DonRocks Posted November 20, 2016 Share Posted November 20, 2016 I want to start this thread in order for experienced diners to offer up helpful ideas for bartenders. Speaking for myself, and I believe speaking for others, the diners on this website (and I remind people that our members are 25-30% industry insiders) have a deep-seated respect for bartenders, and can use this thread to communicate helpful hints to make tricky situations easier. What I don't want this thread to be is a finger-wagging "shame list," full of "Thou shalt not" commands designed to be passive-aggressive venting. The overwhelming majority of diners here have a genuine compassion for our bartending brothers and sisters, and can use this to suggest things to create win-win situations for all involved. Most of these types of lists in other publications are of the form, "10 Secrets Your Bartender Doesn't Tell You," and are designed not only to be click-bait, but also to make the diners feel like shit about themselves. I want none of that here, although I would love to start a reverse thread titled, "Advice to Diners from Bartenders," with the same spirit of mutual respect as its goal. I could probably think of fifty things to rattle off, but I'd rather do them one at a time, so that they can be discussed and absorbed - maybe some of them aren't even valid points, I don't know; but hopefully, with an attitude of mutual respect and admiration, we'll be able to accomplish quite a lot here. I'd like to start out with one thing that's small, and relatively unimportant, as an example of a single issue that most people might have differing opinions about. The issue is, "When Happy Hour ends at 6, and it's 5:50." All the diners are possibly holding a separate menu, and people undoubtedly try to put in a big order at 5:58. I can see where this could be annoying from a bartender's point-of-view (especially when it's 6:05). A couple of thoughts from my perspective: * In general, people don't like being lied to, but this is one particular instance where it might be best for the menus to announce the end of Happy Hour 15 minutes before the restaurant actually wants it to end, i.e., the "real" ending time would be 6:15 PM. This will make customers feel like their bartender is doing them a favor by "sneaking in" one last order, and might even result in a bigger tip. Diners really appreciate gestures such as this - just have your staff sworn to secrecy! * Clear and concise communication is always best, and I personally like it when a bartender traverses the bar, collecting up all the Happy Hour menus at 5:55 (or whenever), and clearly asking, "Are there any more Happy Hour orders?" While this may err on the aggressive side, it's for the best, as it leaves customers no wiggle room, and clearly establishes that Happy Hour is now over, while giving diners one, last chance to order three beers for "those friends who are about to arrive." (Yeah, right!) * If the bartender is swamped at 5:53, make sure to give everyone one, last chance to get a drink order in, even if it means going over. It always amazes me how bars clear out when Happy Hour ends, so I guess people in general can be pretty cheap. I like to arrive about 15 minutes before Happy Hour ends, so I can save a couple bucks on my first drink (which I tend to enjoy by itself), but then I have the luxury of an empty bar afterwards. Note to diners: While I don't think it's required to tip on the full price, I do think it's important to remember that this is these people's livelihood, and adding something extra may mean more to them than it would mean to you - but again, this would be generous on your part (then again, the world would be a better place if more people were generous). If you're wealthy, keep in mind that they probably aren't, and they've been working to please you. * If it's possible, have your cash registers set up so that it's physically impossible to enter a Happy Hour item after the witching hour. This gives the bartender an "out" without looking like a creep. Also, if possible, set up the registers to allow an override for emergency situations - but when that happens, make it look like a big deal by calling the manager over to unlock the register, etc. Make sure the diner knows you've broken the rules in this one, particular situation. I can't think of anything else about this particular issue - if any bartenders have any "dos or don'ts" for diners, that would be an excellent chance to quote this post, and put the response in a new, "bartenders-to-diners" thread. If you don't know how, just say so, and I'll do it for you - it's simple when you know how (then again, so is brain surgery). Cheers, Rocks 2 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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