Bartenders reveal the 10 things that they hate about customers

Are YOU guilty of breaking bartender etiquette? Bar workers reveal the ten things that they hate MOST about customers – from asking for ‘strong’ drinks to putting your arms on the bar

  • Clancey Brooker from Australia hates it when patrons put their arms on the bar
  • Many bartenders report that they’re often asked what their ‘real’ jobs are
  • Bartender @ewholliday doesn’t agree with fancy liquor in Long Island Iced Teas

This round(up)’s on us! 

A brigade of bartenders have taken to TikTok to reveal what really makes them mad when it comes to customers and their behavior.

Many of the mixologists say that their biggest gripe is when they’re asked what their ‘real jobs’ are – despite them pulling in six-figure sums – while other pet peeves include having credit cards waved at them, being asked for stronger measures, and being asked to ‘surprise’ customers with mystery beverages.

Pour your eyes down as FEMAIL rounds up some of the biggest faux pas committed by bar-goers. 

1. Asking for ‘strong’ drinks but not wanting to pay for a double

Bartender and TikToker @NickAtNite says he doesn’t like it when people ask for strong drinks or for complicated recipes

Many bartenders report that customers ask for them to make their drink ‘strong’ while they are making it, but they are not willing to pay for a double. 

Florida-based bartender and TikToker @NickAtNite tells customers: ‘Do not ask for me to make your drink strong. Chances are I would have free-poured your drink before but since you asked for me to make it strong and you didn’t want a double I’m pulling out the jigger (measure).’

2. Complicated drinks orders

Mixologist @NickAtNite says that while he can make drinks, he’s not a fan of complicated beverages with fancy names ‘like Cape Cod or Gay Pirate’. 

He explains: ‘It’s a one and one just tell me – vodka [and] cranberry, Captain Morgan rum [and] diet. I once had someone waste my time to look up a Skinny Bitch on Google… its a vodka soda.’

The barman also warns against customers trying to order drinks from other bars or restaurants. 

He concludes: ‘I don’t work there I don’t know how to make it. You probably should have gone there.’

3. Resting arms on the bar

Clancey Brooker, who works as a bartender in Australia and uses the TikTok handle @clankybabes, says one of her biggest pet peeves is when people put their arms on the bar. 

She says: ‘[It] annoys me so much when people come up to the bar and they put their arms on the bar. Where am I supposed to make your drinks now sir… I literally have to scoot them off… Then they’ll complain. They’ll go “ewww it’s wet” and I’m like “its the bar, like what!”‘

Things that annoy me as a bartender #foryoupage #fyp #bartok

TikToker @clankybabes says when she’s working behind the bar, she hates when people put their arms on the bar or wave their credit cards at her

4. Waving credit cards

TikToker @clankybabes says another thing that drives her mad when she’s working behind the bar, is when people hold their credit cards over the bar before she’s ready to put through the payment. 

Reenacting the scenario in a TikTok video she says: ‘I go over to grab my payment machine and I’m putting [the payment] in and they’ve got their card like swaying over the bar I’m like, “Sir I will get there like I will bring the machine to you but do not like wave your credit card.”‘

Michelle, who works as a bartender in North Carolina and uses the handle @michellebellexo, says someone tapping their card on the bar is equally as annoying. She muses: ‘It drives me crazy, I cant concentrate on anything until that person stops.’

5. Being asked ‘what is your actual job?’

A number of bartenders report that they’re often asked what their ‘real’ or ‘actual’ jobs are. Hayley Kendall from Georgia, who uses the handle @hayken412 on TikTok says that she really hates this question and finds it offensive. 

She tells viewers: ‘I guarantee I make just as much money as you do if not more than you make at your “actual” job and I also have a college degree but I still choose to bartend because it’s more money.’

Hayley Kendall from Georgia says she hates it when people ask her what her real job is

6. Not reading beer taps 

US bartender Rachael, who uses the TikTok handle @literallysoirrelevant, says she often gets people coming into her bar asking what beers are on tap when they are literally sat in front of the row of taps with all of the offerings visible. 

She informs viewers: ‘If you’re sitting at the bar in front of the beer taps and you ask me what we have on tap I’m going to punch you in the face.’

She adds that the same goes for anyone who has the beer list ‘in front of their face’ and they refuse to read it. She exclaims: ‘You suck!’ 

8. Don’t say ‘surprise me’

I said what I said #greenscreen #fyp #foryou #bartenderstories

US bartender Rachael, who uses the TikTok handle @literallysoirrelevant, says she doesn’t like it when people ask for ‘surprise’ concoctions 

Another thing that annoys many of the bartenders, is when someone orders a drink and asks for it to be a ‘surprise’. TikTokker @literallysoirrelevant says this is now something she refuses to do. She says: ‘When some says “surprise me”… ummm no I don’t want to do that.’

She continues on the subject: ‘I don’t know what you like and I’m not going to risk making a drink for you that you absolutely hate when you can just tell me what you want or give me like a general idea… If someone says, “I like tequila can you surprise me with a drink?” Like sure, but if you’re just like, “I don’t know can you just surprise me?” No, I can’t.’

9. Ordering water but never drinking it

TikToker and bartender @ewholliday made a series of videos outlining her biggest dislikes when it comes to customer interactions. 

She says something that really makes her ‘mad’ is when people come into the bar and order water but then never drink it and she has to throw a full glass away. She explains that often people come in and order water just to ‘feel better about sitting in a bar for 8 hours at a time’.

TikToker and bartender @ewholliday made a series of videos outlining her biggest dislikes when it comes to customer interactions

11. Top shelf liquor in multi-layered cocktails

Another of @ewholliday’s pet hates is when customers ask for top shelf liquor in multi-layered cocktails. She says she has had people coming in and asking for premium spirits in their Long Island Iced Tea. 

Detailing why this is so ridiculous, she the drinks maestro says: ‘A Long Island Iced Tea [has] got like 15 [to] 11 liquors in it… you cannot taste the different between [Crystal] Head and Absolut when its mixed in with ***t ass tequila, gin whisky, sweet and sour, coke, rum…’

Offering a word of advise to future patrons of her bar, she says: ‘If you want to light money on fire you can tip me with it instead.’

10. When the card declines

Los Angeles-based Jamie Steck, who works as a part-time bartender to fund her singing career, says one of the most uncomfortable parts of her job is when a client’s card is declined. In a TikTok video posted to her account, @jaimiesteck, she goes on to explain that it is always an ‘awkward’ scenario and the responses she gets are ‘always the same’.

She says most people exclaim ‘that’s not possible’, or some start going through their bank accounts and showing her how much money they have in there. Others tell her to ‘run the card again’. 

She adds: ‘I always try to be nice, I always try to say it discreetly… [But] then they will always pull up their bank statement and be like “well it says you charged me $30 here”, and I’m like that is [a] pending transaction, it did not go through and it did not approve.’

Los Angeles-based Jamie Steck works as a part-time bartender to fund her singing career

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