At one point in my not so long ago past I was a regular in the Parisian Latin Quarter bar scene. Wandering throughout the cobblestone streets after one too many cocktails, getting in ultimately deep late night discussions, and laughing until the sun came up was all part of a normal weekend. I’ve worked in bars, been engaged to a bar owner, and picked up many a partner in crime along the way. In honor of all those friends who spend their time serving the public, I hereby state the five greatest ways to keep your bartender happy.
1. I realize this sounds obvious-but say please and thank you. You’d be shocked at the amount of people who throw simple manners out the window when talking to someone serving them.
2. Read the menu beforehand and know what you want to order. It’s beyond irritating to be incredibly busy at work and have a client impatiently wave their hand over and over to get your attention-only to discover that the idiot doesn’t know exactly what he/she is ordering yet.
3. Don’t accuse your bartender of being stingy on the alcohol. I realize that for some reason people think that bartenders are out to be stingy with booze out of spite or to save money-but let me assure you, this is not the case. A bartender has no incentive to give you less alcohol than what you have ordered. Accusing them of such behavior only results in making yourself look like some kind of macho ass out to impress people with your so-called massive tolerance. It’s pathetic. Your bartender will remember that you did this the next time you order, and are unlikely to be concerned about whether or not you have been served quickly.
4. Take a minute to ask how their night is going. Especially if you see someone else being incredibly rude to them (pay attention-its happening all over the place). Make them smile a bit, roll your eyes at whoever has irritated them-you’ll be instantly liked in comparison. I had many clients offer to buy me drinks when they would see someone being rude to me-and I always appreciated it. It usually resulted in them getting free shots from me later.
5. Tip. Dear God, tip. Even in Paris. Even if you think its not part of the local custom. If you want better treatment with a bartender, tip them. You’d be amazed at the difference it can make.
Remember-If you keep them happy, they’ll keep you happy. The occasional free beverage, discounts, special treatment-all of these are at your disposal if you use a little common sense when talking to the people standing between you and the drinks at a bar.