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How to Get Served First at Any Bar: Tips from a Bartender

by Lauren Stones 3 years ago in bars

Don't shout, snap your fingers, whistle or clap at us. Your Tinder date will go to the toilet and never come back.

Good times at Slim Jim's Islington!

Have you ever stood at a busy bar for hours, watching countless others get served before you, cursing all the bearded hipsters who push to the front and get away with it, wondering if you'll be able to fit in that last round of shots before closing time? Fear not, because now you have a bartender by your side to let you know the REAL secret formula to getting served quickly and consistently. Note: none of these tips (pun intended) include staring down your bartender like Jack Nicholson until they serve you. Contrary to popular belief, it does not work.

Money Talks

Yes, I'm probably the biggest socialist ever and think that money should shut up every once in a while, but tipping is one of the best ways to get served consistently by the same bartender. It doesn't have to be huge (although if you tipped £10 a round I guarantee that I would personally carry your drinks to your table on a tray with glitter and sparklers) - even your 50p change makes us feel appreciated and helps towards our massive credit card bills/a Tesco meal deal on the way home (trust me, most bartenders don't get paid that much; a £1 tip could be the difference between a cheese sandwich on the bus home and nothing!).

Small Talk Works

Pouring the same five draught beers for hours on end can get pretty monotonous (especially for bars without a cocktail menu) so we are grateful for a little chat sometimes. We may come across a little grumpy in busy periods, but just a quick "how're you?" or asking about local restaurants can go a long way. I personally love showing off my knowledge about local cocktail bars, because I am one of those people. If it's a music venue or theatre bar, talk about the show! A little politeness goes a long way and if we remember you, we'll serve you way quicker next time.

Let the Person Next to You Go First

What? I thought this article was about ME getting served first? Well, if you think about it, if you let someone else go first at a busy bar, we think "Oh, what a nice, selfless chap. Much nicer than that other geezer in the flat cap snapping his fingers. He can wait." And that'll stay the same for the rest of the night - we like serving nice people first!

Don't Stand at the "No Service" End of the Bar

Yes, it makes you stick out like a sore thumb, but loudly complaining about the lack of service at a bar with the lights off and a sign clearly stating "No Service" doesn't paint you in the best light. At best, you'll be told to move to the part of the bar that IS serving. And don't try to push in from the sides either - as well as annoying everyone around you, we won't be able to serve you any quicker because it'll make us look rude as hell. We just want a decent shift with no complaints to file, cheers.

Don't Shout, Snap Your Fingers, Whistle or Clap at Us

I love dogs but I'd rather not be treated like one when I'm at work. Doing any of these things is likely to result in EVERYONE ignoring you for the rest of the night. And your Tinder date will go to the toilet and never come back.

So there you have it! Some genuine tips that help us to serve you better and for you to have a better night. Basically, be nice and understand that we're only human. If Londoners can do it, you can too ;)


Lauren Stones

Lives in London, dances a lot, acts and sings sometimes, writes and draws on occasion, generally just posts witty statuses and argues with right-wingers on social media.

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Lauren Stones
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