Gallery: Ask A Bartender: What's Your Biggest Pet Peeve?

  • Think Ahead

    Bartender behind the bar

    "When the bar is crowded, I get to you, and you have no idea what you want. What were you doing that whole time besides annoyingly tapping the bar with your credit card?" — Brandon Sornberger (Io West)

    Yeah, I Know Him Too

    Bartender behind the bar with glass of beer

    "My biggest pet peeve when it comes to customers (besides bad tipping) is the name dropping of the owner or manager, thinking it will get them a free drink. When I ask the owner (or manager) who they are, 9 times out of 10, they don't know them." —James Romer (Wirtshaus)

    Pay Up

    Bartender behind the bar, holding a cocktail

    "Guys not offering to buy drinks on a date is a big one (sue me, I'm old fashioned). Trying to teach me something, especially about booze and in an arrogant, know-it-all-y way, is never going to go over well with a bartender. Also, when a guy (it's always a guy) orders a drink and then doesn't want it anymore because it comes in a coupe. It's just... Insane." —Dan Sabo (Five Leaves)

    What's your favorite?

    Bartending holding a drink won the rocks

    "Come to the bar, look at the signature cocktail list or spirits list, then ask me 'What's your favorite?.' All of them, that's why it's on the menu. Any bartender who has been tending for even a year usually does not have one drink or spirit that they always drink. My drink of choice depends on the weather, my mood, whatever new spirit I just got in, the company I am with, etc. We get to and should taste everything in our bar and more often than not the palate of your bartender is vastly different than their customer's. Everyone's taste preference is different. You will have a much better experience if you let us know what you usually like to drink and then we can guide you into drink you will like and hopefully have never had. Start with your spirit of choice and then go onto if you would like something more sweet, sour, spicy, savory, aromatic, etc." —Hector Santa Cruz (Neat, Bow & Truss)

    There Are Many...

    Bartender headshot

    "When someone I don't know finds out my name and uses it ad nauseum, acting like we're more familiar than we are. People who think they're funny. People who ask for ridiculous drinks like "An abortion" like it's something they drink all the time. When people eat out of my fruit tray like it's their personal produce buffet. When dudes hit on you all night then leave a shitty tip. Owners/managers getting drunk, getting in fights with you, the customers and the cab drivers you try to get them to leave with. Blended drinks. Seriously, when people order pina coladas or daiquiri's I'm just like, "I get it. You just went on a cruise. Now, knock it off." —Molly Prather (Little Dom's)

    Be Prepared

    Bartender shaking a drink

    "Most of my pet peeves are similar to every other bartender everywhere all the time: If it's a busy bar, just be somewhat prepared. Don't act surprised when someone asks what you'd like to drink. Another one of my pet peeves is people's blind acceptance of blatant marketing strategies by liquor brands. They get sold on certain brands just because of some flashy campaign, even when the slightest bit of detective work would debunk much of what brand marketers pitch. I prefer to judge brands on quality over marketing dollars." —Mike Ryan (Sable)

    There's A List For A Reason

    Bartender behind the bar

    "I hate when people spend a whole ten minutes dissecting a by-the-glass wine list and then order a wine that is not on the list. I also hate when guests try to tell me how to do my job." — Jeff "Chewy" Chouinard (Lincoln Ristorante)

    That's Not Done Yet!

    Bartender serving drink

    "That's an easy one. If I'm making a drink on the bar mat and haven't finished it, and a patron reaches over to grab it off the mat instead of allowing me to finish it, garnish it, and serve them. It drives me nuts. It's all I can do to keep from swatting their hand with the barspooon." —Billy "Bonefish" Fannemel (Couloir Restaurant, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort)

    Basic Manners

    Bartender behind the bar

    "I have a hard time with customers who are blatantly rude, most often to impress their friends. I’m not impressed. Say please and thank you. Treat me with the same respect that I will always treat you with regardless of how you are behaving." — Laura Cullen (Clarke's)

    Hey Captain

    bartender headshot

    "Don't call me captain, buddy, snap your fingers, bang your glass against the bar top or clap your hands at me to get a drink. I've never been in the service and I'm not a circus monkey." —Brian Means (Fifth Floor)