Sunday, May 29, 2011

playing favourites

I am often inspired by those who read this blog and particularly by those who comment.  Most recently a comment on my post regarding 'late-night bar etiquette: the waiting game' gave me a moment's pause.  I examined my own behaviour as a bartender and the habits of those bartenders that I have worked with; and to be honest I must give credit to 'Anonymous 7:41pm' for pointing out a rather glaring flaw in the service in this town.

We play favourites.

Now, I was not writing the other post for someone like 'Anonymous 7:41pm' who says "I am polite, tip well, wait patiently and generally understand the plight of the server/bartender".  The people I am writing for are the loud, impatient, mouthy, catcalling, belligerent people, who unfortunately seem to make up the majority - especially during late night.  I am trying to educate these people so that people like 'Anonymous 7:41pm' can get better service from their bartenders.

You sir/madame, are not an inconvenience at all and do not deserve to be overlooked.

Here I arrive at the point I plan to make.  Bartenders play favourites (though I am not totally opposed to this scenario - after all, if you know someone is pleasant, friendly, quick and a great tipper why would you not serve them first?).  But, often bartenders cross the line, they begin to outright ignore paying guests for one reason or another.  Perhaps they're enjoying some beverages behind the bar themselves, hence slowing their reaction time/motor skills so that they are less efficient.  Maybe they don't like the way you look, or you don't tip 'enough' for their liking.  These are unacceptable reasons to give poor service.

Finding yourself somewhere between the bad customers and the regulars a person can tend to get lost.  I myself have experienced many times the 'brush-over' particularly when I'm out at a bar where I am not recognized.

I would like to apologize on behalf of the bartenders out there who skip the average guests in favour of their friends every time.  Unfortunately with it being such a small town there is little to be done other than perhaps on a slow night, sidle up to the bar and make friends with the bartender, then perhaps next time it will be you getting served while those average souls around you wait!


  1. the bar owners know the bartenders are enjoying a few bevies themselves behind the bar?

  2. what irritates me are bartenders who pander to theater folk while ignoring those who keep their establishments alive through the cold and lonely nights of winter.