|Posted by Barmageddon on January 17, 2011 at 7:15 AM|
Bartenders: The Worst Customer
In every bar across the world there is an array of pet hates both from the customers and from behind the stick. We feel its important to take note of these points because it is bartenders and customers that are qually at fault in creating the stereotyped images of the bartender as that "arrogant prick" and the customer as that "clueless dickhead". If we can cut this out from both sides then the world will be a far happier place, it's not a list of rules of how to act, its a list of how not to be "that guy".
"Brandy and Coke, 1 Ice cube" - Why? Post mix and mixers are chilled, the glass is usually chilled, and so the 1 ice does literally nothing, in fact less than nothing. It's understandable if you want a cube of ice in your single malt, but in a mixed drink, you might as well ask the bartender for a shot of water in your drink. Ice keeps ice cold, therefore less ice more dilution, so your ice cube melts before you even start your drink. This fear of ice is fairly widespread in the UK, stemming mostly from the cusomer's view that they are getting 'less drink'. Open letter to all customers from all bartenders - drinks are measured out. The ice is factored in when choosing a glass. So unless you want a warm drink that fills half your glass, then trust us. We know what we're doing. Kind of.
"Steaming pile of..." - If you do not want ice just ask the bartender, don't leave a steaming pile of ice wrapped in a napkin with a couple of straws sticking out of it left on the bar top. Compare clawing out all of the ice from your drink that you just paid £6 for, contaminating it with your cigarette stained fingers and unwashed post-toilet palms, losing half of the contents in the process OR just asking the bartender, you know, the person who is paid to make your drink how you want it? Easy choice really.
"The Interceptor" - This happens a lot. You're halfway through a drink, you've poured it out and are just cutting garnishes, clapping mint sprigs, grabbing straws etc, when you notice the drink is gone. You look about and you see the drink with a comically too large straw sticking out being guzzled by the thirsty customer. In extreme cases we have experienced customers taking a glass full of ice and soda chilling on the bar believing it to be finished, then complaining because it doesn't taste right.
We said we weren't going tissue a set of rules, but I suppose here's one: The bar is your threshold. If it's on the peanut rails, it's still ours. We're not done with it yet. There is a reason we haven't given it to you yet. So please do not feel like you can reach over this threshold and interfere as this is the leading course of the feared BGIIW Syndrome (Broken Glass In Ice-Well) and know that it is purely your fault for holding the entire bar up just because you could not wait for the straws, a garnish or (going back to the previous gripe) urgently needed some ice removing. Grabbing before thinking is symptematic of monkeys and children.
"Click, Whistle, Clap" - Bartenders love this shit. We struggle to know who is next as we have only served 8,730,928 customers before and it's all new to us. It's good therefore that you let us know as loudly and aggresively as possible. You could even try waving your money or giving us a hilarious nickname. Say, for example, that we are sporting an alarmingly trendy hat. You could summon all your imagination and shout something witty at us to grab our attention.
"Birthday surprise" - When you went to the shop to get your paper this morning, was it free? When you got the taxi in to town, was it free? So why do you think a drink will be free? first rule of getting free drinks: Don't ask for free drinks. It's like Fight Club but with less homoerotic undertones.
"Get what you order" - One for the waistcoat sporting bartenders with their noses permanently shoved in the Savoy cocktail book or Jigger, Beaker, Glass: Pay attention.
If a customer orders a Sex On The Beach, a Vodka Red Bull or straws and coke in their George T. Stagg Manhattan? If you sell it, you give it to them, stop being an arrogant ponce just because you know how to mix a couple of drinks. As long as a customer is not being a tit, we are in the service industry, and we should be doing our best to serve our customers needs. We might not approve of that Apple Sourz and Zacapa Mojito we have been asked to make, but that might be the best drink the customer has ever had. As well as this, the good service will get them talking up you and your bar, instead of complaining to their mates about the elitist wanker behind the bar.
"Pre-Prohibition" - If you have just recently read the Bon Vivants guide, Tom Bullocks book or Forgotten Cocktails then by all means use this new found knowledge to re-create great old drinks, but please don't force these drinks on people who are obviously going to hate an albeit lovely blend of Maraschino, gin, Chartreuse and lime so just make the drink for the customer, not for you.
"The 6th Month Bartender Syndrome" - We don't know what the hell it is but somewhere around the 6 month mark of being behind the stick, some sort of disease infects them with an urge to think of themselves as the greatest bartender of all time, telling you endlessly where they work, and asking for drinks from their bars' menu, that you are obviously not going to know. Not only this, but with it comes the need to solely order Old Fashioneds, Martinis anything generally stirred down at the busiest point of the night in as many bars as possible. We're all for being keen, we like you talking to us and asking questions, but maybe tone it down a bit. The worst thing is, the reason we know about this syndrome is because all of us have been there. The shame.
"Straw-tini" - We know this contradicts our own point slightly, but this is a little more specific, in that please don't ask the bartender specifically to salt the rim of a Margarita or sugar the rim of a Sidecar, done with meticulous accuracy, only to drop a straw in it. Just please think for one second how fucking annoying it is.
So there it is. We may come back to this list from time to time, as we're already thinking of other things to write about. We're off to make Red Bull and Aftershock daiquiris with big smiles on our faces. Would you like a straw in that?
Categories: The Brittle Truth