15 Things You Should Never Ask a Bartender

Everyone loves a good night out, and everyone loves a good bartender. They give us drinks and commit their nights to making sure we have good ones.

There are a few rules and guidelines you should follow to stay on your bartender’s good side. So, the bartenders of Reddit helped narrow down the top 15 things you should never ask or say; how many are you guilty of? (Just keep the tasteless inquiry on page 9 to yourself.)

1. Can you make my drink stronger?

bartender with cocktail
Read these tips before you go out next time. | nisimo/iStock/Getty Images

Bartenders usually pour drinks with a pour count method to ensure you get the appropriate amount of liquor in your cocktail. So when you ask them to make your drink stronger, the answer will always be no.

Reddit user jtemperance has a trick for patrons who send their drinks back or ask them to be made stronger. “This means you get the tiniest drop of alcohol right in the straw. When I bring the drink back their reaction is amazing. It’s always something like, ‘Wow, that’s a strong drink!'”

Next: Bartenders aren’t matchmakers.

2. Will you send them a drink on me?

They’re not your wingman or wingwoman. | Menahem Kahanaa/AFP/Getty Images

Bartenders may be split on this issue, but the general consensus is no, they aren’t matchmakers. “[Don’t] expect me to be in on you hitting on that girl. We are not a team. You creep me out, imagine how she feels,” said Benjizee.

Next: Closing time doesn’t mean your bartender is close to leaving.

3. I know you’re closing, but can I have another?

bartender, worst jobs
Last call is last call. | iStock/Getty Images

Last call has a purpose beyond pushing the drunk people out the door; once your bartender stops serving, they still have a lot to do before they can go home.

On Reddit, bartenders explain this frustration. Often their drawer is taken away to be cashed, their liquor license only allows them to serve during a set time, or they’ll lose their job for serving after last call.

Next: Bartenders get this tech-related question more often lately.

4. Can you charge my phone for me?

Charger plug phone on car
Charge your phone on your own time. | Casezy/iStock/Getty Images

“We’re a bar, not your … living room,” a bartender said on Reddit. User deezle made a good point about how messy a bar can get. In fact, a fast-paced bar is likely the last place you want to leave your cell phone.

“Side note, what’s the protocol if I drop your phone or spill wine all over it while its behind the bar? ‘Here’s my brand new $500 iPhone and I trust you to handle it safely to be charged behind your bar…'” Point taken.

Next: Take a selfie instead.

5. Can you take a picture of us?

Bartender behind bar counter in pub, portrait
Unless the bar is totally empty they probably don’t have time. | Allen Simon/DigitalVison/Getty Images

Not only is your bartender probably trying to, well, bartend, but they probably don’t have time to make sure the lighting is just right and everyone’s eyes are open for your picture. This question could slide if it’s a quiet bar, but ask considerately.

Next: Wait it out or regret it.

6. Why is my drink taking so long?

Bartender pouring cocktail for customers
Some drinks just take a while. | Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images

“If you order 13 drinks, I’ve got to pour you 13 drinks. I’m only human. Screaming ‘where’s my order already’ doesn’t increase productivity,” ThatGuyJim said.

A complicated order will cost you more time. Fancy cocktails may taste delicious, but they’re labor-intensive for your bartender. Good drinks come to those who wait.

Next: Don’t ask for something for free.

7. Can I get this on the house?

bartender, worst jobs
You have to earn that free drink. | iStock/Getty Images

A long-time bartender and bar manager had a few complaints about annoying things customers do. Near the top of the list: Asking for free drinks. “It’s the people who are nice and are good customers that end up with an ‘on the house’ drink,” they said.

Next: Respect the rules of identification.

8. Do I really need to show you my ID?

Just take it as a compliment. | Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The answer will always be yes. If you look 30 or younger, there’s a solid chance you’ll be asked to show identification. It’s the law. And the repercussions for not asking can hurt your bartender or even your favorite watering hole long-term.

Next: Keep this tasteless observation to yourself.

9. Is this your real job?

It’s not really any of your business anyways. | Jochen Sand/DigitalVision/Getty Images

After a couple drinks, people often ask, “Is this what you actually want to do?” or “But you seem so smart.” These questions, along with, “So what do you actually want to do?” all make Buzzfeed’s list of 61 things you should never say to a bartender.

“Last time I checked, I get paid, pay taxes, clock in and out, have meetings, get promotions, deal with bosses and get vacation time … sounds like the literal definition of a job,” Kate Byrne, a bartender, wrote for TimeOut.

Next: Don’t flirt with your bartender.

10. Will you go out with me?

Barman is making cocktail at night club
They’re not here to date you. | santypan/Getty Images

User NoPhilosophy felt adamant about this. “Don’t hit on me. I’m here to work, not date. Besides in a bar full of drunk and available people, why would you want to hit on the only sober one?”

Next: The bartender doesn’t know what you want.

11. Can you make me something good?

Give them some direction. | santypan/iStock/Getty Images

User CobraCornelius admitted they dread hearing this from a customer; “I don’t know what I want. Make me something good. You decide.”

While your bartender may not mind being creative or coming up with a drink for you, you’ll need to give them some direction. Do you want beer, wine, or liquor? If liquor, what kind? Have an idea of what you want to drink before you get the bartender’s attention, especially on a busy night, and don’t expect them to read your mind, let alone your taste buds.

Next: Don’t be a high-maintenance customer.

12. Has this place changed?

Barman pouring hard spirit into glasses
It’s not going to help you get your way. | Jag_cz/iStock/Getty Images

Milkusa had a  few complaints about customers who thought they ran the bar. “I want two vodka sodas and we are gonna split it on two cards, run the cards because I don’t wanna forget the cards, and charge my phone for me because the other bartender did it last time for me and I come here ALL the time how do you not know me, are you new? Ugh. It’s my friends birthday, can we have some strong but sweet, cheap shots for her? Wait, I have to PAY for them?! This place has changed.”

Next: Don’t make repeated requests of a busy bartender.

13. Can you grab me ketchup from the kitchen?

Portrait of handsome barman in uniform
They’re leaving their customers to get you stuff. | RossHelen/Getty Images

… After you’ve run back and forth at least twice to grab them silverware and mayonnaise. While your bartender wants you to enjoy your dining experience at the bar, leaving the other patrons multiple times to serve one person gets in the way of them doing their job.

Next: Don’t mess up their workflow.

14. Anything when it’s not your turn

Barman giving whiskey glass with booze
Don’t butt in if it’s not your turn. | luckyraccoon/Getty Images

Bars can get busy and everyone wants to be served as quickly as possible. Just because you’re able to wave your arms or interrupt someone doesn’t make it your turn to order.

While it’s not a question, we wouldn’t recommend trying to flag down the bartender either. “Snap your fingers at me, yeah…you’re not getting that drink anytime soon,” said a Reddit user.

Next: Don’t demand the impossible.

15. Can you make me something strong, cheap, and good?

Bartender pouring strong alcoholic drink into glasses
They can’t perform miracles. | Bogdanhoda/Getty images

Cheap and strong? Check. Good and strong? Check. You can rarely have all three.

Read more: Waiters Reveal Things They Secretly Judge You For

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