Many professional managers say that tips stands for “To Insure Proper Service”.  To the average bartender, tips are a crucial part of making a living.  The one thing you must remember is that people tip you for the service that you give them.  Whether working at a neighborhood bar, hotel, restaurant, winery, or private party, a bartender should conduct themselves as a professional at all times. 

Making drinks is only a small part of the bartender’s job.  Dealing with the public takes patience and above all, is a learned skill.  Here are 20 tips to consider for making tips as a bartender:

  1. Smile! And be friendly.  Say hello to each customer before they greet you.
  2. Be polite.  Use please and thank you frequently.
  3. Learn your customer’s names and what they drink.
  4. Keep a neat and presentable appearance.  Don’t be a slob. 
  5. Try to avoid controversial topics like religion, politics and marital matters.
  6. When asked about the above topics, try to be conservative and middle of the road.  Don’t commit to one side or the other.  You may offend other customers.
  7. Constantly watch your customers for their individual needs.  A good bartender can sense when a customer needs a cigarette lit or a refill.
  8. Don’t make customers ask for a refill.  Ask them as their glass nears empty.
  9. If a customer is becoming intoxicated, you may want to wait until their drink is completely empty to slow down their drinking.
  10. Always light customer’s cigarettes.  This is a courtesy, not a pick up method.
  11. Keep customers ash trays clean.  Remove the dirty ashtray by “capping” the ash tray with a clean one to prevent ashes from spilling.  (If there’s three butts I nan ash tray, change it.)
  12. Do not allow customers to gamble when intoxicated.  It is against the law in some states.
  13. Check ID’s on any customers that look 25 or under.
  14. Don’t give free drinks without the managers permission.
  15. Don’t let boyfriends or girlfriends hang out at the bar while you work.
  16. Don’t smoke behind the bar.
  17. Don’t cross pour liquor.  This is called “Marrying” and is illegal in all 50 states.
  18. Don’t allow customers to get too loud or use profanity
  19. Cut people off if necessary.  This is the law!  You must get comfortable with it.
  20. Have fun!

If you follow these simple guidelines you are sure to keep everyone happy bring in the doe after your shift!