How To Tip A Bartender.

People who have this statue in their basement bar freak us all out.

People who have this statue in their basement bar freak us out. I know you're reading this, Charlie. It's weird.

Deep within the pockets of societal convention lurk the frugal outliers that spoil it for the rest of us.

The cheapskates.

When they tip, or rather, when they don’t, they screw it up for society.  The rest of us who actually appreciate good service and understand that waitstaff depend on gratuities to make ends meet.

This tip guide is for them.

But it’s also for a bartender in Seattle who has lost her mind.

This bartender wrote a piece in the Seattle Examiner on how to properly tip.  Let’s digest some of her golden nuggets of information.

It’s always best for a bartender to make about twenty percent of their sales from that day off tips.

Well yeah.  And it’s best for Sarah, the red-headed waitress at Red Lobster who cleans up after the disgusting mess you leave after eating mussels to make 20% too.  By the way, how gross is the aftermath of mussels anyway?  Right?  Especially after I’m done with them.

Sarah, I’m sorry.

Or how about that creepy guy that stares at us in the bathroom at lounges and discos?  He gets quarters.  I saw a twenty in there once, but I think he put that in there by himself.  One time, I even saw Monopoly money.  Monopoly money!  Who carries that?

Poor creepy guy.

But really? 20%?  For a bartender?  Outrageous.

More now, from the Examiner.

If you have received adequate service, it’s best to leave about eighteen percent of your total bill for a tip. If you have received excellent service, go for about twenty-five or thirty percent so the bartender knows how well they did.

Okay wait.  So I’m at a pub.  I pump my tremendous legs to get to the bar.  Then I wait my turn.  Finally, the bartender notices my mild obesity parked on a stool.  I order my Heineken which perhaps costs 8 dollars.  All she does is get it from the bar, pop the bottle and hand it to me.  Since I’m a raging alcoholic, I’m in six Heinekens by quarter of 10.  That means my bill is $48.  According to the Examiner, I’m giving her $61.

Really?  13 dollars?

Let’s look at what she says when you get shitty service.

If you have received poor or substandard service, still leave at least ten to fifteen percent.

10-15% if you had poor or substandard service.  So suppose the bartender calls you a big fat loser and makes you wait seventeen minutes when there isn’t anyone at the bar.  Then, right after you order, she goes out for a cigarette break, then finally gives you a Bud Light instead of a Heineken.  Then after she leaves, you overhear her make fun of your lazy eye.  Still fifteen percent.

Here’s her explanation.

There are many factors to why service wasn’t perfect and most of the time it’s not the bartender’s fault. Or, people have bad days. We’re all human, after all, so don’t jip on the tip.

How does she know it’s not the bartender’s fault?  People, both bartenders and customers, have bad days. I have 362 bad days a year.  She expands:

And word gets around fast amongst all bartenders and we all look out for one another, so you could get black listed from a plethora of bars from one bad tip.

Wow.  With that type of attitude, I’m sure she’s a delight!

Here’s the real tipping guide.

First, a simple maxim.  Barstaff should make less than waitstaff in tips.  If you are serving food, and cleaning up plates people ate on, you should make more in tips than people who open bottles and serve beverages.

Second, you should always leave a minimum of 1 dollar a drink.  If a drink is 5, you give 6.  If a drink is 10, maybe 1.50.  As you can see that’s roughly 15-20%.  But if your bill at the end of the night is 48 dollars, you don’t need to give 30%.  Why would you?  Do you do that at restaurants?  Tip the 15% if it’s adequate service, and 20% if it’s good service.

If it’s poor, tip 10%.

See?  Simple.

Oh, and don’t leave Monopoly money.

  • When they tip, or rather, when they don’t, they screw it up for society. 

  • First, a simple maxim.  Barstaff should
    make less than waitstaff in tips.  If you are serving food, and cleaning
    up plates people ate on, you should make more in tips than people who
    open bottles and serve beverages.
     

  • CDF

    why is it an entitlement program? Thy're losers who are too lazy to work a real job. Twist a beer cap and I owe u $1? Why is the price so inflated by the greedy owner? Get real! They get a paycheck like I do and nobody tips me. TELL THE OWNER TO PAY U WHAT U R WORTH AND DON"T DIG INTO MY POCKET

  • REV

    ^This person has never worked a service industry job. CDF, I have a message for you from all the service industry people in the world: Eat at home, drink at home.


  • That's
    the great article! I just pass 'n read it, two thumbs up! ;)
     

  • Shannonlayes

    So what to tip when the drink only costs $1.00?

  • REV

    Even if you're drinking cheap, a quarter is an insult to a bartender. Give 'em a dollar or so. If all they did was open a bottle for you, they shouldn't complain over $0.75.

  • Twtybean

    Yes, 20%! REALLY!!! All bullshit aside, bartenders make $2.13 AN HOUR!!! We rely on tips. If you are working in a nightclub, you still have to clean plates, tables, pull gum out of ashtrays, clean those ashtrays, mop up puke, restock beer and supplies, etc. In a bar (not restaurant) setting, the bartenders do MORE work than the servers, plus having to know the recipes of all drinks (servers do not) and many have to make the drinks for the servers. Not to mention, having to put up with lame pick-up lines, dirty jokes, and demeaning comments from drunk customers. $1 a drink, especially if it is a complicated drink like a long island or a messy drink like a lemon drop, is NOT APPROPRIATE!! Tip based on the price of the drink, not on how many you have. If it takes more time to make it, the bartender is spending more time on you and having to make other customers wait. PAY them for their time and attention.

blog comments powered by Disqus