Bartenders are almost always your friend or at least friendly toward you. If you want good service though you have to earn it. Some people don't understand that and then get frustrated about the quality of service they're getting. If you want a good experience there is a set of guidelines it's best to follow.


Earlier this year I published an article more specifically related to the sizes of shot glasses. These can be different at every bar or the establishment itself has different styles of shot glasses. Don't get hung up on the amount of liquor you see inside the glass, don't be that "you shorted me" person. Truth be told, despite their appearance, it's all the same. A shot pour is a shot pour. You're not being ripped off. You can read the facts here.

There are a few more unwritten rules bartenders what you know.

Dmitriy Shironosov

We should all know the basics when it comes to bartenders, right? Don't be rude, or offensive, don't wave your hand or empty drink in their face and don't tap the bar top. Those are a few of the basics but there are a few more bartenders secretly want us to be aware of.


These tips are things I've overheard from actual bartenders in Illinois. If you want to have a good time you'll want to let this be your guide.

  • Be specific about your drink, don't just ask for "a beer."
  • Don’t say “surprise me," either. That could time consuming and you might not like what you get.
  • Don’t buy just one drink and close your tab, that is such a waste of time.
  • Don’t ever ask a bartender to split up your tab. Take care of this amongst your group where you are started or standing.
  • Don’t complain about the music on the jukebox, another customer might have paid for it. You're in a public bar and, unless it's themed, people can play whatever song is available.
  • If you're using a drink chip you still need to tip.
  • In the same regard, if it's a happy hour you should still tip as you normally would.

Finally, if you're ever curious about what to tip at a bar I've got you covered. The best practice is to tip $1 per drink, at least. A bigger tip is always welcome but never any amount less.

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