At peak hours, such as on the weekends and after work, bars may be packed and those lovely people who serve you may have a lot on their plate. But, don’t fret; bartenders know that people want to be served. After all, that is the purpose of a bar, and a bartender’s goal is to make money.
To order a drink stand at the bar with your money out, make eye contact, and know what you are going to order. When a bartender passes by tell him or her (in your inside voice, of course) “excuse me, when you have a chance…” and he will get the point.
Don’t yell at the bartender, snap your fingers, or call out the bartender’s name repeatedly, even if you know him. Even worse is if you don’t know the bartender and shout “pal,” “buddy,” or “honey.” Being condescending won’t get a cold one in your hand. Everyone will eventually get served.
If you come to the bar in a group, buying rounds may be less of a hassle than everyone buying individual drinks. The entire party should first discuss if buying rounds is the best option. No one is obligated to be included in the round and, if possible, substitutions for drinks should be an option. So if Jenny is serving as the group mom and is not drinking, then Jenny gets to have two cokes for your one Amaretto Sour. At least then you and Jenny will be equal in bladder retention.
According to AskMen.com, it’s poor manners to discuss buying rounds at the bar. Bringing up the question right before ordering the round could make someone feel obligated to participate. Decide at the table instead.
Tipping and tabs
Regardless of whether the drink ordered is a Bud Light or a Kamikaze, bar customers should tip at least $1 per drink, and at least $5 per multiple drink orders. More complicated drinks orders deserve a larger tip; a tip for a mojito or frozen margarita should be more than a tip for tap beer because of the skills needed and the time it takes to concoct.
If you really crave faster service, it might be a good idea to tip heavy on your first drink order. Bartenders remember good tippers and may make a beeline towards you first if you’re considerate with your cash. After the first heavy tip, patrons can go back to tipping regularly.
Tabs are a good idea if you plan to buy many drinks, but make sure you trust your bartender and check the bill when you receive it. If you keep a tab open, you should tip only when you close it out.
Buying drinks for others
Men are usually expected to pay for at least the first drink during a date, but you may have another arrangement. (If you’re thinking of going halfsies, you may want to consider this one woman’s rant.)
While men may make it clear that they want to buy a woman a drink, insisting can be considered poor etiquette. Persistence may cause a woman to feel uncomfortable or feel like she owes something to the person who bought the drink. But, buying a drink does not entitle a man to anything. Those who offer should be ready to pay for whatever the cost may be, even if it’s top-shelf. So pick your prey wisely.
Dealing with the drunk
Alcohol frequently escalates emotions and can turn some situations violent or just plain awkward. Drinking does not excuse fights or inappropriate comments or actions towards women. Here’s a quick rundown: don’t stare, don’t touch, don’t get angry. If you tend to become a bit more bold with booze, know your limit.
A good idea is to designate a lookout for the evening. That person should keep watch over the people in the group, make sure no one transforms into McAssy, and see that everyone gets home safely.
When the night is over
Last call in a bar means last call. Don’t attempt to buy a drink after the bar has made the announcement. Yes. they want you to leave. Don’t even dare to stay beyond closing hours. Many people rush out the office when the clock strikes 5 p.m, and although a bar staff may work different hours the feeling is the same.
If you were sitting at a table, make sure you clean your mess, and the night’s host should ensure that everyone gets home safely.
Oh, and remember to kiss your date, guzzle some water, and take two aspirins and a V8 in the morning. No one likes a Hungover Henry.