Bartenders deal with the worst of the worst. Sooner or later, they can tell exactly what type of customer they’re dealing with based on drink choice alone. Wondering what your go-to order reveals about your personality? Well, these bartenders — who’ve dealt with regulars, tourists, and everything in between — revealed which drinks make them snicker behind people’s backs and which make them downright irritated.
Basic, basic, and more basic. Sure, some people enjoy long island ice teas for the flavor, but be aware that you’re setting off red flags to your bartender. Often associated with drunk party girls, long island ice teas tell your bartender to keep an eye on you in case you start dancing on the table.
A popular trend among bartenders is a t-shirt that simply reads, “Vodka Soda Lime.” This basic order is requested so often, it makes long island ice teas look top-shelf. Anyone who orders a vodka soda is usually less about the taste of fine liquor and more about getting wrecked. Sorry, but that touch of lime doesn’t make it any fancier.
A properly made mint mojito is superb, but for bartenders who are in the middle of a rush, the request might not be well-taken. The process of muddling mint with a wooden spoon is tedious and time consuming, not to mention patrons tend to drink all that hard work down in just seconds. If you’re planning on multiple orders, you’re honestly better off with vodka sodas.
A creamy egg white cocktail is truly a delight, but depending on how “authentic” you want it, the process can be a real pain for bartenders. Whipping up the egg whites by hand can be grueling, especially when preparing multiple orders at once. Unless you’re at a quiet cocktail bar, we suggest going for a fine merlot.
Nothing makes a bartender let out a sigh faster than kamikaze shots. While they’re easy to whip up thanks to their simple ingredient list (vodka, triple sec, and lime juice), kamikazes can still put a bartender on their toes. The easier shots are to make, the faster they get ordered. Soon enough, the entire dance floor gets covered with fallen men.
What looks good for the Blue Man Group doesn’t look good for your drink order. Bartenders have to hold back from rolling their eyes whenever a blue Hawaiian is ordered. Why? Because once another customer sees a drink that looks like a Kool-aid knockoff, they want one, too. Soon, the whole bar is covered in blue-tongued drunks trying to hula.
When you’re at brunch, feel free to order Bloody Marys and mimosas to your heart’s content. But once the evening rolls around, you might want to steer clear of this extravagant treat. If you’re ever in New Orleans, don’t forget that bartenders often have to add “the works” to your order, including olives, horseradish, shrimp, bacon, and other fried treats. Trust us, your bartender — and your breath — will thank you for waiting til tomorrow morning.
Do you complain when your margarita doesn’t have a salted rim? We suggest you take it down a notch, or else your bartender may be tempted to dip your drink into something else. If you’re at an authentic Mexican restaurant, order them all night long. But just know how ridiculous you look splitting that giant frozen margarita with your friend, Ned.
Depending on where you go, you can expect to find mixed reactions when you order a White Russian. Most drinks don’t require dairy products, making heavy cream an unlikely ingredient to be sitting behind a dive bar. A bartender who has to stop everything to grab you some dairy might end up giving you a beverage that’s all cream, no booze.
Take a bartender’s advice: If you’re ordering sangria, get it by the pitcher and not by the glass. If the bar you’re visiting doesn’t already have sangria prepped ahead of time, your bartenders will have to cut-up fresh fruit on the spot every time you order. Don’t you dare request a second glass, especially if your bartender already gave you this exact warning. The look on their face will be very sour.
Slap a “tini” onto a fruit and you’ve got yourself a brand new drink. Beverages like appletinis are sure to send a clear message to your bartender: You don’t know how to drink. Between the artificial flavor and ultra-sweetness of the syrup, your server will watch in awe as you guzzle down four ounces of pure cane sugar.
Ever try pouring champagne quickly? It’s not easy. The bubbles take so long to pour that your bartender may need a few minutes just to assemble your drink. While you’re waiting for your bubbly treat, other patrons may stare anxiously at your bartender, debating how little they should tip. For everyone’s sake, try ordering when the line dies down.
Even bartenders at fancy cocktail bars may look at you funny when you order a birthday cake cocktail, especially in the middle of a busy service. Since these elaborate drinks have multiple ingredients, they’re usually reserved for special moments. Trust us, it’s better to watch your bartender take their time as they whip up a spectacular cocktail made just for you.
Any blended drink will get you side eye at the bar, but especially a mudslide. The unappetizing name is befitting to the brown concoction, complete with multiple liquors and an excess of chocolate syrup. Different bars may add ice cream or whipped cream to make it extra bad-for-you. You’re better off pouring vodka over your Ben & Jerry’s.
These little shots may look adorable, but they’re a total pain to make. Customers never order just one, making any bartender’s work station a sticky, sugary nightmare. Plus, these strong shots get patrons wasted much faster than most servers would prefer. For the same effect, just get a Mike’s Hard Lemonade to chase down your vodka shots.
This goes without saying, but ordering an espresso martini right before closing time is one of the worst things you can do to a bartender. Not only do they have to dirty their tools for you, but they also have to warm up the espresso machine, which doesn’t happen quickly. These machines also take time to clean at the end of service, so if you’re looking for some real energy, there’s always Redbull.
Don’t do it! Why bother ordering top-shelf if you’re just going to drown it in sugar water? Bartenders cringe whenever they see a perfectly aged scotch gasping for air under the semi-flat coke they poured from a soda gun. Be a little tougher — try ordering your whiskey neat. The more expensive it is, the better it’ll taste. Duh.
“Well… what’s your well?” Every bar has their well vodkas, whiskeys, and rums — but that doesn’t mean bartenders enjoy serving them. Asking for a well drink tells your bartender that you’re cheap, which means you’re not going to tip well, which means you’re not going to get the best service. If your servers starts ignoring you, don’t be surprised.
Speaking of surprises, the last thing you want to do is put the spotlight on your bartender. Asking for a surprise without explaining your personal preferences won’t get you some exotic drink that you’ve never been served before — it’ll get you the most basic, popular item on the menu. Be specific! That way, you’ll end up sipping on a real showstopper.
So you’re not even going to try any of the cocktails on the menu? C’mon. Remember — those specialty cocktails are usually made by the bartenders themselves. When you order one, you’re not only complimenting your bartender’s skills, you’re also showing that you have taste. Your drinks for the rest of the night will be made with the utmost care (and plenty of booze).
Remember, when it comes to drinking or eating out, etiquette shouldn’t go out the window once you take your seat. Avoid asking, what’s good? This is way too broad of a question! The answer totally depends on what you like, and how is your waitress supposed to read your mind? At least give the server a hint!
Only the late, great Anthony Bourdain could get away with dining with No Reservations. It’s fine to try getting in without a reservation, but don’t complain about not liking your table! Accept what you get, or don’t.
Think of a chef as an artist and the food as their art. Would you tell a painter how to paint? Unless it’s about an allergy, try not to rewrite the menu. Chefs put a lot of thought into it, and mindless substitutions drive them up the wall.
Tips are how waiters and waitresses make a large chunk of their money. If you don’t tip them, they simply make less money. It puts their survival at stake. A good rule of thumb is not to eat out if you can’t tip — we mean it!
You know what’s almost worse than leaving no tip? An insultingly small tip. Giving away those few pennies from your pocket is NOT a tip. Think 20%, people, especially if you’re a regular.
“Excuse me, but does the chicken caesar salad have chicken in it?” How many times have you asked a question, only to realize you already knew the answer? Pretty awkward. Now, imagine witnessing that on repeat for 8 hours.
Some restaurants can afford hiring managers, but a ton make the wait staff take care of anything from a minor mess to a thorough bathroom cleaning. So please, just clean up after yourselves and try not to behave like cavemen.
Seeing children can be the nicest reprieve from the daily grind, but if they’re misbehaved, it can make a waitress’ job a lot more difficult.
When you bring your bike into a restaurant, the waitress is tasked with finding a place to store it. It also brings in mud and outside nasties! Some spots are explicitly bike-friendly, but for everywhere else, leave your ride on the sidewalk.
Work is hard enough on its own; it gets really tricky when you’re trying to turn away the unwanted affections of some idiot at table 11. No flirting isn’t necessarily a hard rule, but at least make sure to check to see if they’re flirting back. Otherwise, just stop.
This might not even necessarily bother your waitress, but you can bet on her boss asking her to put a stop to it. They’re trying to run a business. Next time, just finish any snacks before you come inside!
There’s a good chance you stacked your plates and cutlery wrong, which only makes the waiter’s job harder. You know what they say about the road to hell being paved with good intentions…
Don’t use your outside voice inside. It’s selfish. It’s disrespectful. The waitress isn’t the only one who will be annoyed either. After all, there are other diners in the restaurant, too!
Another good intention is not wanting to bother the waitress, but you often end up resenting her for not being attentive. Speak up and avoid any nasty misunderstandings as your meal goes on!
This is the overarching no-no. When you complain to a waiter, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Just think about if it’s worth it, and if so, still don’t do it!
The chef gets offended whenever a dish is deemed unacceptable, and since the waitress has to bear the bad news, she gets the brunt of it! Only do this if you find something absolutely wrong with your meal.
There’s a fine line between polite chatter and excessive talking to a stranger who’s just trying to do their job. Keep the chatter to a minimum, please. And again, no need to hit on someone who’s at work.
Read the sign. Servers get so annoyed arguing with a customer who’s trying to get in after closing. It’s a simple rule and there’s even a sign. Again, don’t be dense!
It’s bad etiquette to have your phone, purse, and arms strewn about the table. Especially if you’re ordering food, make sure to clear space for the waitress to put it there. The folks at your table will be happier that way too.
Dividing your bill down the middle isn’t much of an issue, but please don’t try and divvy up the cost ten different ways. With Venmo and Paypal around, it’s kind of unnecessary to make the waitress bear the brunt of this. Avoid the annoyance and make just pick one person to handle the check, please.