A Lesson in Bar Etiquette

Tips please!

Tips please!

Tip literally stands for To Insure Promptness.

Most people who work in the service industry rely on tips as a major part of their income. Because this is a known fact, most servers and bartenders are paid minimum wage if not less.

That being said, we all have to keep in mind that a tip is a gratuity and is not mandatory.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you give a server or a bartender a tip, it is not 100% theirs to keep. Servers must then turn around and give a percentage to busboys, bartenders, and hostesses, and in some cases they must tip out the house. (Give a percentage to the establishment.) Bartenders must give a percentage to barbacks and busboys, and usually must give some to the establishment also.

There is a perception from some people in the industry that a tip IS mandatory. I believe that if the service is adequate, than an average tip should be left. (Average being around 15%). If the service is excellent, then an above average tip should be left. However, if the service is terrible, I do not believe that there should be any tip left. If people tip when the service is terrible, then the server or bartender will not do anything to improve service. Hence, encouraging below average service.

If you are not sure who to tip, and how much, you can check out some guidelines by clicking here.


If you want to be treated like a rock star when you go to the club, make sure you tip the bartender BIG when you order your first cocktail. Some people wait until the end of the night to tip, but by then they’ve probably been waiting in line all night. This will ensure that the bartender will notice you, and you will most likely get front of the line access all night. So what qualifies as a BIG tip? The average tip is about $1 per drink. A good tip is usually $2 per drink. Any thing above $2 per drink will get you noticed. Some people will lay down a twenty at the beginning of the night and they pretty much get their own personal bartender for the evening. Check out this video on tipping etiquette.


This is the person who will be all nice when they order their cocktail, make small talk as you are giving them their change, pretend that they are fumbling around trying to figure out what to leave you, and then turn around and walk away.

If you are one of these people, you will probably have learned that this only works once. Once you have left the bar, the bartender has probably alerted all of the other staff as to what you’re up to. From this point on you will be served last, regardless of when you got in line. If you are too cheap to leave a tip, then maybe you should have stayed home. Bartenders work hard for their money, but they don’t work hard for no money.

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