Wednesday, November 08, 2006

as i'm sure you're all well aware--you have been taking notes, no?--i am a bartender. and i have worked in the bar for a long time.

last friday, i was bartending the day shift.
at my bar, the bartender is the only person working--other than one cook--between the hours of 2 and 4 p.m.
it's just not a busy time.

but last friday, at 3 p.m., twenty people walked in without a reservation. at the time, i was already waiting on 5 different tables who were all in different stages of the dining process, and i also had 6 or 7 bar guests. so, this twenty-top really complicated things.
everything turned out alright, of course, BECAUSE I RULE.
but i was still a little irritated, because seriously, who comes into ANY restaurant at ANY time with TWENTY PEOPLE, BUT NO RESERVATION, AND THINKS THAT IT'S A GOOD IDEA?

but then i caught myself thinking about the time that omaha jen had a case of the retardedness at lunch, and i had to take a deep breath.

now i'm really interested in knowing exactly what it is fair to expect of restaurant guests--you know, the kind who have never worked in a restaurant. like, obviously i know that you shouldn't take twenty people out without a reservation. but it is fair of me to expect the average person to know that?

i mean, i refuse to believe that it's ok for people to come into a restaurant--at least one that's built for the average 'everyday' person--and be highly demanding and rude and generally asshole-ish.
but, i'm willing to consider that maybe i've been a bit too hard on people as well.

so, below i'm going to post a little (?) list of 'rules' that b.g.'s boyfriend posted about how to behave in a bar/restaurant. it should be noted that some of these are more rules for drinking with your friends, and don't really have anything to do with the way you should interact with the staff. also,i'm going to change them as i see fit, because it is my blog after all. anyway, the point is that i think it would be awesome if any of you who don't work 'in the biz' would share with me any major flaws that you see in the way that we expect people to behave.

it should be a fun little learning experience all around!

yay for learning!
here we go:


1. do not enter a restaurant and expect a table for 6 or more people without a reservation.

2. do not ask for separate checks for parties of 6 or more. if you are in a smaller party and will require separate checks, make sure to let your server know BEFORE ordering your food.

3. never touch your waitperson. EVER!!!!!

4. i don't care how bad you need a side of mayo or an extra napkin, NEVER walk up to your waitperson and interrupt him/her while they are engaged at another table. EVER. seriously.

5. When the bartender is slammed, resist the powerful urge to order a slightly-dirty, very-dry, in-and-out, super-chilled half-and-half martini with a lemon twist. Limit orders to beer, straight shots and two-part cocktails. (this one i agree is just THE POLITE thing to do, but not a stead-fast rule. at least not at my bar.)

6. Get the bartender's attention with eye contact and a smile; do not get the bartender's attention by waving money around, yelling (especially if he/she is talking someone's order or has his/her back to you), slamming your glass on the bar, whistling at, or touching the bartender.

7. Do not make eye contact with the bartender if you do not want a drink.

8. Never, ever tell a bartender he made your drink too strong.

9. If you offer to buy a woman a drink and she refuses, she does not like you.

10. If you offer to buy a woman a drink and she accepts, she still might not like you.

11. If she buys you a drink, she likes you. or she might just be being polite because you bought her a drink and she's returning the favor. women are mysterious. deal with it.

12. If someone offers to buy you a drink, do not upgrade your liquor preference.


13. After your sixth drink, do not look at yourself in the mirror. It will shake your confidence.

14. It is only permissible to shout 'woo-hoo!' if you are doing a shot with four or more people.

15. If there is a d.j., you can request a song only once per night. If he doesn't play it within half an hour, do not approach him again. If he does play it, do not approach him again.


16. If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to drink in a bar. Go to the liquor store.

17. Never complain about the quality or brand of a free drink.

18. If you are the bar's sole customer, you are obliged to make small talk with the bartender until he stops acknowledging you. Then you're off the hook. The same goes for him.

19. If you have ever told a bartender, “Hey, it all spends the same,” then you are a cheap ass.

19. Anyone on stage or behind a bar is fifty percent better looking.*

20. A bar is a college, not a nursery. If you spill a beer, clean it up. If you break a glass, wait for a staff member to clean it up.

21. Never yell out jukebox selections to someone you don't know.

22. If you think you might be slurring a little, then you are slurring a lot. If you think you are slurring a lot, then you are not speaking English.

23. Screaming, “Someone buy me a drink!” has never worked.

24. Never rest your head on a table or bar top. It is the equivalent of voluntarily putting your head on a chopping block.

25. If you're going to hit on a member of the bar staff, make sure you tip well before and after, regardless of her response.

26. Asking a bartender what beers are on tap when the handles are right in front of you is the equivalent of saying, “I'm an idiot.”

27. Never ask a bartender “what's good tonight?” They do not fly in the scotch fresh from the coast every morning.

28. If there is a line for drinks, get your goddamn drink and step the hell away from the bar.

29. Never argue your tab at the end of the night. Remember, you're hammered and they’re sober. It's akin to a precocious five-year-old arguing the super-string theory with a physicist. 99.9% of the time you're wrong and either way you're going to come off as a jackass.

30. If you hesitate more than five seconds after the bartender looks at you, you do not deserve a drink. it is extremely rude to stand at the bar looking like you're about to have a stroke from the anxiety of whether you will be waited on next or not, and then not know what you want to order when the bartender gets to you.

31. Never preface a conversation with a bartender with “I know this is going to be a hassle, but . . .”

32. Anyone with three or more drinks in his hands has the right of way.

33. 15% is the new %10.



so, i guess that's it for now.
although, you know as soon as i hit publish i'm going to think of 6 new things.

anyway, what say you?

*this makes me really happy, because i think it's true.

5 comments:

David said...

Number 16 and 33 doesn't apply in Australian bars so much, at least in pub bars anyway. Tipping is more for restaurants posher places there.

The rest is pretty good.

Steph said...

you're a bartender? what?! no WAY!

good rules. i'm printing them out and taking them with me everywhere.

Jen said...

I agree, these rules rock! And I actually follow them... I swear.

I am not usually that retarded unless I get flustered, which is pretty often I guess. Nevermind. I'm not helping my case here.

I'm totally reposting (most of) this for my friends that read my blog.

So Steph will have to read this twice.

Ha ha.

PWT said...

I have a question about #6. Is snapping your fingers at the wait person acceptable? Heh.

Steph said...

yeah thanks heaps jen, grr, lol.

nah, maybe they'll actually sink in if i have to read them twice!