Bar Etiquette: 10 Things You Might Be Doing Wrong In a BarWritten by David MasifonPosted on 02 23, 2018
It’s a Friday night and if you are considering going on a bar crawl this weekend, then maybe you should do a check up on some of your bar etiquette.
Whether you are the type who will approach the bartender to fix you a drink or the one who will lounge out in your seat and wait for the waitress to come take your order, there are some things you will need to get right.
No arguments, most of us have all gotten it wrong at some point, but it’s okay as we may not have had any idea we were doing it all so wrong.
So here are 10 things you might be doing wrong each time you walk into a bar/lounge:
10. Take in the bar scene
Whether you are a regular or a new customer, when you walk into a bar, take a moment or two to take in what is going on. Is the bar crowded? Is it a special night? Is there a silent disco night going on? Where is the best possible place to sit? This will allow you to understand what is going on, and know how best to approach the bartender or waitresses.
9. Getting attended to
When you finally get to the bar or get seated, never court attention by any rude means. If at the bar, wait till the bartender is free if he/she is busy before speaking. If you have taken a seat already, a waitress will surely approach you to take your order, so there is ABSOLUTELY no need to WHISTLE, SNAP YOUR FINGER, WAVE OR YELL ANNOYINGLY.
8. Be Ready to Order
The bar is a busy joint just like every other business place, so it is annoying for either the bartender or the waitress to approach you and it turns out that you don’t have what to order in mind already. Usually, the standard bars will serve you a menu once you are seated, while the waiter waits or comes back after you have made up your mind. In any case where you are waiting for somebody to show up before making an order, be polite enough to tell the waitress once you are approached the first time.
7. Know what to order
Nothing impresses a waitress or bartender more than knowing exactly what you want served you. “Please can you get me a glass of Carlo Rossi White, and the lady will have a Sex on the Beach Cocktail. Kindly squeeze in some fresh lime in the wine if you have, Thank you.” – that will surely get the waitress geared up to serve you better, knowing you know what you want.
However, if you are bit confused, bartenders and waitresses are trained to offer advice in making the right choice off the menu. So rather than say, “Bring whatever you have”, be honest enough to ask for help in making your choice. They will gladly help.
6. Relating with the bartender or waitress
When relating with the bartender or waitress, always remember that they are offering you service so it is best to be nice, even things get mixed up. Smile, maintain eye contact and speak politely. Where there is a mix up in your order, it is normal to be upset, but it is not enough to yell or scream at them. THEY ARE NOT YOUR SLAVES, so don’t go about causing a nuisance to yourself and other customers at the bar.
As a man, it is normal to be attracted to a female bartender or waitress. No crime in that. But some bar policies discourage their workers from exchanging contact details with customers, and you have to respect that. In any case, if she is willing to give you her contact, she will. But if she says no, respect her decision and turn attention to the liquid in the glass.
5. Socializing with other guests
People come to the bar for various reasons – to chill out from work stress, on dates with potential mates or significant others, to have an alone time in public, and to simply get drunk (not that we advise that). If a fellow guest is not open to talk to you, it is best to not to distract them. If they are up for a discussion, flow with them bu never get into any argument even if you both have different opinions over who should start the game or which political party did well.
If you intend to send a drink over to someone, ensure the bartender or waitress asks them first if they are fine with it. If you are sharing a table with them, politely ask if they can join you for your plate of pepper soup or grilled fish.
4. When Drinking…
Ensure that you are served with the right cups – whisky in a whisky glass, and beer in a mug or tall beer glass. Sip, do not gulp – you are not in a high school drinking competition. Never drink beer straight from the bottle. Often times, beer is served in the bottle with an empty glass, which lets you control how much you pour and the head on the beer.
When drinking a cocktail, the only inedible thing you should leave in the glass is the straw: swizzle sticks and tiny papaer umbrellas should be place on the table mat. You are free to eat the garnish if you so desire.
Always go through your bill carefully before paying to avoid any misunderstanding. If you are a bit tipsy, it is best to have your friend or date do a re-check. Whether you are paying with cash or with your credit card, always have either ready so as not to waste any time.
Tipping the waitress or the bartender is not a must, but it is essential that you do. They earn below the minimum wage mostly, and won’t mind a little extra cash to help them enjoy their job as they do it. You are sure to always get a warm smile and better service when next you visit if your tip is a healthy one.
1. Time to go
It is normal to relax a bit before hitting the road once you are done with your drink and food, if you ordered any. However, if the bar is full and other guests are trooping in, it is best to get up and leave. If you are leaving immediately after paying, say “thank you” to the waitress or bartender and goodnight to fellow guests if you were in discussion with them.
If you had a nice time at the bar, always do well to visit again.
Photo credit: Colourbox