Retrieving Lost Belongings
What’s worse than leaving your dignity at the bar? Leaving your work laptop or a $500 leather jacket. Even though the bar probably sports a sign that says "not responsible for lost or stolen property," a standup bartender will find a safe spot for your valuables. Most of the bartenders we spoke to confirmed that while it is by no means expected, a few bucks upon retrieval is a classy move.
Retrieving Your Lost Credit Card
This all-too-common problem is somewhat tricky to resolve, because the bar probably closed out your tab on the night you left the card behind. Did they include an automatic gratuity? That’s a 50-50 question, based on the discretion of the business. If they did, dropping a few extra bucks would be cool, but not essential; if they didn't, leave the tip now... plus a few extra bucks.
Drinking at an Open Bar Wedding
We ran across a fellow patron at an Irish bar who happened to be a professional caterer -- how serendipitous. He definitively stated that in his operation, gratuity is always negotiated at the top level at weddings, and that bartenders are not supposed to accept those dollars that get slammed down in the midst of shouting, “a little bit louder now!” If the bartender says they can’t accept tips, put it away; and if he looks at you like he's expecting a tip, find another bartender.
Drinking at an Open Bar Event “Non-wedding events are trickier,” our catering contact continued. “All the private events we hold at bars include gratuity in the cost, but many event companies don’t partake in these negotiations.” In this case, it’s safest to assume you should tip a few bucks here and there. But again, if they aren’t accepting, don’t force it! You can make it rain elsewhere.