Thursday, May 19, 2011

5 Plus things your bartender won’t tell you

I thought this article was a pretty good guideline, plus I put my own comments in GREEN.

Any bartenders out there want to give some insight or thoughts on these?  We would love to hear from you.


5 things your bartender won't tell you

1) The quickest way to get a drink at a crowded bar is cash

"You see cash, you go to that person first," said Ben Archer, a bartender at The Lime in South Tampa.

Archer says bartenders can process cash a lot faster than a credit card. That means more drinks poured, which means more tips.

Cash customers tend to be a little less frugal too, giving a dollar or two per drink instead of a flat 15-20% on a bill.

I’ve found that starting a tab and communicating with the bartender here is actually better.

2) Your best bet for a freebie is to be a regular...or the only one at the bar

Unfortunately for the weekend warrior, freebies can be tough to come by at a crowded bar or restaurant. But if you're keeping the bartender company during the slowest times of day (mid-afternoon) or week (Mon-Wed), you stand a good chance of a kickback or two.

Better yet, if he or she sees you around the bar often, you can expect better service and more freebies.

While this is true, is it really about freebies or would you rather have better service period?  I’m more inclined towards the later….ie, keep’m coming.  Of course, being a regular does help in getting consistent service as well, so I think this is sound advice.

3) It's OK to complain about the strength of your drink (once)

"It's OK to send your drink back," said Lindsey Hicks, a bartender at The Lodge restaurant in South Tampa. "I want every customer to be happy. If they send it back, I always put a little extra in there."

Hicks said its even less of a problem if the drink is too strong or a draft beer tastes funny. But both Hicks and Archer agree it becomes annoying when customers repeat the request a second time.

I 100% disagree with this one.  You should never ever complain about drink strength.  If it’s to weak, buy a different drink.  If it’s to strong, order a little mixer and cut it.  Buy you should NEVER send a drink back.   Usually the bartender is working with exact measures and he can’t guess your palette or tolerence.  There is still a dying breed that free pour, and more often than not…that is going to be a stronger drink.  Deal with it.

4) Bartenders will lie about their "favorite drinks"

"Probably 50 percent of the drinks I make, I don't like," said Hicks. "But I tell people, 'Oh, my gosh, this is perfect. I drink it every time I go out!' "

She adds that when customers are excited about a drink, they walk away happy, and if customers doesn't know what they want, Hicks said it's often easy to convince them to order whatever is easiest for the bartender.

5) Bartenders love when you buy them drinks

Bartenders love when you buy them drinks because they either get a free drink or a giant tip.

At some bars, the bartender won't ring up the drink you're paying for.

"Some bartenders will take a bottle and fill it with water," Hicks said. "(Customers) think you're taking a shot with them and you're not."

Which means the money you spent on that bartender bonus goes straight into his or her pocket.

Spot on.  If you buy the bartender a drink you are going to get one of three things – Either better service, better/stronger drinks or a freebie yourself.  Hell you might even get all three. 

More things your bartender won't tell you:

- He or she is married; customers (especially men) will tip better if they think they have a chance with the bartender.  Give up, you stand next to ZERO Chance.
- Most bars cut lemons and limes daily. But some only refresh olives or oranges when necessary. To me, not a major deal.
- Their biggest pet peeve is when you don't know what you want. Asking for suggestions is OK, but being indecisive eats up their time.  Mine too.  If you don’t know what you want when it comes your time to order….end of the line.

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