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Proper Bar and Club Etiquette

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Proper Bar and Club Etiquette

Many people have concerns about the proper way to handle etiquette when in a bar. It is extremely important to be aware that there is standard protocol and etiquette that should be observed even in bars and clubs. Failure to observe such proper behavior and protocol could result in embarrassment and an evening that is less than entertaining. Take the time to find out what you need to know to make sure all goes well the next time you go out.

First, be aware of the appropriate amount to tip. Many bars and clubs have a cover charge. That said; however, there may also be a tip charge sitting on the bar. Really, the amount you slip into the jar is up to you but it should ideally be based on the quality of service you receive. There may also be a coat check and you can tip there at your own discretion as well.

A couple of ideas that should be kept in mind in regards to tipping your bartender include the following:

Try to always make sure the bartender actually sees you leave the tip. Otherwise, it’s rather like wasting your time. If he doesn’t see you leave the tip, he won’t know you did it and any hope you have of exceptional service for the next round will go right down the drain. Either give it to him immediately after you get your change back from him or simply tell him you’ve left him a tip.

Typically, the standard tip for a drink is about a dollar. If you’ve ordered several drinks, you can figure on 15% of the total bill.

If you have gone to the club in a group, be aware that it’s usually best to have one person from your group go up to the bar and place orders for everyone. The bar tends to be crowded anyway and an entire group traveling up to the bar to place orders at once can make matters even worse. If for some reason that isn’t possible, try to avoid hanging around the bar in one big group. Go up individually. This makes it easier for everyone and you’re less likely to irritate everyone else as well.

Taking the time to learn the bartender’s name is not only a nice courtesy but it can also prove to be helpful on those nights when the bar is impossibly crowded and you find it difficult to get the bartender’s attention. One great way you can get friendly with the bartender is to make an offer to buy them a shooter. They’ll definitely remember you the next time you come in and there’s a good chance your order will be filled much sooner than the guy standing right next you who didn’t go to the same trouble.

When it comes to keeping up with your tab, be aware that while there is a strong temptation to do this, it’s typically not a good idea to use your credit card to do it. It’s far too easy for even an experienced bartender to overcharge you simply because he became confused or to deliberately overcharge you. It’s also hard to keep up with how many drinks you’ve had when you’re having it charged to the plastic. Stick with bills and everyone will come out better all the way around. Along the same lines, do make sure you have your money ready when you order your drink. It can be extremely frustrating for those standing behind you waiting to place an order to have to wait even longer while you fumble around for your money.