Good Bar Etiquette

Now this might seem like a slightly strange topic to write about but it has been inspired by my own experiences of working in a pub. Now, everyone is guilty of doing one or two of these, maybe more (if you do all of them, your local deserves a medal for putting up with you!) But bartenders actually have to deal with quite a lot, so if you want to stay pally with your local and possibly bag yourself a few discounts and freebies then here is how not to behave around your bartender…


Don’t click your fingers– or wave, clap whatever it may be. It’s just plain rude. This only happened to me once, and guess what? I didn’t serve the guy! Bar staff can see that you’re quite comfy at your table but if you want a drink, get off your backside and order one.

Don’t moan that you got ID’ed– It’s their job to ask you for ID if you look under 25 (in the UK) so just be flattered that you still look fresh and youthful. Don’t retaliate with an insult, I know I look 12 but I’m not, I wouldn’t be working behind a bar if  I was…

Don’t Interrupt– Don’t interrupt your bartender when they’re talking to another customer, yes you might have had a really hard day and need your regular tipple but interrupting is rude in any situation. Wait your turn like everyone else!

Don’t  Touch– now, some people get a little bit tactile when they’ve had a few too many but try and refrain from touching your bartender because if it’s not love at first sight, then it’s just a little creepy. Enough said.

Don’t order one drink at a time- This is just so annoying, yes it is very difficult to remember the whole round of drinks in one go-bar staff will probably understand that more than anyone. But try and remember more than one drink at a time. They don’t want to be pouring your beer and then over at the spirits shelf and then back to pour another beer. It’s just tiring and pointless.

Don’t make stout your last order- If you’re going to order a stout, do it  first so that your other drinks can be poured while you wait for it to settle. It is just inconvenient to stand there waiting for it, when they could be doing something else.

Don’t say ‘just make something up’- It’s like telling your hairdresser to do what they want. You’ve only just met, they don’t know what you like, what you don’t like. You think you’re being adventurous and mysterious-they think you’re being difficult. Just order a normal drink.

Don’t taste-and-go- Don’t taste all the ales that we’ve had to try and pour into a tiny little shot glass and then leave without buying anything. If you don’t like any of them, you still came to the bar wanting a drink, so buy something else.

Don’t flash the cash- when its busy, leaning over the bar and dangling a £20 in front of the bartenders face is so off putting. They don’t care if you’ve got your money out waiting. They just want to serve as many people, in as fair an order as possible.

Don’t slip them your number- You’re drunk and you’ve got beer goggles on so when you slide your number across the bar or slip it into their aprons, the chances are they won’t take a blind bit of notice. Why not just ask them if they want your number, if you’re that serious?


Please, try not to annoy your bartenders they have a lot to deal with and you don’t want to be one of those people they go home complaining about do you? So try not to do these above things- befriend you bartender instead! You might have a mate for life and reap some benefits, so give it a go!

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