Although for numerous restaurants–and nations–we are living in a post-tipping age, bartenders often depend on tips to earn an income that is livable. The standards of tipping have become less than clear We asked bartenders what they would like customers to know about tips for their alcohol beverages…aside the obvious “please do it,” of course.
1. The fact that you tip big in the beginning will not guarantee better service.
“I’ve heard a lot of bartenders say you can’t buy their attention or affection with a big tip,” one New York server told me. “Sometimes people drop a major tip at the beginning of the night to get an ‘in,’ but a busy bar is a busy bar.”
2. Tips on the total, but not the total subtotal.
“A lot of people think you should tip on just the subtotal before tax,” an Brooklyn bartender stated. “No. Do not take this action.”
3. The $1 drink for one rule is completely acceptable, except when you’re drinking cocktails.
The majority of bartenders I talked to was that it is best to leave a tip of $1 for each beer however, you should tip $2 per cocktail. Also, you must expect the correct types of wine glasses for your drink.
“A lot of people will go to a bar, and they’ll order a round for their friends,” an New Orleans bartender said. “If it’s a round of cocktails, they’ll only tip me four dollars, and that’s a dick move.”
4. First tip in cash.
” Even if you plan to use a card,” said one bartender. “Too many times people skimp when the tab gets too large, and bartenders know it.”
5. If it’s a deal that’s 2-for-1 you can tip for two drinks.
“When people get free drinks or 2-for-1 specials and don’t tip, or tip on only one drink, that shit gets me fired up,” an New Haven bartender said. “What do you think your gratuity goes towards the cost of drinking a drink? What if at the end of the night, the boss demands that us pay the bill? No, I’ll serve you a drink, and you leave me a gratuity. It’s my total pay-per-hour. It’s not a cost.”
6. Many bartenders count on tips to earn a decent pay.
If you are able, give a generous tip.
“I wish to Christ people knew that bartenders, like a lot of servers, get paid less than minimum wage,” one bartender said to me. “We survive on tips.”
7. Many bartenders who aren’t American are skeptical about the tipping system in general.
“Tipping is a symptom of a dysfunctional economy and a poor substitute for the collective bargaining power of a fully unionized workforce,” one British bartender told me. “It’s not something we can do in the United Kingdom other than in the most shabby bars. But you get paid better. There’s no work for you to do and you earn an actual amount of money that’s not dependent on your ability of bowing and scraping.”
8. If you don’t like your bartender, then you should be sure to tip them properly.
“It’s a pool,” said one bartender. “If you are not happy with me, great, don’t buy anything from me. If you scold me and continue to order my bar back, then my bar is getting sucked into by you too.” Try asking about wine cooler drinks if you want to judge a bartender.
9. There’s no reason to fling money around.
You won’t be faster service.
“Don’t wave your money or try and flag me down with a full bar,” the bartender tweeted to me. “I see you, and working on getting to you.”