4 Pet Peeves That Make Every Bartender Cringe

by Katie Sawyer, 3 minutes read
HOME blog pet peeves that make bartender cringe

Whether bartending is your full-time job or you’re just in it for the extra cash, the job has some highs and lows.

You get to talk to interesting people every day, test out your creativity when you invent new drinks, and at a minimum, you make customers happy.

But every now and again, someone does something that hits a nerve and annoys the heck out of you. We feel you. Read on to check out four pet peeves that make every bartender cringe. Do any of these drive you up the wall, too?

1. Snapping your fingers or whistling to get attention

It’s Saturday night and your pub is slammed. You’re trying your best to attend to as many patrons as possible, but someone called in sick and one of your taps just ran out.

So when a new customer walks up to the bar and you look up and spot them, you make a note to head over as soon as you replace the tap. Then it happens.

The person snaps their fingers and whistles to get your attention. Sigh.

While those customers probably think they’ll get quicker service now that they’ve flagged you down, you’ve mentally just sent them to the end of the queue.

Protip: It’s totally OK to do a little wave when you get to the bar. But be patient and remember that your bartender wants to take your order — it just might take a minute to get to you.

2. You have no idea what you want to order

Beer, wine, or liquor? Draft or bottle? Light or dark? Craft or commercial?

Whether you’re stepping into a cash-only dive or a high-end cocktail bar, there are decisions to be made. And when customers get to the bar — and have a long queue behind them — you expect they know what they want to order.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Throughout the night it’s inevitable you’ll hear, “Well, let’s see. Hmm. I’m not sure. What are you having? I just don’t know!” And when that happens, you’re likely going to get bumped and your bartender will come back later when you might know what you want.

Protip: When you’re waiting in line, decide what you want to drink. If the pub is empty, tell the bartender what you’re thinking about, and ask if he has any other suggestions. When it’s a slow day, he might be feeling generous and give you a little something extra.

3. You place large (complicated) group orders

Over time, bartenders get really good at remembering orders. Bartenders can mix up old fashions, margaritas, and martinis with no problem. They can pour drafts with the best of them.

But when you come in and ask for very specific orders — and a lot of them at once — you’re sure to annoy your bartender.

Many bartenders appreciate that you keep the line shorter by ordering for your pals. But when you’re ordering seven, eight, nine drinks at a time, it can be a pain.

Pro-tip: Bring a friend who can place a separate order to split the big order into two.

4. Loudly complaining about the prices

Alcohol is expensive. It takes a lot of time and money to make. On top of that, states and cities usually charge huge taxes to prevent over-consumption. The World Health Organization even recommends higher taxes to encourage safer drinking.

Guess who doesn’t like charging high prices for drinks? Your bartender. Now, guess who doesn’t have any input when setting drink prices? The bartender.

In fact, some bartenders would probably even make drinks cheaper. They’re counting on tips to get them through their shift. More drinks equals more tips.

Protip: If it’s your first time at the pub, take a look on a review site to get a preview of drink prices. If it’s not in your price range — and that’s totally OK — try a different watering hole. Or, at least don’t complain about the prices.

Something to cheers about

When you’re bartending, you can’t always change the way customers interact with you. But you can make working a little easier with the right workforce management solution. Make shift swapping easier so you’re never left understaffed on a busy Saturday again. Try Deputy for free to learn how pubs streamline their timesheets.