Bar Etiquette: While at the Bar or Nightclub
Avoid the following questions
Here is a list of questions that you shouldn't ask the bartender.
- Do you have beers? - Have you ever seen a bar that does not have beers? Can you see the beer taps on the bar? Have you seen the beer signs all over the place?
- What beers do you have? - Do you want the bartender to go through the whole list of beers? If you want a particular beer, you could ask if they have it. Don't make the bartender tell you all the beers that they have. Specially if they carry a wide variety of beers.
- What beers do you have on tap? The handles are right in front of the customer. - If you want to know what draft beers do they have, just look at the handles. Most bars have the handles visible to the customers.
- Do you have mixed drinks? No, all the liquor bottles are here for decoration. Of course, we have mixed drinks. That's why we have all these bottles of liquor.
- How much are the drinks? - What kind of drink? A well drink? A call drink? A Long Island Iced Tea drink? A Margarita? A Jager Bomb? Every drink has its price.
- How much are the shots? - What kind of shot? A tequila shot? What kind of tequila? A Kamikaze shot? A Jager shot? Could you be more specific?
- What's good? Give me something good - This is a very popular question. Please, don't ask it. Please read the Ordering Drinks section for the explanation.
- Would you make it stronger next time? The customer ordered a Vodka Martini. - Do you know what you are drinking? It's a Vodka Martini? All the contents of that drink are alcohol. There is no juice or soda. How can the bartender make it stronger? If you want it stronger, call the manufacturer of the vodka and ask them to add more alcohol.
- Are the prices the same at both bars? If both bars are in the same room, they have to have the same prices. Why would they be different if they are in the same room? If the prices were cheaper at one bar, everybody would only order from that bar.
For any reason, you shouldn't fight at the bar or nightclub. If you want to fight, don't do it at the bar. Take it somewhere else. The bar is not a fighting ring.
Don't pour yourself a beer
Some bars have the beer taps on top of the bar. They are at the customer's reach. If you want a beer, ask the bartender for one. Don't try to pour one yourself. If you serve yourself, it is consider stealing.
Don't slam your glasses on the bar top
If you are drinking a shot of tequila, don't slam the shot glass on the bar top after drinking your shot. Don't try to look like a tough guy. You could break the glass by slamming it on the bar. Are you going to pay for it if you break it?
The fruit tray is not a buffet
Don't come to the bar and start eating all the cherries and olives. They are garnishes for drinks. If you are hungry, go to a restaurant and get some food. There are several 24 hour restaurants everywhere.
Don't go behind the bar
Do not walk behind the bar for any reason. The only people allowed to go behind the bar are bartenders, barbacks and managers.
Never rest your head on a table or bar top
If you are resting your head on the bar top, you are telling the bartender that you are drunk (you already had enough). The bartender is going to cut you off and he's going to ask security to escort you out. If you already had enough for the night, you can no longer be at the bar. You should go home.
If you feel like vomiting, go to the bathroom
If you are at the bar and you feel like vomiting, don't stand there covering your mouth. Go to the bathroom fast. Don't vomit on the bar top or on the floor. If you can not make it to the bathroom, go to the nearest trash can. There are several trash cans around the bar.
Take care of your personal belongings
Don't assume that all the people at the bar are honest people. Don't leave stuff (purse, coats, etc.) at the table and go dancing. If you leave stuff unattended, some people might want to steal it. Take care of your stuff. The establishment is not responsible for anything lost or stolen.
The bar is not a coat check
Don't come to the bar and ask the bartender to take care of your purse or your coat. The bar is not a coat check. The bartender can not be responsible for your belongings. In addition, there is no space for your stuff behind the bar.
Don't accuse employees of stealing when you lost your things
If you lost your stuff or if your stuff got stolen, don't accuse anybody without proof. If you didn't see anybody taking your stuff, don't accuse the employees or the establishment for your property. Unless you see somebody taking your stuff, don't accuse anybody. Nobody is responsible for your stuff but you.
Note: You should always take care of your belongings where ever you go.
Never argue with the bartender and don't be rude
You should never argue with the bartender for any reason. If there is a problem with a bartender, you could always talk to management. There is no need to argue and be rude with the bartender. You won't get anywhere by arguing with the bartender.
Note: You should make the bartender your best friend.
If you don't like a bartender, don't go back to him for more drinks
When you don't like a specific bartender, why do you go back to him when there are more bartenders at the bar? Go to another bartender. You don't have to get your drinks from the same bartender all night.
Don't get on top of the tables or bar and start dancing
If you want to dance, go to the dance floor. Don't get on top of the table and start dancing. If you dance on the table, you could fall. It is a liability for the establishment.
Don't seat on top of the bar
The bar top is not a chair. If you want to seat down, go find a table. If there are not tables available, maybe you should have come earlier to the bar.
Don't take your shoes off
Never take your shoes off at the bar. There could be a broken glass on the floor. If you step on it, you could cut your feet. Bars don't allow people to be barefoot. It's a liability.
Don't waste all the napkins
If you spill your drink on the bar, let the bartender know. Don't grab a lot of napkins to clean the spill. There is no need to waste the napkins. Bartenders have bar towels to clean the bar. Let the bartender know that you spilled your drink and he will clean it.
Don't place your gum in the glassware or anywhere in the bar
If you don't want your gum anymore, put it in a napkin and toss it in the trash. There are several trash cans around the bar.
Don't clean your sweat with a napkin and leave it at the bar
If you clean your sweat with a napkin, place it in a trash can. Don't leave it on the bar top where people have their drinks. Nobody wants to touch your dirty sweaty napkin.
If you don't want to deal with a guy, don't accept drinks from him
If a guy wants to buy you a drink, most likely he is interested on getting to know you. If you are not interested, don't accept any drinks from him.
If a guy is buying you drinks all night, it's because he wants something with you. If you don't want anything to do with him, don't come to the bar to ask the bartender for some help. You've been getting drinks from him all night, now you want to ditch him. Don't involve the bartender on your problems. You shouldn't have taken any drinks from that guy in the first place.
Don't do illegal stuff and respect private property
I shouldn't have to tell you this. You should never do anything illegal anywhere and you should always respect private property
Illegal stuff that people do or try to do at the bar:
- Graffiti - Very common in the restroom.
- Drugs - Some people get high at the nightclub.
- Drugs for drinks - Sorry, only cash is accepted here.
- Paying with fake bills - I know it's dark, but bartenders can still find fake bills.
- Underage drinking - Some teenagers at 18 and over clubs sneak in their own bottles of liquor.
- Stealing - Taking somebody's belongings or taking something from the bar.
- Indecent Exposure - Flashing or nudity.
Respecting Private Property
- Don't break the glassware.
- Don't punch a hole in the wall.
- Return the bartender's pen.
- Don't do any damage to anybody's car in the parking lot.
- No Vandalism.
Don't try to be tough with security
If the bar is closed and the security asks you to leave the building, just leave. Don't try to be tough with security. You are not going to win.
If you are an off duty police officer, don't show your badge
If you are an off duty police officer and want to go to a nightclub to have some fun, you are welcome to do so. Make sure you behave properly at the bar. Don't get drunk and start acting dumb. Don't say that you are a police officer and show your badge to security. If you are not behaving properly, the establishment can call your watch commander about your behavior at the bar.
If you are a regular, don't think that the rules don't apply to you
You might be a regular at the bar, but it doesn't give you any special rights to do whatever you want. All the rules in this bar etiquette also apply to you.
Every bar is different
Keep in mind that every bar is different. In addition, every state where the bar is located might have different rules and laws.