From behind the bar: Bargoing etiquette

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Knowing how to treat your bartender and what to expect when you've had a one too many is important for you and your bartender to have a good night. 

You’re thinking about going out this weekend. Maybe you’ve been out before or it’s your first time. Either way, there are some things to keep in mind while enjoying the bar scene.

Treat your bartenders like people, not butlers

As a bartender, this is so frustrating. Bar patrons are quick to forget, especially under the influence, that bartenders exist outside of the walls of the bar we serve at and we are people with feelings (wow!). Screaming at a bartender or being rude for things outside our control are quick ways to make enemies of the people pouring the liquor. Please refrain from it and be patient, we are trying our hardest!

Tip your bartenders

There are specific times when tipping is unwarranted at bars and being a bartender, that is understandable. But most of the time, non-tipping behavior generally signals to bartenders they are better off, monetarily speaking, serving the customers who show appreciation in the form of dollar signs. Over exaggerated thank yous accompanied with $0 tips don’t pay the bills.

Less ice does not mean more liquor

Customers who ask for less ice with the expectation of getting more liquor in place of the ice are the laughingstock of bartenders everywhere. Many of us have an exact count for free pouring; if you ask for a cranberry vodka with light ice, you’re about to get a little vodka and a lot of cranberry juice. If you want a heavy-handed pour, you better be willing to ask (and pay) for it.

Don’t try to sneak drinks out of the bar

In Oklahoma, it is illegal (in most cases) to openly consume alcohol in public. By having you dispose of any leftover drinks before exiting, the bar staff is saving themselves and you a HUGE legal headache. The last thing you want is to get arrested with half of a Coors Light in your hand from Murphy’s at 2:05 a.m. instead of hopping in the Curty Shack line.

Know your limits

Cutting off a bar patron is not an easy task, especially when the customer seems to be having a good night or seems mostly harmless. But as part of the job description, we have to know when we can no longer serve patrons as a precaution against legal headaches and for safety reasons. Going to the bars should be fun, not a forgotten blur that ends with a trip to a police precinct or worse, the hospital. We want you to have fun, try our best shots and enjoy your night. However, a glass of water or a reminder of how much you’ve already had to drink before ordering another “rum and coke” can go a long way in terms of saving your night.