Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Start Tipping Better

Yes, I know I beat the words "tipping" and "service industry" into the ground, but I'm a blogging bartender, not a blogging electrician. Besides, I can't talk about sex all the time, what fun would that be? :)

A new customer (meaning one that had not previously entered the bar...ever) walks into a bar. He walks up to the bartender and asks for a Captain and Coke. The bartender makes the drink, hands it to the customer and says, "that'll be 5.50 $." The customer then proceeds to pull out a five dollar bill from his wallet, and then reaches into his pocket where he finds 4 more one dollar bills. He hands over the 9 dollars and says thanks. There after he generally leaves 50 cents to 2 dollars on every drink he buys.

Another customer, a regular, walks up afterwards and asks for a Sex On The Beach drink. The bartender pours the ingredients in a glass, shakes it up and hands it over. "That'll be 5.50 $." The customer pulls out a 5 dollar bill and a one dollar bill and hands it over. The customer then proceeds to wait until the bartender gets his change which comes to 50 cents. He leaves no tip. There after he leaves a total of 2 dollars on the 6 drinks he buys throughout the evening.

Fast forward to later on in the evening. The bar is more crowded now and the bartender has 5-6 people looking at him, calling his name, and waiting for their chance to order a drink. The aforementioned regular has probably been waiting the longest, and he has been constantly grabbing at the bartenders elbow. The new customer walks up next to the regular, says nothing and patiently tries to make eye contact, just as the bartender comes up for breath and is looking for the next patron to serve.

What do you think the bartender did?

I served the new customer, and in the process I pissed off the regular. Like it or not, this is how bars work. I don't receive a paycheck from a 9 to 5. This is my real job, this is my paycheck... A bar is the real world. You don't just get shit handed to you because you just happen to show up everyday. Now on the other hand, I'll bend over backwards for good-tipping regulars. In many bars the high-tippers who frequent the joint are the backbone of the service industries take home money.

To conclude, of course I ended up serving the regular eventually. I don't turn people away because they never tip. Obviously I would lose my job if I did that. People will always get better treatment in restaurants when they tip well though. This is universal and it will never change. And honestly, it's not like the new customer was some amazing tipper, he just understood that a decent tip in the beginning and a few bucks here and there, go a loooonnnnng ways at a bar or restaurant.
You would be surprised at how many people have no idea how to tip, or even what "tipping" is. I want to say there's a direct correlation between how one tips and ones education level, but that's actually not true at all. I'll save that for another post though. Okay now we can get back to talking about my new found obsession with girls who hail from the former Soviet Union. Happy?


Benedict Smith said...

yeah. waiting tables is in the same, I know your pain. it's a bit different for you though b/c those with cash kinda give you the heads up throughout the night, unlike at a restaurant. but's amazing how little some people understand/know about tipping.

Bookstore Piet said...

I think you also missed one point. One ordered a Captain & Coke, the other a Sex On The Beach. Even if they were tipping close to the same the guy with the simple drink goes first and then the one who makes you stop and shake for a whimpy drink.

Have you ever noticed that the ones who order 'real' cocktails tip better than the ones who order crap. It also shows how stupid people can be if you are a regular and don't tip well, c'mon - never shit where you eat.

angela23 said...

I really don't think it maters how "complicated" the drink is or not, bottom line is people need to tip an "appropriate" amount. It pisses me off when I see people only tip $1 on a beer. I always tip more than what is so called expected because I understand that these bartenders make a living off tips. I would also feel pretty ashamed of myself if I only threw down 1 fucking Mr. Washington for a beer. If your that cheap then buy a 6 pack and sit at home and drink. Don't go out to the bars and be a tight wad

Anonymous said...

Hrm - so are you still trying to do the Europe thing? Unfortunately no one tips in Europe. If you go bartend over there you'll be painfully disappointed.

tbsamsel said...

You ought read T. Coraghessan Boyle's short story about the misadventures of a guy in love with a pycckii devochka. Funny stuff. A cautionary tale.

Anonymous said...

What does everyone else think about angela23's comment? I always tip a dollar per beer. It takes five seconds to pour one, and the tip generally equates to 20% or more.

Jack Goes Forth said...

while I appreciate Angela's generosity, I'm fine with a dollar a drink. If I make you 6 shots, tip me 4-6 dollars, If I pop a beer, throw an extra buck down, etc...

Angela23 said...

Sorry if everyone doesn't understand my reasoning for tipping but plain and simple-the way I see it is I can either
A- buy a bottle of vodka, stay at home, & sit on my couch watching MTV's greatest hits and pour my own shots or
B- go out to the bar, dance, have fun and pay whatever for my Budlight lime & blueberry shots. I personally just think a dollar per beer is so cheap, whenever a guy buys me a drink and I see him only throw down $1 I have to hold back my laugh. If your going to be cheap, stay at home with your 6 pack and you won't have to worry about tipping!

I am not a bartender in richmond, I just enjoy going out and it even bothers me when I see people who are so stingy. We all need to make a living some way or another so let's not have a death grip on our wallets when it comes to people in our service industry here in Richmond.

**note to jack**
next time someone comes into your bar and only tips you 50 cents on a beer or shot, you tell them to go "BLOW YOUR ASSHOLE!!!" hahaha :)

Anonymous said...

"...whenever a guy buys me a drink and I see him only throw down $1 I have to hold back my laugh."

Maybe he's saving some of his extra cash to leave on your dresser in the morning.

Bud lime & blueberry shots? lawl

Jack Goes Forth said...

Oh so its that "Angela". You can blow my asshole, your sister can too!!!

And what the fuck? I don't remember you leaving any montrous tips. I guess you have to now.

angela23 said...

HAHAHAHAHA!! yeah-kristian was my favorite bartender when he was working there and I would always tip him $20 on 2 shots. I enjoy going out and I know for a fact how hard you guys work to make money so it's not a problem for me to tip extra to make up for all the little broke lonely men who look like fools standing by the bar, trying to sing along to the music and pick up on some 18 year old ass!! **chuckles**

Benedict Smith said...

i like it when girls talk about what other people leave as tips....based on my bar back and table waiting experience, women as a gender don't tip SHIT unless I flirt with them or I'm their type....any gender who's drunkenness is primarily fueled by not themselves should refrain from commenting on tipping behavior.