Have Consideration for Bar Staff this Festive Period

December 21, 2016

With only a few more days until the big day, party season truly is in full flow. With many schools and universities already broken up, it won't be long until many working people have a few days or even a week's rest for the festivities. However, for us hospitality and retail workers, Christmas is the busiest time of the year for us so a few days off work is not in the question for us poor souls.

This is my first time working over Christmas and I drew the lucky straw of working Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day which as a full timer at a bar is probably inevitable. So when you're out drinking over the next couple of weeks, take time to consider the fact that we are working at the busiest time of the year which we should be spending eating, drinking and going out with friends and family just like you but we are instead at the other side of the bar. I have already had two customers accusing me of short-changing them and under-pouring them which they then apologised for as I was in the right and they were in the wrong.

After being a bartender for a year and a half, these are my personal absolute hates, and probably every other bartender that has ever existed, from a customer.

Shouting. Us bartenders hate being shouted at and especially clicked at. If anything, a customer doing this makes me ignore serving them for even longer. We try and clock the order of people coming to the bar and serve them in that order so be patient, you will get served and probably even more quickly if you don't shout or click! We don't have 6 pairs of hands!

End of the night. Continuing drinking at the end of the night when the lights are bright, the music is off and the bouncers have told you we are closing. Don't just hang around, please leave as we have probably had a hell of a shift and want to go home, especially at 1 in the morning! We might even be back for another shift in the morning so please leave as soon as you notice we are officially closed.

Know your order. There is nothing more annoying than a customer who has been waiting for a few minutes and then when they finally get served they can't decide what to drink. Don't come to the bar if you don't know what you're drinking! And no, don't say you'll drink anything to your bartender as we will probably end up picking something you don't like and then we'll get even more agro.

Pushing. Don't push at the bar, you will all get served! And if someone was there at the bar before you, do the decent thing and tell your bartender to serve them before yourself. 

Creeping. Don't be creepy! Most of us bartenders, me in particular, hate customers who try to flirt to get free drink or something even more! It makes us feel uncomfortable which we shouldn't have to feel when we are at work.

Smiling. I get customers telling me to smile quite often. No. I don't want to smile. I have to run around a busy bar getting shouted at and flirted with whilst cleaning up sick and dealing with people who may have had too much to drink whilst putting on a brave face and getting on with my job to provide an efficient service. Plus, of course you have more fun when you have had alcohol as us bartenders are stone-cold sober. Smiling is the last thing on my mind. So no. We don't always want to smile on shift.

The customer is always right. I have learnt that more often than not in this industry, the customer is usually the person in the wrong. Especially when you've had a few bevvies and we haven't had a single drop of alcohol.

Music. No we don't have the power to change the music or turn it up. Ask a manager but they will probably say no anyway. 

So follow these rules and make not only your Christmas night out enjoyable but also enjoyable for us bartenders! 

What is your pet peeve about working at Christmas? Let me know in the comments below.

Best of wishes.

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