bartender pouring a cocktail
Unsplash | Louis Hansel

Bartenders Share Their Unspoken Rules That Everyone Breaks

Is there a job you've always wondered what it would be like to do? For me, that's being a bartender. I love to make drinks, and I thought it must be cool to do that for a living.

But as with any job, there must be some caveats that bartenders have to put up with, huh? So I was really interested when a recent Reddit thread asked bartenders to share what are the unspoken rules that people seem to keep breaking. Let's take a look.

This Indecisiveness

person sitting at the bar
Unsplash | Redd

"Have your order ready when I get to you — don't start asking people what they want! It just takes up unnecessary time that I don't have."

Oh, yeah, that's usually me, ha, ha. I can never decide what kind of drink I want. Sorry, my bad.

This Reasonable Request

driver's licence
Pexels | Pexels

"If I ask for your ID, don't get upset about it ... especially if you are three months past turning 21. And don't say you are from Cali, or wherever especially when halfway across the country."

This must get so old for bartenders, huh? I wonder how often people try to pretend that they're older than they really are.

This Real Fact

DJ at a club
Unsplash | Matty Adame

"Speak up! There’s loud music and screaming all around me!"

Is it just me, or do you also feel like you're yelling at the bartender when you try to order a drink in a loud place? That must be the introvert in me, lol.

This Simple Request

hands holding beers
Pexels | Pexels

"'Ummm, what beers do you have?' Look at the taps. I'm making a cocktail right now and I need to focus on what else this guy is ordering."

Duly noted, ha, ha. I guess most of us forget how busy bartenders get, huh?

This Attention Grabber

man throwing money in the air
Giphy | Giphy

"Don't wave your hand. Even with money — still don’t. We know you are thirsty — that’s why you are there."

I wish there were some other way to get a bartender's attention. If you know any tricks, tell me because sometimes I feel like I'm invisible.

This Chain Order

drinks on the bar
Unsplash | Kobby Mendez

"Chain ordering is a sin. Like when they say, 'Can I get a____? Wait, I also need a ___. And a ____. Sorry!'"

Oh my goodness, so how do you order multiple drinks? I'm confused, lol. Help!

This Friendly Reminder

smiling woman bartender behind the bar
Pexels | Pexels

"If you're a friend or know me, don't pressure me for free drinks. I'll try to give you what I can."

I absolutely agree with that. I never pressure my friends to give me free drinks. If they do, I really appreciate it, though.

This Crappy Move

surprised man
Giphy | Desus & Mero

"I’m coming! Stop slapping the bar, telling me your order as I walk past, or waving!"

Yeah, like that's even going to work, buddy. If you do that, the bartender won't remember your order anyway because they're focusing on other patrons. Wait your turn.

This Bad Behavior

person squeezing lemon into a drink
Unsplash | Farhad Ibrahimzade

"Don't [expletive] eat out of the fruit tray. That fruit is meant for drinks, not for your grubby fingers!"

Oh my gosh! That's terrible, huh? I can't get over that people would think that's okay. Yikes!

This No-No

bottle of bitters
Unsplash | Kateryna T

"Do not pick up or help yourself to my bitters. And don't pick them up just to read what they are. Those are my tools, hands-off."

Wow, people actually do that? I would never. You have to respect somebody's workspace, that's for sure.

This Negotiating Tactic

woman saying "right."
Giphy | Music Choice

"Don't be like one of those people who tries to negotiate. Seriously, I don't own the bar, and I'm not in any position to give you discounts without taking it from my tips."

What? People try to negotiate with a bartender for the price of the drinks? That's pretty low. Am I right?

This Picky Customer

bottle of Absolut vodka
Unsplash | Alec Favale

"People that 'only' drink one type of vodka. Like I get that you only drink Absolut but I promise the Kettle One isn’t going to give you meningitis. You’re mixing it with cranberry juice. Shut up."

Ha, ha! I totally get the joke here, lol.

This Inconsiderate Request

Man pointing in agreement
Giphy | Acorn TV

"If the place is packed don’t order the most complicated multi-step cocktail, if you need a Bloody Mary at 10:30 at night and I’m slammed you are just getting mixed with vodka. Also, I’m thinking about what I need to do three steps ahead so don’t mess with my flow."

Get it?

This Bad Tipper

tip jar
Unsplash | Sam Dan Truong

"The asshats that insist on paying for the group or picking up other people's tabs then tip like [garbage].

I guess those people are just trying to show off, huh? Then when it comes to paying the actual bill, they take it out on the bartender. That isn't fair, right?

This Grabby Issue

bartender making a drink
Pexels | Pexels

"Don't touch my [tools] (shakers and whatever)!"

Here's another crappy thing people do. I mean, why would you grab any of it? You're not going to get your drink any faster. If anything, you just pissed off the bartender, and that's not good.

This Annoying Habit

bartender pouring a drink
Pexels | Pexels

"Don’t stand in front of my service well. Servers need their drinks and you’re in the way."

I get why people try to do that. They think that the bartender will notice them more if they're in this particular spot. But now I see how annoying it can get.

This Bad Move

woman saying "we don't do that."
Giphy | Rosanna Pansino

"People always send back the drink for not being strong enough. I, the bartender, know exactly how much I poured into your drink. You got 2.25 oz. altogether of spirit. If your face doesn't scrunch up in disgust, that's because it's a [expletive] COCKTAIL and it's SUPPOSED to taste good."

Ha, ha! I hear that loud and clear.

This Tipping Advice

drink with a tip
Pexels | Pexels


LOL, right? I mean, if you can only afford to have a drink and not tip the bartender, perhaps you shouldn't be ordering one in the first place. The bartender is an artist, and tipping is just the icing on the cake.

Wow, who knew there were so many unspoken rules at the bar, huh?

man surprised reasing his hands
Giphy | Panic! At The Disco

I definitely didn't know that haha. But now that I do, I'm going to alter my behavior the next time I'm dealing with a bartender. Their job, while it can be fun, can also be very demanding and stressful so let's keep that in mind.