The DO’s/DON’Ts of Getting a Bartender’s Attention




The DO’s and DON’Ts of Getting a Bartender’s Attention 



We’ve all been there: You arrive at your favorite watering hole after a hard week’s work and offer to buy the first round for you and your friends. The line to get a drink is deep and stretches across the entire bar. You wait patiently, but you just can’t get the bartender’s attention with so many people vying for the same service. Your friends’ judgment becomes palpable with every passing second they spend without drinks in their hands, and you can almost hear them wondering if you just aren’t cool enough to get the bartender’s attention. You think, as you stand there clutching your cash, there must be a better way.            

 Turns out, there are several better ways to get your bartender’s attention if you want to stand out in a crowd. In fact, there are also some things you might be doing that are offending your bartender and hurting your chances of receiving timely service. Here, five professionals share their best tips for ordering a drink. Heed their DO’s and DON’Ts so you can spend less time in line and more time with your friends and your favorite cocktail in hand.            


Robert Groves, 720 South Bar & Grill                


  • Be ready with your order when the bartender approaches.
  • Act friendly.
  • Remember to tip your bartender for the service you receive, especially on the first drink ordered.


  • Hold money out and thrust it in the general direction of the bartender as an attempt to get served faster.
  • Snap your fingers to get attention.
  • Eat items from the garnish tray like it’s an all you can eat buffet.
  • Rip up beer bottle labels like you're some sort of child. We have to clean that up after you leave.
  • Ask for free drinks.
  • Keep yelling the bartender’s name if you can see he or she is busy with another customer.
  • Stand in the wait staff station and try to order drinks.


John Aranza, Kitty O'Sheas Irish Pub                


  • Always tip on the first drink.
  • Ask the bartender his or her name after the first drink and say thanks for the attention.
  • Compliment the bartender on how well it's made after tasting your cocktail.


  • Wave money and yell at the bartender for service.
  • Tell the bartender the exact ingredient proportions of your favorite drink.
  • Send back a cocktail saying it wasn't what you expected.

Learn MORE Do's & Don't's from other bartenders HERE

Ritch Cassidy

Ritch Cassidy

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