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How to Tip Your Bartender

Drinking-out etiquette and how to tip your bartender.

By Aaliyah WilliamsPublished 7 years ago 4 min read

If you’ve ever been desperate to know exactly how to tip your bartender in a restaurant, why you should tip them and even if you really have to, then stay tuned because this post is for you. Eating and dining out generally always requires a tip, but when you’re going to the local for a few pints or a couple glasses of rose wine… do you really need to think about tipping? Polls and studies show that in actual fact, you should be.

Now we can see both sides of this argument. First off, alcohol is already expensive! So no, I don’t want to add on an extra few dollars just because the bartender could pull a pint. However, put yourself in their shoes and realise that it should be included in general custom. Without consciously realising it, you as a customer can be really annoying. Perhaps you checked your phone whilst they were serving you, were busy chatting to friends or just generally not paying attention. They deserve a tip just for being blatantly ignored.

Retail workers really do have one of the worst jobs ever. So, it doesn’t need to be made any more difficult. Unless you’ve worked in a customer-facing job or in customer service you won’t really understand. But just giving that small tip can really change the way that worker views their job and your custom. How comes the question of how much. Now this may end up being very lengthy is we included what tip should be given for each type of drink… So, we’ve listed a few more general scenarios for you to sieve through and find the advice best suited to your situation. It’s time to discover how to tip your bartender. Happy drinking!

Average Annie

If your service was okay. The drinks were okay. And you and your companions had an okay time, then we can officially sum up your experience as being ‘fine’. Your bartender was a total Average Annie and you feel as though you should leave a tip just to save-face and be polite. You’d be right. Now, how much exactly. We would suggest going by the guidance that one drink equates to a $1 tip. However, if your drink was particularly difficult to make, or perhaps you’re like us and are a total sucker for any-cocktails-EVER, then you’ll be looking at a larger sum of around $2 per drink.

It’s worth bearing in mind that tipping is totally optional. All tips should be at your discretion do don’t think for a second that you always have to tip just because everyone else is. If you don’t want do, if you don’t think the service and beverages called for tipping – don’t! Make then work for their money, leave and take your custom elsewhere… we would.

Totally Fabulous

How to tip your bartender if your they have catered to your needs amazingly. Went above and beyond in executing their service and did all but backflips trying their best to please you, they do deserve a better tip. The typical amount we consider fair is around 20%. Not too much, not too little. So, if they did everything you ever dreamed of, cracked a few jokes and even remembered your name – you should be looking at tipping and additional 5-15%. Fairs, fair, right? It’s the least you could do after all.

If it’s totally obvious your bartender has been going out of their way, totally beyond the specification of their job to appease you then there’s not a doubt in our minds that they deserve a more expensive tip. If you want that type of service to continue, if you want to inspire other lazy-ass workers to take the hint and do what they’re doing. If you want to generally push the benchmark for good service higher then it’s down to you to provide a decent tip.

Crappy Callum

The service was bad. Not even bad the service was dire. Now you have one of two decisions to make.

1. How bad was the service?

2. Will you leave any tip?

In the first instance if your bartender was a bit away with the fairies, messed up your order or just seemed generally not with it. Then perhaps you ought to cut them some slack. Everyone has a bad day, even you. And for that matter… are you sure it’s not just your bad mood that’s emphasising the bad service? If this is the case, we recommend a base tip of around 15%.

On the other hand, we know times where we’ve been so angry and frustrated with our bartender then we upped and left before the drinks had even arrived. If the service was awful and the servers attitude was even worse then, no, you don’t need to leave any kind of tip at all.

If We Took a Holiday

I’m trying so hard not to break out into my amazing rendition of Madonna. But seriously, do you know what it’s like to work and watch everyone else having total unprecedented fun? It’s HELL ON EARTH. And then for them to tell you “oh, it’s such a shame you have to work”, “don’t look so moody” it makes my blood boil. (Can you tell I’ve been in this situation once, or twice…) Employers are frequently paying less and less money for staff working public holidays. But, if it’s in your contract they’ll make you work it anyway.

With that being said, doesn’t your heart just bleed for the bartenders? At this time of year your tip needs to be around 25-35%. Oi, don’t be tight! What if that was you!

Happy-Happy Hour

Psh. Tipping on happy hour? PLEASE. The whole point of it is to buy the best drinks at the cheapest price. Turn away and boogie, no tip needed here.

How to Tip Your Bartender Conclusion

Nicely! I mean if you ever want to show your face in that club/pub/bar again then you have to be at least half decent with your tipping prices. But remember that you don’t need to go over the top with your generosity… because honestly, we wouldn’t either! Without sounding too much like a cheesy advert… Join us next time for more exclusives on how to tip your bartender.


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    Aaliyah WilliamsWritten by Aaliyah Williams

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