Tipping your bartender isn’t just about making sure you adequately compensate the person behind the bar who’s helping you orchestrate the monumental hangover you’re going to wake up with tomorrow. A well-planned tipping strategy can ensure that you not only get way drunker for way less money, but you look like a straight-up baller while doing so.
The most common mistake is that people group bartenders in with the common server. This is wrong on many fronts. The server is merely a messenger. They take your drink and food order, punch it into a computer that relays it to the bartender and the kitchen, then bring it to you when it’s ready. That’s why they have to give the bartender a cut of their 20%.
The bartender, whether they be in your friendly neighborhood bar or in a restaurant, has supreme power. For the purpose of this discussion we’re going to focus on the bar/nightclub variety since they are the most volatile to deal with.
The wisdom I’m about to dole out doesn’t apply to hot girls, moderately attractive girls or girls with big boobs who dress like sluts. It’s for ugly girls and regular guys only.
How many times has it happened to you? You finally elbow your way up to the bar in a crowded club only to stand there waving your money like you’re having an epileptic fit for 20 minutes trying to get the bartender’s attention. Like I always say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Most people fuck up right off the bat. They either tip $.25-$.50 per drink or don’t tip at all thinking they’ll just tip at the end of the night. A bartender will pick the hot chick who deosn’t tip at all over the person who tips okay. First impressions are everything. Tip on your first drink exactly the way you want to be treated the rest of the night. Tip poorly and you’ll be treated poorly. Tip well and you’ll be treated well.
Right when you walk into the establishment, walk up to the bar like you own the motherfucker. Head high, shoulders back, cash in hand. (“But what if I want to use a credit card to run a tab?” That’s ok. You can run a credit card tab, but you absolutely must take cash fro the initial tip.) Stand there. Hand the bartender a $20 and say, “That’s for you. Can you start me a tab on this card please?”
You’ve established yourself. On a normal night, anytime you walk up to the bar for a refill, if the bartender doesn’t take care of you a.s.a.p, he’ll at least acknowledge you and say, “Be right there buddy.” On busy nights it may take a little more. Make the initial tip bigger, or tip an extra $1 every other drink or tell them to keep the change if you’re paying cash.
Sure you’re paying more cash out for tips, but trust me…your rum and Cokes will be more rum than Cokes and you’ll be able to see through your Long Island Iced Teas. And you’ll look like a total baller when you walk up to a bar crowded with people and get preferential treatment. Just tell ’em you work for Grooveshark or something.