop waving your money.

Every time we go into a crowded bar, we see the same amateurish behavior on the part of people who sigh loudly and complain as they stand a row back from the edge of the bar while the music is blaring and people collect their drinks: They wave money and say stuff like "yo, can I get some service here?!"

That's not how you get served. No one wants to be yelled at. Stop waving that $20 bill. Here's what you do:

1) Make your way to the bar, to the very edge. Get an elbow or a hand on the bar: Claim some real estate. Then, make eye contact.

2) Know what you want and don't make it something crazy if the bar is packed. Two ingredients, max. Rum and coke. Beer and shots. Keep it simple. If it's loud, write it down on a napkin and smile when you hand it over: that way you don't look like you're about to order for your whole crew, even if you are.

3) Pay cash. If you're trying to close your credit card out at the end of the night, you may be waiting a long time while other people do the same.

4) Tip heavy upfront, look them in the eye and say "thank you." Be remembered as the person who took care of them and they'll take care of you.

On that note....

2. Your bartender knows how well regulars tip and treats them accordingly.

You wonder why the bartender always hooks up some people with shots while you seem to pay for each ice cube? It's because those people tip. Think of it this way: All that booze behind the bar isn't the bartender's. But his or her tip money is.

See how that works?

Bar owners know that a certain amount is going to get comped. That's how the game is played. Keep a customer drunk and happy and he'll keep coming back to get drunk and happy. 

It's really just the golden rule, but with booze.

Good customers tip well and are treated well. Their misdeeds are more tolerated, their drinks tend to be stronger, and they're just treated better in general. 

3. Your bartender knows how to make a drink.

Unless you're ordering something like a Dirty Sock (Scotch and pineapple juice, if you must know), chances are your bartender knows how to make "your" drink. If he or she doesn't, they'll ask you.

What you don't want to do is complicate a bartender's life by ordering something ridiculously modified, especially when it's busy. By extension, that includes anything made in a blender and anything requiring muddling mint and berries. Save that for when it's slow. Your bartender thanks you, as do all the people who just want something in a green bottle.

4. Your bartender knows a guy who knows a guy.

This is no joke. Bartenders see a wide variety of people at their most vulnerable and often have huge networks of friends and customers who owe them favors. 

Looking for a job? Talk to your bartender. Her cousin probably has a friend who needs someone like you. Need a new set of tires? Talk to your bartender. He might know someone at the shop who can hook you up. Need an attorney? Ask your bartender.

Bartenders know everybody. 

5. Your bartender knows how drunk you are.

If a bartender puts a pint glass full of water in front of you, try to think of that as a friendly way of saying, "you're about one drink from getting cut off and two drinks from getting kicked out."

Your drunk brain won't realize this, but what you must remember tomorrow when you're a hot, steaming, mess of hungover shame is that the bartender always knows how drunk you are and that's why your keys are sitting in a fishbowl next to the cash register.

Be glad that they're watching out for you.

6. Your bartender knows what happened last night.

If you really want to know who you insulted, ask the bartender.

If you really want to know where your credit card went, ask the bartender.

If you really want to know who you hooked up with... Ask the bartender.

If you really want to know what happened after this...

And this...

And this...

But before this...

Ask your bartender... but only if you really want to know.

And chances are, you don't.

Cover photo via gif screengrab or wikipedia images.

Be safe and please don't drink and drive.

Please share this with your friends and bartender.


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