Guide to Tipping



Aug 16

Bartenders don’t always get a fair shake. Some say they get tipped too much for too little work, some complain about how long it takes to catch their attention. We say forget about all that and follow our advice to build beneficial relationships with bartenders wherever you go.

1. Tip in the beginning of the night, not the end. This is the most common mistake people make with bartenders. If you want the bartender to “hook it up” all night, why wait until you’ve already ordered a few drinks? Prepare a cash tip (at least $5 per drink) and give it to the bartender right when you order your first round.

2. Be friendly. It doesn’t matter if you had to wait 10 minutes to get the bartenders attention and you’ve lost your patience. Don’t mention it, put it behind you, smile, and order your drinks.

3. Introduce yourself. This isn’t always possible if you’re at a very busy bar or club, but if you have a moment, try to sneak in a handshake and make an introduction. The best time to do this is when you are handing them the tip.

4. Go back to the same bartender. Sometimes it’s crowded and will take longer to get back to the same spot, but it’s worth the wait. The little familiarity you’ve built up can go a long way in getting faster service and stronger drinks.

5. Ask their advice. Bartenders are professional drink pourers, and most happen to know a great deal about their craft. Take advantage of this and ask their opinion on drink types, mixers, chasers, etc.

6. Take a shot with them. Depending on how the night is going and the relationship you’ve built up with your bartender, you can ask him or her to take a shot with you. Bartenders are fun lovers and more often than not they will gladly accept your offer.

7. Thank them. If your bartender took care of you for the night with good service, before you head out, take minute to go back and just say thank you. You don’t have to tip them again here, but just showing them your appreciation will go a long way the next time you two rendezvous at the bar.

*Bonus tip – If you and your group plan on really drinking for the night, give a big tip ($50-100) to the bartender as soon as you order your first round. Mention that the tip is for the night and that you’ll be back. You’ll be sure to get plenty of stiff drinks and a few free ones.