Do Unto Your Bartender

Bartenders are hustlers

Everyone is working to make ends meet, but some of the hardest working individuals I have met are pros in the service industry. Most of them are just trying to pay bills (like anyone else), so they pick up another job in order to make that happen. One bartender I know had to pick up a bartending gig in addition to her full-time job just so she could afford childcare while she was at work. Just because they’re serving you alcohol and you’re having a drink after your 8 to 5 desk job doesn’t make your server’s job any less important than yours. Extend a little leniency to your bartender, they’re hustling just as hard as you are.

Sonder the Situation

Sonder might be my favorite word. It’s the realization that every other person on this planet is living a life as complex and vivid as your own. That being said, It’s easy to feel like we’re the only ones dealing with drama in our lives. In the bar and restaurant industry its expected of staff to show up to work and make sure everyone is having a good time even when they are dealing with the loss of a loved one, a tragedy or natural disaster hitting home, or even just your typical “bad day.” In most professions, you get bereavement and are allowed some leniency when you find out tragic news, but often times this isn’t as easy for a busy restaurant or bar. A simple, “How are you today?” back at your bartender can make a world of difference for someone going through something at home.

Booze doesn’t fix bad days

I get it, we all have bad days, but when you decide to take your bad day out on me—your bartender—it doesn’t help make the day any better for you or me. It really bums us out. We want to make sure our customers are having an awesome time and we’re here to help. If you’re drinking to cope with your problems or are an angry drunk, it puts us in an awkward spot because we have your best interest in mind. Don’t make me cut you off for your own good, it’s embarrassing for us both, trust me!

Share the love

The nicer you are to your bartender, the nicer we will be back to you! Connect with your server as if they’re one of your friends, they’re human too! Compliment wait staff for a job well done just like you would a coworker and practice patience and being a laid-back person if things aren’t as quick as you would have expected (often times it’s out of the server’s control anyways). There are perks to being nice to your bartender too from priority service to free stuff. On occasion we accidentally pour the wrong drink or order the wrong food and if you’ve built up a good rapport with us, you might be getting them offered to you “on the house.” We are also very much in-the-know of what’s going on around town because we talk to many customers every day. You can think of us as a phone operator of sorts. Want to see that concert tonight but can’t get a ticket? I’m pretty sure I overheard a regular talking about having extras for sale and I’ll gladly put you in touch! Wondering what craft beer events are going on this week? I heard the bar down the street is having a tap takeover.

But what if the bartender is a jerk?

Good question! I’ve painted a picture mostly of less-than-favorable customers but the same goes for bartenders too. Manners and kindness always win so just be nice to your grouchy bartender, we all have bad days. Close out your tab instead of keeping it open so you can move to a different section or approach a different bartender for any other drinks you would like. If the vibe is really bumming you out, go somewhere else. Maybe it’s a good excuse to try the new bar down the street you haven't been to yet.

Overall, we love our customers

The people I have met through my years in the bar and restaurant industry (on both sides of the counter) have been some of the best people in my life. I have regular customers who feel more like family than friends I’ve made through the years. Bartenders by nature are sociable people and we are always down to make friends. Sign up for BDC’s Universal Mug Club and use your perks to build friendships with your local bartenders!

About the Author

Chelsey Hnyp is a craft beer enthusiast who loves adventures, Star Wars, the San Jose Sharks and her cat, Torpedo. Recently engaged to her best friend and fellow craft beer lover. She loves brewing and drinking beer as well as sharing her passion with others.