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January 6, 2010

Why should you tip your bartender? Here's why.

I love it when people -- especially bar owners and bartenders -- post comments in the middle of the night. Around 3:30 a.m. today, a bartender named Kelli left an epic screed about tipping under this old post.

Instead of publishing her comment outright, I thought it deserved its own post. We hear so much from patrons, yet so little from service industry employees. It's time for Kelli to share her side of the story. ...

I've been searching the internet to find something I could quote on "how to tip a bartender" but just come up with a lot of crap about 10%, 20%, etc. Here's how I feel:

To start with, most people assume that not only are we getting tipped but we are also getting a check. Not necessarily true.

In at least Texas & Oklahoma if a percentage of your sales (between 8-15%) for the week average minimum wage or higher then the employer does not have to give you additional compensation. So, if in a week I run about $2,100 in sales then based on a percentage of my sales my employer says I made in tips at least minimum wage ($7.25/hr.) so they don't have to pay me. It does not matter what I actually made in tips. (fyi- federal law requires I claim 100% of the tips I earn). And i am taxed on this amount. This is pretty standard for large employers.

If I receive a 20% tip on every sale I make then I actually make $420. Oh, but lets not forget the barback, I have to give him a percentage of my tips based on sales too. So lets knock off about 50-60 bucks on that. So that leaves $360. Now, I run more than $2100 in a week, and i make more than $360 and i tip the barback more than 50-60/week. But what I'm getting at is I don't get a check, we work under 40 hrs a week (36-39) so no benefits (insurance, 401k, sick time, paid holidays etc). I work for tips!

Your service is not just popping a top on a beer or pouring liquor and soda in a glass, it's keeping that beer stocked, knowing how much ice to put in the glass so you taste the liquor in the drink, keeping the bar wiped down so your arms don't stick to the bar when you walk up there, emptying the ash trays, cutting the fruit, and a lot more that goes in to making your few seconds or few hours at my bar is a good experience.

Tipping is standard, expect to do it when you are being served. When you plan to go out, work a tip into that night out budget. Everything here is going to be based on good service. If you get crappy service, a rude bartender, or a bartender that doesn't know wtf they are doing (there's plenty of those out there) adjust your tip as you see fit. Not everyone can be a bartender, there's more to it than knowing the ingredients to a drink. Personality (all different kinds), memory, math skills, multi-tasking abilities, and just basic good customer service skills.

For one drink, AT LEAST leave a buck, preferably more. It's pretty standard. Don't leave me a quarter, it's insulting. I don't care if you get something on special for $1.75. If I tell you something about a drink that saves you money you could make it up in the tip at least the first time you get that savings.

If you plan to give all the change from whatever bill you gave the bartender, tell them, you can walk away and it saves several steps for the bartender. You don't have to physically put the tip in the jar.

If the bartender has to do something special for your drink(ie., chilled, multi-liquor drinks etc.), leave a little more.

If you're buying a round, and I have to make 5-6 drinks, think about it, if I sold that to each person individually and each tipped a buck that's 5-6 dollars. Now I'm not asking u to tip that but tip appropriately.

If you get great service show it by tipping. Remember, if you tip well I'm going to remember you and you're going to get faster, better service.

If you tip great, I'm going to tell the other bartenders and they'll be giving you faster, better service too. Example: Customer last night ran a tab, just beer. His total was $11 and when he closed his tab he left a $10 tip.  After he left my bar I constantly kept an eye out for his return and also told the other bartenders, so if he walked back up you can bet he would have gotten fast service.

If you sit at my bar and I have time to visit with you, remember, although I may like you, I'm not there to make friends, if you enjoyed my company, service and conversation, show it in your tip.

Although I personally can't give someone bad service because they don't tip or don't tip well, there are plenty of bartenders who can and do. We are in control. If you don't tip or tip poorly we might wait on others before you. I've seen bartenders say a customer has had too much to drink and cut them off because they weren't tipping. Again, we are in control.

Oh yeah, for those customers in casinos who sit at my bar and either drink or not drink, if you are winning and drinking, tip well, many do. if you are not drinking and win big, if we have been nice to you, engaged you in conversation, offered you our service, tip the bartender, it's good karma.

I guess I'm done rambling on this subject for now. There's a lot more I could say on the subject.  Feel free to comment.


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Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:19 PM | | Comments (47)
Categories: Bars & Clubs
        

Comments

well said.

Sorry hon I ain't paying you more than a dollar to pop the top off of my beer, per beer.

A couple pertinent points:
1) the laws differ from state to state. We're not in Texas or Oklahoma. (Thank goodness we're not in Oklahoma--that means we can get decent beer!)
2) Unfortunately, not every bar is alike. Being served at Bourbon Street or the Ram's Head is different from being served at a neighborhood corner bar where the guy serving you just might be the owner. Furthermore, some places pool tips and some don't; some pay the glass-washers a wage and some pay them out of the tip pool......
3) I would love to know what prices at local bars would be if, instead of "mandatory" tipping (and make no mistake about it, that's really what the current system is), waitstaff and bartenders were paid an appropriate and fair wage and tipping were once again rendered optional, a perk for extra good service and not a hidden cost item.

What a whiner. How about you pick a new job if you're concerned about people not tipping. It's a part of the job. The laundry list of job duties.....cry me a river. It's your job! The last time I checked, the barbacks make sure bartenders have the bar stocked. That's why you give them a portion of your tips. I'd like to know how much time she takes to make sure the proper amount of ice is in the drinks. It's not rocket science. And the part about giving better service if you tip well. That's BS. How about you give great service from the jump and see where that gets you?? It sounds like someone had a bad night on the job and is venting. I'm sure she's had good nights on the job where she's made good money at the bar. If she's working at a casino I'm sure she's probably had more slow nights than good lately. My suggestion is to get a job with a steady paycheck and benefits if you're concerned about those that tip poorly.

I typically will tip 20% if my service is decent. If I think it's been better than decent and I got a drink or 2 comped, I reflect it in the tip. I'm sure there are people that tip less than me and other tip better than me. It comes with the territory.

I personally think Kelli handled this topic with grace and wisdom. She educated without offending (Well she didn't offend me). And she didn't seem the least bit intoxicated for a late night poster. I, personally, am very guilty of the intoxicated 3 am comment. Haha.

As a former server, a 20% tip is the minimum I will ever leave at a restaurant or paying a bar tab. I always had to tip out bartenders, bus boys, hostesses, etc. and know exactly where this bartender is coming from and almost completely agree with everything. However, when I'm buying a bottle of beer for under $2, I think $1 is a little much.

My opinion falls somewhere between Cardwell's and ryan97ou's. Pretty close to Evan's with some exceptions on the higher side.

Overall, I'd like to see our country take a hint from European culture and abolish the whole tipping system in favor of slightly higher prices and a living wage paid directly by the employer to the employee. It would take a long time for that kind of shift to take place though. Can't imagine it ever coming to fruition.

Your complaining about tipping, but you said if you make 420, you would only tip your barback 50-60?!?!?! Im a bartender at 2 big fed hill bars and if i make 420 my barback is atleast making 120 of that... Your the cheap azz

I. Am. Terrified.

sorry cardwell, but reading your response, i can't help but have this scene in big lebowski enter my mind:

"Your revolution is over, Mr. Lebowski! Condolences. The bums lost! My advice is to do what your parents did; get a job, sir! The bums will always lose. Do you hear me, Lebowski?!"

I normally tip well at a bar. But if most bartenders share this entitled, power-tripping attitude, I will seriously think about cutting back.

And cut the crap with the "federal law requires I claim 100% of the tips I earn" bs. Nobody believes that you actually report it all. We are not fooled by your mention of federal law while conveniently leaving out how much you actually do report.

Taxes are standard, expect to pay them when you are earning money. Stop crying about your job; you are a leech on society who pays far less than their fair share. YOU are the problem.

ryan, believe me, that exact scene was going through my head when I was typing. That was probably me channeling the Big Lebowski, thus the crabby attitude.

I should have taken the Dude's approach......ahhhh, f**k it.....

The post made me dizzy.

The facts presented here sound false or the business owner is doing something illegal. The federal minimum wage laws and tax code applies to all states equally. The Constitution doesn't allow states to made laws that override federal ones

I don't think I would want to go to her bar. Or arm wrestle with her

Again, we are in control.

This part irks me substantially, especially considering the fact that at the end of the day, I'M the one in control. If I get poor service, I'm not coming back to your establishment. Granted if I tip nothing at all or am a rude customer I deserve it, but I'm certain the other WE ARE IN CONTROL bartenders honestly feel that anyone who tips less than 18% is a deadbeat and deserves a lower quality of service. That's the kind of place I won't be coming back to.

It's a dangerous attitude to have unless you're working a place that enjoys so much volume it won't really matter.

I think an excellent followup to a post like this is the concept of comping customers shots and/or the occasional free beer to keep them coming back - that could be an interesting conversation to say the least.

Evan-
Excellent idea for a post. Most bar owners give their bar owners a comp/promo check to give away $x amount of dollars. As a bartender i primarily use it on regulars that are good customers (usually those good regulars are also good tippers because they become friends). And it drives me CRAZY when people come in that ive never met before and want something for free, even though on the round they just got that was $30 they tipped $1 on. Its laughable. and i absolutly LOOOOOOOOOVE the people that ask you too hook them up because they will "take care of you"... as soon as someone says that you AUTOmatically know they they are a terrible tipper.


I wouldn't mind seeing a post on what customers would like or expect from their bartenders as far as free drinks and shots are concerned. That would be an interesting post. And who should pay for it, the bartender or the house.

Tip a dollar a drink and the bar should offer buy backs. One free drink for every three you buy. Your tips "buying back" the beer.

I'm sorry but you are a bartender because you are too lazy to learn a real profession and you demand to be paid a high wage for work that a monkey can do. Make no mistake, a good bartender is a wonderful and precious thing. You, Kelli, are unlikely to be such a specimin.

Jason Z, interesting topic choice. I have a lot of bartender friends and go certain bars regularly. I normally tip well, about 25% or so. I would never expect free food, so that is a given. A free draft beer or a free shot when I buy a round of shots would be nice. I know what draft beer costs, so it wouldn’t hurt the bar at all for a free beer.

The poster is right about one thing. Bartenders are there to serve, not to be your friends. I can’t tell you how many people I see pretending to “buddy up” to the bartender. It’s a job, so treat it as such.

To Insure Proper Service. Lets not forget tips is an acronym. Kelli, stop whining, you're acting like tips are something you deserve without having to earn. If doing the 20minutes of side work that you described is to much for you than maybe you can't handle any requirments. People work in the service industry to avoid the responsibility that comes with that paycheck, those benefits, and insurance. Your service should dictate your tips, if it's not, then the problem is you. I'm curious what bar this is, so i can add it to the the growing list of places to avoid, but that i still go to anyway. The proper tip etiquette is two dollars or a dollar a drink. And yes that's per drink, not per order. I agree that if you tip better then you get better service, but I have only seen that from two bartenders in Baltimore. One is John at Bad Decisions, and the other is not you.

This reads like an outake from Kevin Smith's newest flick "Bartenders, where Randal Graves from "Clerks" restates, "This job would be great if not for the f***king customers".

This is obviously a bartender who came home from a bad night who's just venting. I'm sure this isn't how she feels on a day to day basis... at least I hope it's not.

Sessa, I think you'd do well to do a stint/piece where you work at a bar for a few weeks, whether it be for the newspaper or for personal education. It would give you some insight into this industry that you cover for The Sun that I think is lacking from your perspective.

"Sessa, I think you'd do well to do a stint/piece where you work at a bar for a few weeks"

now THAT would be awesome.

i'll be first in line expecting free stuff.

When I worked at a bar the bartenders would chip in money to buy a bottle of hooch and pour customers shots from that bottle. I thought it was a good way to limit bartenders "giving away the house".
But I have never asked a bartender for free anything or a hook up. But if I get a drink or shot comped, which does happen to me quite a bit, I'm very appreciative and my tip will reflect that.

I'm curious as to when the whole concept of tipping bartenders even started. I'm guessing it was about the same time that the bar owners stopped being the only one serving the customers their drinks.

I tip my bartender around 30-50% sometimes more. I always get at least 1 drink on the house usually more.

I'm seeing a reoccurring theme of this notion that you are entitled to "free stuff" just for going into a bar. silly me, I thought you went into a bar with friends or to meet friends (or even make friends), buy drinks, sit and talk, or watch the game or whatever, and when you leave, pay your tab, tip the waiter/waitress/bartender and go on your merry way. i mean, i have never not gone to a bar because they didn't give free stuff. it's not bad to fall into a good deal or have someone buy you a drink but to EXPECT a free drink, i mean come on!

really? wow - mr pink convinced me long ago with two words...

learn to f'n type

seems kelli heard it and typed well but missed the point entirely... good luck with that.

I don't understand these posts about tipping. I feel like in general, the people who read these blogs most likely already know what is expected. It's like a slap in the face, really.

I'm in control.

Should you tip a bartender for bad service? We live in the Age or Entitlement. YOU will get questioned if you don't tip for bad service.
I was at Fed Hill bar this week with a fellow commenter on this post. I'm don't live in Fed Hill. It was my first time really at this bar. Guess which non-regular got pretty much ignored by the bartender.
when I asked about things I could put on my subs, I got a "plenty of stuff" AND a bag of chips. The regular? got a full description and a choice of sides that I had "no idea" about. I asked for a water from the bartender. Nothing. Never got that actually. First I thought I was too harsh, so I did a little test. I let my beer glass sit empty. Nada from behind the bar for almost 10 whole minutes. DESPITE refilling the regualrs' glasses who were all but sitting next to me. The owner, I think, finally noticed and refilled me. The owner set us up with free shots for the group (it had nothing to do with the bad service) and that was awesome, but the bartender killed any chances of me returning. Sorry guys. But I still tipped.
As a former resident of Fed Hill, I think all that sports TV goes to the bartenders heads. There's a serious "bro" attiitide in Fed that really irks. As if YOU'RE at fault for whining.

Josh-
If you really believe that if you tip a dollar a beer then should get a free drink every three your out of your mind!! We wouldnt make money if we did that. Like i said before, most bartenders get a promo check that is good to buy around 10 drinks, on a busy friday night that can go quickly. if our comp check goes over, we pay it down... and i know some of you will say that bartenders give away drinks without ringing in, but smart owners prevent this.

Madisonn Smarrtt Ass,

"...so I did a little test. I let my beer glass sit empty. Nada from behind the bar for almost 10 whole minutes. DESPITE refilling the regulars’ glasses who were all but sitting next to me. The owner, I think, finally noticed and refilled me. The owner set us up with free shots for the group (it had nothing to do with the bad service) and that was awesome, but the bartender killed any chances of me returning. Sorry guys. But I still tipped."

Your are a fool for tipping! All you did was REWARD bad behavior.
Complaining to the owner or manager probably would have been the better thing.

It really isn’t our problem or concern what you, as a bartender, are paid by your employer. It shouldn’t be assumed it is a given the customer HAS to tip. Some of you got a really inflated sense of self worth and what you think you deserve.

In too many ways this tipping thing has become a f***ing tax, not a reward for good or extraordinary service but a bribe to hope the person on the other side of the counter might remember you and remember you kindly next time, just to get the service they should be giving you automatically. I’ve been places with people and we got atrocious service but they left the expected amount tip over my protest “because they wanted to be able to come back again”, a couple these people are otherwise very tight with their money.

There are some recent acquaintances who are always on the look out for good restaurants that are BYOB because they think bar bill, without tipping, is getting to be too much per glass or drink, so you may need to consider lowering your expectations on what percentage tip to receive.

Why should anyone go into a restaurant or bar EXPECTING free anything unless otherwise advertised. Even as a regular, an occasional uncharged refill or drink should be regarded as a surprise bonus of appreciation.

What is this? At least third time we have cover this topic in the last two years.
Last time: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays: The tipping point
http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/midnight_sun/blog/2009/10/owl_meats_tipsy_tuesdays_the_t.html#more

GDA, it keeps coming up because it's such a mess.

I would say that when you figure out all the illogic of the Bible, you can tackle tipping in America. Seriously, i don't think they are unrelated. The god of the Old Testament is a sadistic sociopath. His son is a free love Buddhist. How does that make sense? Daddy drinks. Really, it applies to bartenders.

Give money to Yahweh so that Jesus will do a shot with you.

Yeah, it's 5 a.m. but I'm not drinking.

@ GDA
I hear you, but I was with friends.
"Bro, what's with your boy? He didn't tip!"
no amount of excuses would have made me look any less than a deadbeat.

GDA-
You kind of disgust me with your ideal of thinking. Every post ive had in this topic has been against the original girl's post, but you are ignorant. Bartenders are providing you a service, and for that you tip. If your not happy with the service, as long as you recieved the service you should still tip. If you think about it, the customers are kind of bartenders "employers" because that is who is paying them. Im sure you dont always make your boss happy, but when you have that day when maybe your not on your A game you still get paid. It sounds to me like you have 1950's old white man ideals, and i honestly hope you never walk into a bar that i work in.
And if you cant afford the drinks and the tipping, heres an idea, dont go to a bar.
Now i personally am the type of person that whether the person tips or not, i give them good service cause thats the kind of person I am. i do work with people that are not that way, and they kind of annoy me, but i dont have any kind of "selfworth", i just think that since im providing you a service, that you should tip.
I hope that some of the bartenders that post on here know who you are and refuse to serve you ever again with your worthless and completely rude attitude. You make it seem like bartenders are scum of society or something.

Ryan-
What bar(s) do you work at? If you're honest about how you work, sounds like a good place to get a drink

I thought the bartender's post was fine, didn't seem aggressive or whiny, just factual.

I've never worked in a service industry that relies on tips, but I've worked in customer-service-oriented professions my whole career, and yes, there are customers that I can only describe as abnormally "self-centered." You take 'em as they come, and I try not to take it personally - when I deal with somebody who feels over-entitled I try and remind myself that while I only have to deal with them for a little while, they have family members and friends that have to deal with their myopic view every day.

(back in a previous career we used to get screamers that got torqued-up over little things, and I always thought "their poor wife")

The same way I don't give telephone customer service people crap, because being nice will generally get you further than being jerky and entitled, I'm always friendly to waiters and bartenders, and always tip pretty well. I've found that being understanding and cool to people, regardless, makes my experience better, and the "tone" of my life in general better.

So, buy a beer, give them a buck, whether the beer costs $2 or $5 - do you really need to hold out that extra $.50?

When I buy a mixed drink I'll tip $2 or so, depending on whether there's coinage coming back - maybe they get $1.75, maybe they get $2.25 or whatever.

Life's too short to cheap out on $.25 here and $.50 there, and being a decent tipper has paid off for me many times in goodwill and pleasant experiences.

I'm a beer drinker, don't order shots let alone high-end or complicated drinks, and I tip a dollar a drink. If service is good and they've run me a tab, I often tip more. Still, I see people throwing lots of money around. Is a buck a beer too cheap? I'd really like to know.

Jim-
Any time someone asks me what a good tip is, i say a dollar a drink in my mind is a great tip, because if the drink is 4-6 bucks your tipping over 15%.

Anon- Id rather not say where i work, but if youve been around fed hill youve met me

So your customers are supposed to tip you because you decide to get a piss-poor job that (apparently) pays you nothing? Your "employer" has some confusing, probably illegal scheme to not pay you, and you accept this system at face value, act like that is how things should be, and then demand that the people you are serving provide you with a living. (Also, if the bar owner isn't paying you, how are they your "employer"?) Your job is to serve drinks. If you want to do that for free, thats your business but I'm not going to pay you a salary. The customer decides whether you get a tip. Oops...looks like WE are in control. Of your tip at any rate.

"it's keeping that beer stocked,"

I worked at a donut shop about 10yrs ago and I restocked items, even drive-thru items, does that mean I deserved a tip for "RESTOCKING?" HECK NO, ARE YOU NUTS? That is NOT PART OF ANYONE'S SERVICE, NOT ANYONE'S SERVICE!! Restocking is what you get paid your hourly pay for, even if it's only $2.13/hr.

Restocking anything is just that, restocking, NOT SERVICE!! Keeping beer restocked honestly is for the upkeep of the bar or restaurant. I had to restock milks at the donut shop, does that mean I EARNED a tip when I wasn't actually "SERVING" anyone at the time? OF COURSE NOT!!

WHY do you think that matters if you restock to the customer's service? They don't care. All they care about is getting what they ordered, WHEN they ordered it, NOTHING ELSE that you did BEFORE they came in matters to them. That was BEFORE the customer came in or after they ordered that you restocked. That's NOT part of someone's service.

"keeping the bar wiped down so your arms don't stick to the bar when you walk up there,"

Cleaning up if I didn't even make the mess is certainly not something I would pay for if I didn't make the mess. If you clean up after I am gone, I don't get any benefit from it, do I?

"emptying the ash trays,"

Don't smoke, never have, so this has ZERO to do with MY service. I emptied and cleaned ash trays too at the donut shop. Does that mean I deserve a tip for that? OF COURSE NOT, it's not service. It's clean up work, period!!

"cutting the fruit"

Unless you are doing it for my drink only, that's not part of "MY SERVICE" either. Especially if someone is only ordering a beer with no fruit(such as lime).

How does cutting fruits before I even order or afterward have to do with "SERVICE?" That's SIDEWORK!! That is NOT service!!

"Your service is not just popping a top on a beer "

I don't tip for popping a top off a beer. That's LESS WORK than a Wendy's cashier does to fill my cup with ice and coke. WHY would I tip you for that, but not tip them? It's not fair the fast food cashier did more work than you did flipping that cap and grabbing that beer. WHY would ANYONE in their right mind tip for that? I don't get it, I really don't? I don't order beer much at all, but if I did, I certainly wouldn't tip for you flipping a cap. You don't EARN ANYTHING for that, LESS THAN COUNTER FAST FOOD SERVICE DOES.

"soda in a glass,"

If I am at a nightclub, I certainly am not having service if I am just getting a coke. That's fast food service there.

If I sit and get refills, THAT is service to tip for, but if I just get one coke at nightclub, I am certainly not going to tip for FAST FOOD SERVICE.

"For one drink, AT LEAST leave a buck, preferably more."

Mixed drinks YES, I agree to the extent it depends on the service. When you take my order, do you let someone else CUT in front of my turn and make me wait longer when I was first? If you do, you get stiffed for being rude, inconsiderate, and mean.

"Don't leave me a quarter, it's insulting."

Personally, I'd rather get a quarter than zero. If I leave a quarter, it's because the service was terrible.

"After he left my bar I constantly kept an eye out for his return and also told the other bartenders, so if he walked back up you can bet he would have gotten fast service."

So that means you would let someone else not get good service by ignoring them to serve them as if they were a GOD or something? Why not give fast service to all your customers and see what they give you instead? You might be surprised you could have made more money.

If anything, that regular you put FIRST that was LAST would have tipped you well ANYWAYS. You make an enemy out of a potential "REGULAR" that would have tipped you well if you would have TREATED them well the first time around.

"If you don't tip or tip poorly we might wait on others before you."

What if you had a REAL REASON such as the last time I asked for a drink, you decided to let someone else CUT in front of MY TURN making me wait longer? I treated you as you had treated me, so WHY can't you see that and serve your customers as if that were YOUR TURN?

"If you sit at my bar and I have time to visit with you, remember, although I may like you, I'm not there to make friends, if you enjoyed my company, service and conversation, show it in your tip."

If being nice is all an ACT per say, then WHO wants that? I want a bartender that is just nice and friendly, not someone that ACTS like they like me. When I do make conversation with bartenders, I DO tip much higher than normal.

"If I receive a 20% tip on every sale I make then I actually make $420. Oh, but lets not forget the barback, I have to give him a percentage of my tips based on sales too. So lets knock off about 50-60 bucks on that. So that leaves $360. Now, I run more than $2100 in a week, and i make more than $360 and i tip the barback more than 50-60/week. But what I'm getting at is I don't get a check, we work under 40 hrs a week (36-39) so no benefits (insurance, 401k, sick time, paid holidays etc). I work for tips!"

Knowing that, treat your customers EQUALLY. You don't always know WHY people don't tip. Some may be cheap, while others see how you treated them UNFAIRLY and don't tip you, because of it.

Once, wanted to order another drink at a bar. My husband and I normally tipped 20% at least to the bartender and kept a tab. Anyway, I went up to get served, he IGNORED me to take a shot with someone. Sorry, but customer service is NOT SERVING YOURSELF a SHOT. While I understand the customer wants to take a shot with the bartender, that's still PLAYTIME, actually SELLING things is the main job. To ignore you is RUDE and you wouldn't want someone to do that to you ANYWHERE, at McDonald's or ANYWHERE, so don't treat someone else like that. Even if I would be the type to buy a shot for a bartender, I wouldn't expect them to IGNORE customers that wanted to order something. That just isn't right. I would wait to do my shot with the bartender when he or she would have a free moment when nobody wanted to order anything, which it was a pretty slow time around 1a.m. in the morning. If you are going to consume anything yourself, that isn't service, that's SERVING YOURSELF a shot, not a CUSTOMER. That's serving an EMPLOYEE, YOURSELF. We stiffed him for the drinks we had. WHY? When you are RUDE, EXPECT that back in the tip. Treat me like I matter and don't ignore me, then I will pay you. Don't treat me like I am nobody to drink something yourself. I don't care if another customer wants to do the shot with you. I would tell them they'd have to wait until I was finish with any orders that came up. That is PLAYTIME, just as making conversation is. The goal is to SELL, NOT to ignore the people that want to buy something, because if you do ignore everyone, you will only be making the tips for the people you are playing around with and you won't have many sales. Think about that!!

Please return your seats to their upright positions – Springs1 has returned.

Even if I would be the type to buy a shot for a bartender...

Yeah, I'm not that type either, Springs1. But I wonder what your opinion is on buying a beer for a Bud Light rep.

Awww, Springs1, i've MISSED you

the sun blogs: "the land of pleasant diatribes"

Wow, Springs1 is back. Hopefully its just a one-off post and she is off to rant elsewhere.

I just want to say thanks to the customers who don't come to seee me because they expect free anything. Not every bartender is given a COMP check or even a discount when buying a drink for the most loyal of customers. I do it out of my own pocket because I appreciate you and I hope you treat me the same in return.

If you are going to tip me a dollar for a drink: thank you.
If I bust my ass and look good while getting you that drink, and you want to tip me more: thank you, with a bigger smile.
If you tip really good, you will probably get fast-tracked to the front of the line.
If you over tip, and throw money around: you are probably a d-bag, "Thank you so much", now go away.(You not going to buy respect with one dollar bills)
If you stiff me: just hurry out of the way, I have more customers waiting.

If you are going to tip me a dollar for a drink: thank you.
If I bust my ass and look good while getting you that drink, and you want to tip me more: thank you, with a bigger smile.
If you tip really good, you will probably get fast-tracked to the front of the line.
If you over tip, and throw money around: you are probably a d-bag, "Thank you so much", now go away.(You not going to buy respect with one dollar bills)
If you stiff me: just hurry out of the way, I have more customers waiting.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at erik.maza@baltsun.com. Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.
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