Food & Drink

Bartenders' Biggest Pet Peeves About You

Working in the service industry ain’t easy. While the rest of us can hide behind computers and silently type our grievances out to friends over Gchat when we’re having a bad day, bartenders are expected to slap on a smile and go about their business pleasing customers—no matter how many rude and tipsy bar patrons are barking orders or requesting overly complicated cocktails.

Bartenders need a chance to vent too, so we asked some of the best about their most grievous customer pet peeves. The next time you’re drinking in your favorite watering hole, don’t do these annoying things:

“When people want to come into bars and restaurants early and wait inside until we are open. In no other business would this be ok. Everyone in the service industry knows that as much as we love our jobs and guests, we need our pre-shift time to prep and mentally prepare. Also, the garnishes are not a buffet. Please don't help yourself.” —Sierra Kirk, Hale Pele

“I really don't like when people put their stuff on the bar. Scarves, phones, purses, wallets, jackets—you name it. Sometimes I spill things, sometimes customers spill things, and I really don't want to worry about valuables in the process. We have hooks and pockets for a reason.” —Grant Wheeler, Den Hospitality

“One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone flags me down on a busy night, but when I walk over, they don't know what they want. Sometimes people get you in front of them and then start their thought process, losing all urgency and saying something like ‘uuuuuuhhhh, hmmmmm, so many choices, what would you recommend?’ Meanwhile, you have five other thirsty people staring at you and five drink tickets that need to be made. It takes a lot of self control not to recommend something gross.” —Ian Hardie, Huckleberry Bar

“The thing I hate the most is when people describe something as ‘feminine.’ It's a term we need to let go of, specially in our industry where there are so many badass females. It's just incorrect.” —Luis Hernandez, The Eddy

“It really pisses me off when people think the garnishes are bar snacks and help themselves to a few olives or an orange slice. Order some food.” —Chris McPherson, Flinders Lane

“When someone addresses me with ‘hey.’ Oh boy, does this one gets me the most. How about ‘excuse me’ or ‘pardon me’ or meeting eyes instead?” —Jeffrey Moll, Randolfi’s

“When a customer flags you down to get your attention and then gives you the world’s longest ‘uuuummmmm’ followed by ‘a vodka soda I guess.’” —Albert DePompeis, Society Cafe

“My biggest pet peeve is when a guest describes a cocktail with gender related adjectives like ‘girly’ or ‘manly.’ There is no inherent, biological reason why a man or woman (or other) may want different types of drinks or be more prone to liking certain flavors. This has been conditioned and is outdated. Most people mean no harm when they’re describing drinks in this way—it's more ignorance about spirits and drink styles than sexism—so I shrug it off and ask them to elaborate so I can make something appropriate to their style and mood rather than their sex or gender. Women are drinking whiskey at an insane rate, every sane human likes a drink with an umbrella from time to time, and my Aunt Patty can drink more beer than anyone I know. Let's put all the drink shaming to rest and be merry!” —Stacey Swenson, Dante