How to Get Served Quickly at the Bar

When the bar is busy it can be challenging at times to get a drink. We will lay out the what to do and not to do to make this process efficient as possible:

1. Be Prepared – Know exactly what you are going to order and have your payment ready. Do not add drinks to your order after you have given it or fumble around looking for exact change in your wallet. The smoother the transaction the more likely will get served quickly.

2. Choose your spot wisely – If there is more than one bartender, make sure to position yourself in a spot between two bartenders’ “territories”. Bartenders will often serve these customers first in order to secure their tips, while a customer standing well within one bartender’s territory has no choice but to wait at that bartender’s mercy.

3. Snake your hand through the crowd until it touches the bar – getting your hand to the bar will serve as your anchor until a person leaves, then draw your body in through and turn your body flush with the bar.

4. Make eye contact with the bartender – When you make eye contact be sure to smile and tilt your chin up. Do not do any of the following as it will result in a longer wait for your drink:
Don’t yell “bartender!”. See the Warnings below for more “terms of endearment” to avoid.
Don’t wave your money. Have it ready in your hand, but don’t flash it to get the bartender’s attention. This is often considered condescending.
Don’t snap your fingers.
Don’t say “I’m next” or “I was here first.” The bartender decides who’s next.

5. Give your order loudly and clearly.

6. Tip generously – If you are planning a whole night’s drinking, smart tipping will ensure prompt service on future orders. Give the bartender a big tip in cash when you pay for your first drink. The bigger the tip, the more likely the bartender is to get your drink to you immediately, skipping over other people to do so.