10 tips to get served first at the bar

A night out on the town can be everything from a relaxing time taking in the scenery chatting with co-workers to a night on the dance floor busting a move with your girlfriends. Either way, cocktails are usually involved. If you frequent the most happening places in town, you are in store for a long wait at the bar. Everyone knows waiting a long time for a drink can put a damper on the evening. Here are 10 hot tips to ensure the bartender sees and serves you first.

Woman at Bar

1. Don’t be pushy

This is probably the most important tip of all. If you screw this one up, it is incredibly hard to redeem yourself. Do not go up to the bar waving or calling out trying to get the bartender’s attention. Bartenders are already busy and they know you want a drink, but just because you are waving does not mean they will serve you first. If anything, this behavior will irritate the already busy bartender and you will likely get ignored.

2. Stand in a noticeable place

Do not just stand at any part of the bar – the bartender will not notice you if you are standing in places he or she continually passes. Instead, stand by the station where the bartender is making drinks or by the sinks – both are areas of the bar that the bartender works most often and can look up and see you waiting for service.

3. Have your payment in hand

When bartenders see that you have your payment in hand, they see it as a sign that you are ready to order and ready to pay. Basically, you are a quick sell. Make sure you have your cash or credit card visible, leaning over the bar just a bit so they can see it. However, avoid waving your dollar bills or plastic in their faces.

4. Go to a male bartender

Let’s face it ladies, men always like to see sexy women and they definitely like to serve them drinks. Male bartenders are more likely to notice a woman just as a female bartender is more likely to notice a man. If possible, stand in the area where the male bartender is working, chances are he will rather serve a woman than the guy standing next to you.

5. Show off your assets

Ladies, if you can put your feminist values aside when trying to get a drink, you will definitely get noticed. Every heterosexual man loves cleavage and every woman knows that a man’s eyes tend to glance at her assets before anything else. If you don’t want to wait on a drink, use this to your advantage. You don’t have to give the guy a strip show, but just coyly leaning over more than normal can help you get noticed and served before others.

6. Make eye contact

If you really want a drink, keep your focus on the bartender. Don’t try and burn holes in the back of his head with your death-ray vision, just focus. If you are looking around, talking to other people and not focusing on your get-a-drink mission, he will move on to someone else. Making and maintaining eye contact sends the bartender a signal that you are ready to order.

7. Have your order ready

Know what you want when you get to the bar. Don’t get the bartender’s attention and then stand there thinking about what you want. Making the bartender wait will only aggravate him and he might move on to the next drinker, causing you to have to wait even longer.

8. Make an impression

Talk to the bartender, flirt, and show off any drink knowledge you have (but make sure it is actually knowledge). When you go back up for the next round, he will remember you and notice you before others.

9. Tip well

Anytime you tip well the bartender will remember it and want to serve you again. Just make sure the bartender knows the tip is from you. When the bartender hands your change back, hand over the tip right then and don’t just lay it on the bar. Many people lay tips on the bar after the bartender has walked away and he doesn’t know who tipped and who didn’t.

10. Go back to the same bartender.

The bartender can become your friend for the night, so to speak. You are better off sticking with one bartender instead of starting the process of getting noticed over and over again. Once you have found your bartender for the night, you will likely get served before the new arrivals.

Follow these tips and you won’t have to waste idle time at the bar, giving you more opportunity to enjoy your night out with friends.

And for the nights you’d rather entertain at home, check out these party tips and super cocktail recipes:
How to be an expert bartender

Summer cocktails with tequila

Healthy summer cocktail recipes

Sangria is a healthy spring and summer drink: Sangria recipes and serving tips


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