June 13

Why Bartenders Hate You


This post is a rant of pet peeves I’ve acquired from working in the service industry. My annoyances are simple: customers that are dumb, cheap and/or needy. Below is what I experience on a regular basis that makes me daydream about Stone Cold Stunner-ing your face through the bar. Note: Anything that has (*) before it indicates that it applies to serving in a restaurant, rather than a bartender-peeve.


  • Don’t put your grimy-ass hands in my bar fruit. It’s not a buffet.
  • *People that have to clean up after you think you’re disgusting. You don’t have to bus your own table but at least make your mess presentable. That’s so cool that your child likes to imagine he’s Godzilla, not so cool that the “buildings” he crushed into the carpet were chips and popcorn. Leave an extra $5 and I won’t imagine your child as the football while I go for a record field goal attempt.
  • Have your drink order ready. I know you’ve been waiting, how do you not know what you want?
  • Have a large order? Order by numbers, not by person—Example: “3 long islands, 1 vodka soda, 1 vodka cran and 2 bud lights” and not “I’ll have a vodka soda, a bud light, a long island, another bud light…thennnnn a vodka cran…oh anddd *turning around* JERRY! What do you want? Ok…and 2 more long islands.”
  • Don’t wait for me to finish making each drink before you tell me the next one. Tell me all your drinks at once, if I forget, I’ll ask. It’s much more efficient for me to make 2 margaritas than for you to order one, get it, and then order another.


  • “$6 for a beer?!?! I could buy a whole six pack for that much.” Then go buy one and stop complaining to me about things I don’t control or care about.
  • *Tip at least $2 on a served meal that is under $10. Yes, I know a $1.60 tip is 20% on your $8 check. I also know that you can fondle my balls with your penny-pinching fingers.
  • *Verbal Tips don’t pay the rent – “OMG, you’re so super-dooper, the service was splendid and the food made me want to piddle my pants!” If you talk to me like that and then don’t leave at least 20%, you make me feel like the first time I heard Mike Tyson’s voice.
  • You (usually a younger guy in a suit): “2 Bud Lights and a Vodka Tonic.”

    Me: “That will be $17, sir.”

    You: “Here’s $17, you can decide how much to ring in on that register.”

    Thanks for giving me the option to steal my tip so you can maintain the facade of being a baller.

  • No, I don’t want to trade a beer for Vicodin.
  • Pretending like you’re going to tip:
    • “I’ll get you next time buddy”
    • …Patting pockets…”ah, I’m all out of cash right now”
    • “Hold on, I’m actually transferring cash into my account from my phone so that I can get money out of the ATM for a tip.”

    Did you forget you were going to an American bar? You’re not going to get me next time and you’re not out of cash. If you’re not going to tip then lower your head in shame and don’t make eye contact with me.

  • “Easy on the [mixer], heavy on the booze.” Shut up and tip better.

I will remember the people that tip huge and the people that don’t tip. Tipping one to two dollars per drink is standard. If you want a positive reaction then you must tip big (tip large after your first drink, not at the end of the night). You don’t have to tip big every time, but if you buy a $5 drink and walk away after giving me the nod and dropping a $20, I’ll take care of you for the rest of the night. Show that you know what’s up and you’ll be taken care of. If you can’t tip then go buy yourself a Blanco Basura and stay home.


  • “Can I try ______?” Yeah, buy it.
  • *It’s the lunch rush. I’m slammed and you decide to raise your hand and alert me that you like your water with no ice and at room temperature. I will laugh to myself, forget about you and gladly accept your 10% tip before I comply with your ridiculous request.
  • *When I ask how everything is – don’t say “it’s ok” you passive little poop-handler. Either say that everything is great or (wo)man up and say how you really feel. It’s hard to get a manager to let me comp a meal because the food was pretty good. Give me something to work with. It also helps if you don’t eat everything.
  • *Meeting your special dietary restrictions or substitutions isn’t a problem, until you try to order something that’s not on the menu. Just because we have mashed potatoes doesn’t mean we have baked potatoes. We have fries, that doesn’t mean we have onion rings, too.
  • You (usually an attractive female): “Make me something special.”

    Me: Boom. Shot of whiskey.

    The exception to this rule is if I know you. Not like acquaintances, like you’ve met my parents.

Be reasonable and use some common sense. It sounds so simple, yet I find myself daydreaming about Stone Cold Stunner-ing more than I should.

Featured image courtesy of Oloremo via Flickr Creative Commons.


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