I have 12 years of restaurant experience, 7 of those bartending. Every bartender friend I have, and even random ones I meet and discuss the business, share a list of the same pet peeves. So, I present to you the top things/phrases that piss off and annoy bartenders. Feel free to add one’s that may bother you as well!
1. I say “Hello, what can I get for you?” and they respond with “beer.” Really? Well good thing you came to the right place. Now which beer would you like? Oh, and my mind-reading abilities are not working today, so im not guessing.
2. “What’s your cheapest drink?…Oh good, I have that exact amount.” If you’re asking me that then I already know a tip will not be included in this transaction.
3. “Make me something fun.” I still don’t know what that means. Fun in color? Make you get up and dance? Make you put a lampshade on your head? And has anyone ever asked for something ‘boring’?
4. “Surprise Me.” (or “Make me whatever.”) Ok…then don’t be surprised (or grossed out) when I hand you a random fruity drink with a liquor you hate or a 3 Wiseman.
5. “How much is Patron? How much is Jose?” I’m clearly slammed, don’t remember all the prices and if you have to ask you probably shouldn’t be buying it. If you really want Patron then just order Patron.
6. “I can’t taste the alcohol in this.” Well that’s probably because I made it right so you’re not going to taste it, or you’re used to stronger drinks (so just order a double next time), or you’re an alcoholic.
7. “Make it good and make it strong.” Well I much prefer to make drinks gross and weak, but that’s just me. And the people who say ‘make it strong’ always say “but don’t charge me for more alcohol” Um…good and strong=more money.
8. You’ve waited in line for a while, finally get up to my busy bar and don’t know what you want. “Um…im not sure…” Well, im sure I’m now going to ignore you and move on to someone who does know what they want.
9. Just as bad is when someone is ordering a round of drinks when it’s busy then when you go to get the payment it’s like shiny object and suddenly they see people they know and call them over and play catch up for 5 minutes while you’re trying to get the money and move on. Seriously, don’t waste a bartenders time.
10. “I’ll have a Bud heavy.” There is NO SUCH THING as Bud heavy! Call it a Budweiser you pompous ass! So obnoxious.
11. Waving your hands at us when you’re like 3 people deep. We see you! We’re kinda busy seeing as you’re a few people back in line. We will get to you when its your turn. CALM DOWN. And don’t wave your money at me!
12. Ordering a ‘tall’ then complaining you can’t taste the booze. Tall is just the size of the glass. You will be getting just the one shot and more of the pop/tonic/juice. If you want a taller glass with more booze then please order a double or on the rocks.
13. Disrespecting us. Female bartenders have to deal with this probably more than men, but either way its annoying and rude. I don’t care what you think about my boobs or my butt and no, I’m not going home with you. I’m a bartender, not a geisha. Perv.
14. Trying to order a drink after we’ve already called last call. It’s closing time. There is a law I have to remove drinks at a certain time. Call me whatever name you want I’m still no longer serving you. Come back again tomorrow during business hours.
15. Asking what beer (or vodka, whiskey, etc…) I have, then after I list all of them you ask if I have whatever kind I did not mention. I did not mention it because we don’t have it.
16. “It’s my birthday! Give me a free shot!” Congrats on surviving another year but you still have to pay for your shots.
17. Complaining you’ve been waiting for a long time when in actuality you have been waiting 2 minutes tops. Its busy, you can see that. If you want instant service then go to a bar that’s empty.
18. Paying me in all change. I’m not a banker, im a bartender.
19. “I want less ice.” Sure, but you’re still getting the same amount of liquor.
20. Not tipping. Doesn’t get more annoying than that.