...and they’ll get to you. Promise. Yell, whistle or wave and you’re in for a long wait says Mike McLean, a 20-year bartending veteran and currently the lead trainer for the Mixxit program with Beam Suntory Canada. “It might not seem like it, but I've got a system in place to serve everyone as quickly and efficiently as possible," he says. "But if you try to push your way to the front, or start yelling at me, or worse yet, start waving money at me, you automatically will be the last person served.”Thinkstock
When they do finally get to you, know what you want.
Get it together people. You’ve clearly had enough time to figure out what you want to drink, so spit it out. “Know what you want to order in advance, especially if you're ordering a round for your friends,” instructs Mike. “The last thing I want to do when I get to you is wait while you ask everyone what they want to drink. Have your money or card ready. See previous slide for what NOT to do.”Flickr
But don’t panic if you truly have no clue what you want to drink.
No problem, says our experts, they’ll help you narrow down your choices. “I don't mind directing people when it comes to choosing drinks, unless they are completely oblivious — that's just frustrating,” says Jenner Cormier, an award winning mixologist and the Reserve Spirit Consultant for Diageo Canada. “[I’lll ask] cocktail, beer or wine? If they say cocktail, ask for a base spirit and narrow down from there, eliminating choices along the way.”Thinkstock
Had too much? Don’t worry, the bar has your back.
Generally, we’ve all been there and our experts feel your pain. Maybe not literally at this moment, but they have in the past and will likely again in the future. So, being the pros they are, they’re going to take care of you. “If its my fault, they are my responsibility," says says Shaun Layton, head barman at L’Abbatoir in Vancouver. "If not, I will try and get them some water and a taxi.”
Your bartender wants to talk to you...just maybe not all the time.
Part of providing a memorable experience is chatting with guests, so if there’s an opportunity, feel free to strike up a conversation, just be aware it’s not always a good time. “On Wednesday at 8 p.m. I feel great about [talking to guests], " says Andrew McNulty the head bartender at Toronto’s College Street Bar. "On Saturday at 1:15 a.m., you're really not as interesting or as sober as you think and I have a lot of people waiting to order [so] I'm also trying to wrap this up without upsetting you, please don't make me the bad guy.”Thinkstock
But feel free to hit on them...maybe.
Let’s get one thing straight: just because your bartender is a stone-cold, tattooed fox with a beard you could get lost in, doesn’t mean he’s yours for the ogling. But a flirtatious comment can put a smile on even the most hardened of whiskey-soaked hearts. “[I’m] so sick of it!” jokes Layton. “Just kidding, it’s part of the job and it can be fun.”Thinkstock
If you’re not paying cash, keep a tab going for one easy payment.
Most of our barkeeps agree that while cash is preferred, it doesn’t really matter how you’re paying. However, if you do opt for credit card, keep things efficient for you, the bartender and everyone else trying to get a drink — start a tab. “Processing seven card transactions for you in one night at one establishment doesn't make bartenders jump for joy,” says McNulty.
As for the tip...?
About a buck a drink for quick pours and 15 per cent and up if the bartender makes you something really involved and/or takes the time to tell you about the products or how to make it. However, our bar pros also agree a snooty bartender should not be rewarded. “People who give bad service and expect to get tipped are in the wrong industry,” says Cormier. “It is, after all, the hospitality industry.” Layton agrees. “If you are behind a bar and worrying about one person’s tip, its time to find a new job.”Flickr
Asking, “What else do you do?” is actually really insulting.
Bartending is serious business and many people make a serious living doing it. So don’t assume every bartender is just doing this while waiting for something else to come through. “A lot of people don't realize how incredible our industry actually is,” says Cormier. “I probably travel more than 95 per cent of the people that walk through the door. I'm fine with the accountant thinking he's better than me.” Interscope Communications
And, by the way, charge your own phone.
“In no way, is any bartender, anywhere at all, in any small or even indirect way, responsible for the battery life remaining in your phone. If your phone is dead, DRINK AND DANCE!” commands McNulty .Thinkstock