New York, NY

Male, 33

I bartended for three years in NYC and San Francisco … for better or worse. Ask me anything.

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19 Questions


Last Answer on January 22, 2013

Best Rated

What's the biggest tip you've ever received?

Asked by pumped over 7 years ago

I got $100 tip straight-up once. When I was working at Jay-Z's, I (ironically) got a huge tip on a technicality - someone ordered a few bottles of champagne at $400 each (add mandatory 20% tip and you get into the hundreds pretty quick). I think that guy also didn't notice they were sneaking 20% in on him and added a tip on top of that.

On a typical Fri or Sat night, what time would you actually leave work? Before the sun comes up?

Asked by Vic over 7 years ago

In New York bars close at 4. Once the bar closes you have to clean and count out your money. So you're usually out by 4:30-5, unless there is some kind of after party and you decide to stick around for it. A lot of places I worked the managers, bar staff and a few regulars would stick around and drink sometimes until as late as noon the next day. Clubs are another animal - at least the big ones are. The big ones are usually huge and take forever to close out. They're also big money making ventures and have a lot of liability so there's not as much drinking behind the bar and there is almost never a after party. When I worked clubs I typically got out around 7-8am. They're less fun, the hours are longer and the music is horrible but the money is usually way better.

Every one of my attempts at a friendly buy back has been an epic fail (i.e. turned down outright, or ended up with me buying the bartender a drink with no reciprocation.) Am I doing something wrong?

Asked by Kyle over 7 years ago

Tough to say. Possible causes: 1) You might be in the wrong bar. Some bars emphasis making money over service. 2) You might be going when it's too busy. Often times if the bar is busy and you're not a regular it's not worth it to give a buy back. You're going to buy another drink either way. 3) You're trying to hard. If you get a free drink - great. If not - so what? Don't go expecting one. 4) You might not be awesome enough to get a buy back. Can't help you with that one. As for buying the bartender a drink - I never understood that. There is an entire bar back there at their disposal. Why would you buy them a drink when they can have whatever they want for free? A big tip will get you much farther with a bartender than buying them a drink.

What's the best way to get a bartender's attention?

Asked by marcialo over 7 years ago

DON'T yell at the bartender. DON'T learn the bartender's name and shout it out whenever you want something. You're two-dollar tip is worth about, oh, two dollars. For two bucks I don't need to deal with an asshole. A lot of girls would try and get your attention by cutting in to the front of the bar and pushing their tits up at you. I never went for that -- I thought it was petty and stupid. But not surprisingly, a lot of guy bartenders did go for it. The best advice I can give if its crowded is to know what you want and have your money out. The bartender is just trying to crank out drinks, help them work fast and they will remember you. Starting with a huge tip doesn't hurt either.

Are buybacks done at the bartender's discretion, or do certain bar managers advise their staff to comp customers drinks every so often?

Asked by cola over 7 years ago

Depends, I would say usually bartenders discretion. Also depends how busy the bar is. Bar owners wince a little less at seeing someone give away product when the place is packed.

If I'm paying by credit card and forget to close out my tab, is there a standard gratuity that's applied to my bill (and if so, what is it??)

Asked by imgne6 over 7 years ago

Depends. I don't think there is anything standard. Usually it’s whatever the bar manager decides to add.

How often would guys have you send a drink to a girl at the other end of the bar? And in your estimation, how often was this ... effective?

Asked by Z-Pain about 7 years ago

The 'buy a drink for the girl at the end of the bar' thing happened occasionally, but not that frequently. It almost always worked in striking up a conversation. Whether it lead to anything beyond that I have no idea. One thing I learned in bars: women are very bad at turning down a free drink. Even if they don't like the guy buying it or the guy buying it is a total creeper.