Words by: Jane Ryan
Perhaps better entitled how to infuriate your bartender; or ten people not to be in a bar.
Most bartenders enjoy the social side to their job, otherwise they wouldn't be behind the bar. Customer service is at the forefront of every great venue, it comes before drinks, before atmosphere, before decor. But this is hospitality and not everyone is a dream customer. Plus it's easy to forget on a night out that a bar is someone else's work place.
We asked some bartenders from around the world what they find most annoying. Here's their top ten.
"I don't know what I like, what's your favourite drink to make, I had one down the road that was nice - do you have that drink here?" Give a bartender something to work with when asking for suggestions. Whether it's looking for something long and refreshing, short and punchy, fruity or sour, or even a spirits preference.
Refusing to leave at the end of the night is annoying but has nothing compared to the person who doesn't like anything but decides that staying in the bar and loudly complaining is the best way to spend an evening. If the bar is that bad why do they stay?
"I actually used to work in a bar, did you now all Bourbon has to be aged in old sherry barrels?" There's no reason for customers to lecture a bartender on just how much (or little) they know, or worse telling them they're doing their job wrong. Curiosity is fine. Being a mis-informed know-it-all is not.
This only applies to bars with reservations but there's nothing more difficult than trying to explain to a very drunk woman why she can't have 20 people on a table for four. Yes it will annoy everyone else, no you can't fit.
Yes bartenders and waiters are getting paid to serve, but a simple please and thank you goes a long way. They're people too, and they don't deserve to be shouted, whistled or clicked at. Chances are it will be one time too many and they'll simply serve someone else instead.
"You don't serve Red Bull? Really? How about Monster? Not even Mother?" Some customers can get incredibly annoyed by this, but not all bars sell energy drinks, it's not a legal requirement. There's no point getting annoyed, order something else.
There's a type of man who won't drink from a coupe as it's a 'girly' glass, or even worse, because it's 'gay'. They'll be equally horrified when the drink they've ordered arrives pink. No, it's not emasculating, some of the booziest drinks are served straight up. Same goes for picking the strongest drink on the menu because they're that tough and then sending back because, well, it tasted too strong.
Having a sneaky kiss in the corner is fine. Making out for the world to see at 9pm, pressed up against the bar, is another matter entirely. It's horrific and off putting. Please stop.
A bit of banter with the bartender is always appreciated, but then there's that customer who is so incredibly forward that bartenders hide every time they come up to order a drink. And there's always that one guy who thinks just because the waitress is nice to him it means he can lay his hands all over her.
Being asked to read a menu shouldn't be the most exasperating task of a customer's day. If a someone asks a bartender 'what do you serve?' they shouldn't really be that surprised when the retort is 'have you looked at the menu?'