How to become your bartender’s favorite customer

How to collaborate with your bartender when the bar is full? Through Insider, we discovered 9 things bartenders appreciate from customers.

A full bar, euphoria and high spirits can create customers who are less empathetic with their bartenders. To make the night a better time, a few bartenders shared with Insider what attitudes make for a favorite customer.


1. Isabella Marriott – Bar Beau – Brroklyn: Make eye contact with the bartender.

Isabella appreciates when customers make eye contact when placing an order. “It makes me feel less robotic and more human,” she says.


2. Decide what you want to order before you get to the bar when it’s full.

“I appreciate when customers decide what they want before I serve them, especially if it’s a large group,” Marriott says. “Nothing is more time consuming than waiting for someone to decide while there are 10 people waiting to order.”


3. Nathan Gurr – Be as concise as possible when ordering.

Be brief. “It simplifies our lives if you use words briefly when ordering.” It is especially important to speak clearly and concisely when ordering multiple drinks. If there is a lot of noise use your fingers to indicate how many of the same drink you want.


4. Don’t hold your glass while being served

Marriott explains that he doesn’t like it when customers hold their glass while being served. “It’s harder to pour the drink.”


5. Andrew Iriarte – Dot Dot Dot Bar – Charlotte: ask for your drinks to be “balanced” rather than “not too sweet.”

For Iriarte, subjective or vague language can be frustrating when ordering drinks. “I hate it when they order a drink that’s not too sweet. Using the word ‘balanced’ is better to explain or what you want rather than ‘not too sweet.’ When a cocktail is well made the sweetness balances a cocktail rather than overpowering the flavors.


6. Never lean over the bar or wave.

Bartenders usually have an idea of who is waiting at the bar and will serve customers as soon as they can. Trying to get their attention can be rude. “I love customers who realize I’m busy and don’t lean over the bar to get my attention,” Marriott says.


7. Anticipate your next round of drinks.

If it’s crowded don’t be afraid to order your next round of drinks all at once. “Feel free to order before you finish the drink you have. When the bar is making a lot of cocktails, someone ordering early gives me a mental break,” says Gurr.


8. Know what you like before you order a custom drink.

Uriarte says to make life easier for the bartender, when ordering a custom drink, share what you like. “In the end we get to make a drink that you like, so it helps when you know taste profiles like savory, sour, refreshing, bitter, and balanced.” It’s easier to tell the bartender in a very polite way what you like and don’t like. It can also help to give examples of well-known drinks you know to use as a guide.


9. Remember your bartender’s name and say thank you.

“I always appreciate it when a bartender remembers my name and says thank you before leaving. It makes me feel like I’ve done my job completely,” says Uriarte. But don’t learn the bartender’s name just to taste his or her attention. “Every bartender’s worst nightmare is the customer who asks for your name, only to yell it across the bar when they need something,” Marriott says.


Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.


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