Guest Etiquette or “How to behave at the bar”

There are few places like a bar or a club where your manners and attitude will define you in front of others so blatantly. Sure, everyone is around to relax, have a good time and enjoy a few – or more- drinks and not in a stiff social event.

Yet, fact is people -particularly women- are looking at you, watching every detail and making assumptions about you based on the way you conduct yourself on the bar. -Unless your name is Rob Ford and you enjoy being the centre of attention every Monday for your drunken behavior, here are some tips you should take into account to avoid getting the reputation for being “that douche over there” from the bar staff and patrons.


1) Don’t call the bartender using the expressions “Yo”‘ “Dude” “Baby‚ÄĚ, Whistling or Waiving a Debit Card

Bartenders -and people in general – don’t usually enjoy being called names ¬†from someone who they are not familiar with, so don’t use those expressions EVER. As for whistling, unless you are guiding a flock of sheep back home keep your lips either close or on your drink. Finally, unless its a Black American Express, waiving a credit/debit card in front of the bartender is a great way to fan yourself and cool down but definitely not a way to attract the his/her attention. Holding a firm but polite eye contact with your bartender should be enough to indicate you are waiting for service. If it doesn’t work either find a new bar or get new eyes.

2) Don’t touch the bartender/server

People don’t usually feel comfortable being touched by strangers, so do bartenders. If the bartender feels comfortable enough with you to shake hands with you, give you a high fiver or even a hug that’s ok as long as it’s cool with you too, but don’t get that creepy vibe for being the too-touchy guy

3) When you order make sure you are ready to order.

If you want to get the “I hate you and wish painful things upon you” look from your bartender all you have to do is order and when he/she is giving you your drinks and is ready to pay you only have to say “Oh, I forgot… three more pints and another rum and coke” ¬†This being said, PLEASE don’t do it.

4) If you were properly served, tip accordingly

We know that tip is not mandatory, yet you have to understand that tipping is not only a bar ritual, but is also a big clue on how you are as a person. Tipping properly shows you know how to appreciate good service and this will generate a good reputation for you. Typically $1 is an acceptable tip for a beer, $2 for mixed drinks and more if its a complicated mixed drink.¬†Also, the way of tipping is really important: discretly passing leaving the tip on the bar with a “Thank you” should be enough.


This is an awful habit which tells a lot about how little some people value their server’s time and sanity. If your server doesn’t ask you if you will want separate tabs you should indicate this at the beginning of your order. ¬†He/ She will appreciate it more than you can believe.


1) Do not try to skip the line by saying “I know the owner”

This is a classic but it hardly works for two simple reasons a) Most people who use this line cannot tell the owner’s name when asked and b) If you really knew the owner he would go out for you or at least have you on a guest list. ¬†You can skip this uncomfortable situation by making an early reservation.

2) Do not give attitude to the bouncer

No matter how much money or connections you may have, you will never beat the bouncer in an attitude challenge. He is used to take that same attitude over and over again every week and knows how to handle it. Most importantly, even if you happen to see the owner or manager he will most probably back his decision as he is his staff and you will end up annoyed and looking bad in front of the crowd that’s waiting with you. Avoid this situation by respecting the bouncer and if necessary asking for the promoter or manager of the venue. If you offer a good deal (e.g. bring a large group or friends with you) they will usually be friendly to you and let you in.

Go out, try these tips and you will see the difference. And when that happens, let us know!


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