5 Things Bartenders Hate Reading About Bartending

photo courtesy Dead Canary, Cardiff, U.K.
photo courtesy Dead Canary, Cardiff, U.K.

I bet just the title alone has you thinking of numerous examples of clickbait that were written by some industry outsider somewhere in the world about the types of customers bartenders apparently hate. Or perhaps you read the one about the drinks that we hate to make.

A quick google search yields an alarming amount of articles with similar titles and content.

Articles like this are detrimental to the image of our industry, the stigma that we’ve tried to break and our guests' opinions about what to expect when they come to our bars. It feels as though every week yet another “news” source releases a piece having spoken to some invisible bartender in a nameless bar and generalises this to every single bar in the world. It makes me think, "Wow. Somebody actually got paid to write this tripe”.

courtesy Josh Powell
courtesy Josh Powell

It amazes me sometimes because I sit there after seeing so many people in our industry call BS every time. We’re a hearty bunch, us bartenders, and I know ridiculous things like this shouldn't bring us down, however it does start to grate on us after a while.

Imagine what our customers must think of us!

Well I think it’s time to turn the tables on the media. Here's what we really think when an outlet publishes such headlines!

1. EVERY bartender hates when you ____________

Ok, first of all highlighting the word ‘every’ causes problems because not every bartender is the same and not every bar is the same. I’m all for a piece about etiquette when at the bar but when the piece reads so arrogantly it puts myself and others in a position where we appear to be bad at our jobs. Then we constantly have to defend ourselves and the reputation of our industry as one that is more than just a stop gap job. All of these things that we apparently 'hate' can be applied to almost every single job in the world so why is it that we get the flack for it? We’re there to provide a service at the end of the day but these articles could have people believing that our sole purpose is to whine and pick on our guests.

2. Bartenders hate it when you order THIS drink....

Photo courtesy Dead Canary, Cardiff, U.K.
Photo courtesy Dead Canary, Cardiff, U.K.

Now this really grinds our gears in the community because no we don’t. Order as many Mojitos as you like! That’s the point of bars, you go and order drinks that you like and then drink them!

Yeah, sure most bartenders have had that moment where it’s five minutes before closing and ten people walk in and order Mojitos, but usually the annoyance isn’t so much that the customers want a drink that is messy or time consuming to make. It has more to do with having to provide a sub par experience that late into the night. Perhaps the mint isn't as fresh as it was at the beginning of the shift or perhaps there isn't much left. None of us like giving our guests shoddy drinks.

Sometimes the bar will have had no customers for an hour before closing and has started to close down. They’re not annoyed at the guests, they’re annoyed that ‘Sods Law’ would have people walking in minutes before closing after they’ve packed down the bar believing nobody else was coming.

Some people also get tired of making the same drink every night -  they live for the customers who challenge them, who order something they’ve not made in three weeks. They don’t hate making Mojitos, it’s just they would rather not be making them every five minutes five days a week. They say variety is the spice of life after all.

3. Bartenders hate when you ask to charge your phone

photo courtesy Dead Canary, Cardiff, U.K.
photo courtesy Dead Canary, Cardiff, U.K.

Part of the service we provide is making sure that our guests are comfortable. When I'm a customer, I always have my phone out at the bar for a number of reasons. We live in a technological age where mobile/cell phones can be used for everything. You’re never too far from the office when the office is in your pocket. Being able to email clients/customers or just generally keep in touch with people is so important these days because most people are still working when they’re not technically on the clock.

Some bars even provide guests with chargers now and it’s an extra step in their service that could result in repeat customers or make someone’s night. I’ve never heard a bartender complain about charging someone’s phone. If you have the charger and we have a spare socket we’ll be more than happy to do it for you.

4. Bartenders tell us the Dos and Don’ts of your Tinder dates

Why is this a thing? Imagine being on a date and you’re already a little nervous and self conscious. You quickly google some last minute dating advice and up comes an article that basically says that the bartenders are laughing at your bad banter or misfortune. How would that make you feel? Worse than you already do, I’d imagine.

The bartender is there to help. It is our responsibility to ensure all our guests have a good time. If you’re seated at the bar and the date is a little awkward we don’t stand there laughing at people or mocking them - we actually try to help. We’ll intervene with a joke or perhaps a little drinks history or just talk to you both about what you do. We try to be the icebreaker that puts you more at ease with each other. We’re not there to judge you, we’re there to make drinks and to make you feel comfortable. I’ve heard more stories about couples that got together with the help of the bartender than I have about bad tinder dates.

photo courtesy Dead Canary, Cardiff, U.K.
photo courtesy Dead Canary, Cardiff, U.K.

5. ___ Reasons NOT to date a bartender

Blah Blah Blah long hours. Something something something always drunk. These are everywhere at the moment and it’s incredibly stereotypical. Some people work in bars that allow them to drink on shift, some people don’t. Some people work 70 hour weeks, some people don’t. Again we fall victim to this generalisation that somehow every guy or girl you meet behind the bar is exactly the same. Dated one bartender you’ve dated them all right? WRONG.

Bartenders are some of the most incredible people. They are kind, passionate people with an eye for details and a taste for quality. They tend to be fun and extroverted. They tend to be excellent story tellers which, incidentally, according to a recent study is the most attractive quality in a partner.

Yes they like to be social but the notion that they are all party animals, alcoholics and workaholics with no time or love to give in a relationship is something that couldn’t be further from the truth.

I couldn’t imagine working in another job because this is an industry in which people have your back, make you one of the family, listen to you when you need a friend AND give you some of the most memorable experiences every single night of the week.

Just Stop It

Please stop giving these articles hits, stop giving the papers who publish them sales and start giving praise to some of the hardest working people I’ve ever known. Bartenders are ACE!

Editor's note: For another positive take on why bartenders love their jobs, please read Pamela Wiznitzer's article here