What not to do in a bar, according to bar staff

Pushing to the front won’t get you served quicker

Being a bartender is a pretty chilled job. There’s not much to it, just a bit of pint-pulling, order taking and table service really. I, for one, have worked in much worse environments. Between busy periods, we can normally be found chatting round the back, checking our phones or strolling the pub pretending to collect empties – but don’t tell our managers that.

Unfortunately, though, it’s not a perfect world. We have customers to keep us on our feet, and boy do they. From menus left opened all over the bar to “what’s the best ale you do?”, there’s a few things we really wish you guys wouldn’t do.


Leave your menu on the bar

I mean this is just lazy, really. After busy periods our bar will usually be beneath a solid layer of opened menus. We have menu stands for a reason and would really appreciate it if you used them. Oh, and while we’re on menus, don’t sit and wait at a table waiting for someone to bring you a menu and a browse of the wine list. We’re a pub, not the Savoy.

Think you’re exempt from the law

If you’re ID-ed and you don’t have valid ID, admit defeat and go home. Don’t tell us your ID is in the post, or that you lost it on the way, or that you’re 22 and “just look young, honest”. We both know that even if your little story was true, I can’t serve you.

Push through a queue and lean over the bar expectantly

You will, repeat will, be served last. Nobody appreciates a queue skipper, not least bar staff. The only way this heinous crime can be made worse is if you start heckling the bar staff about how long you’ve been waiting. We may kindly point out that “everyone is waiting” and that “you will be served soon”, but deep down we’re thinking of the funniest way to murder you.

Destroy everything around you

They say tearing napkins and bottle labels is a sign of sexual frustration. Maybe there’s some truth in that, but either way it leaves a lovely mess for me to tidy up, ta.

Satchwells 2

Ask if we can do you a deal on your six tequila shots

I’m not the landlord, I don’t set the prices. Especially when you’re not tipping. Oh, and asking for a free drink is a sure-fire way not to get one.

Ask to charge your phone behind the bar

Cheeky rascal. Why don’t you have a night without a phone and, you know, talk to people? I mean, I’ll put it on for you but expect it to be returned with beautiful selfies of us lovely bar staff. Deal?

Order a drink after the last bell

Here’s a helpful guide. There are two bells: the first is for last orders, the second means we’re closed. After the second bell, we’ve been working all evening and really just want to go to bed, not pour you your eighth Stella.

Sitting there, all innocent

Sitting there, all innocent

Ask us what our best ale is

I’m a big fan of ale drinkers: they have an appreciation for the bartending profession which you simply don’t get with the Carlsberg drinkers. But asking what our best ale is is just a bit silly really. I don’t read minds, I don’t know what you like. In any case, I almost certainly haven’t tried them all anyway. Try asking what’s most malty, or asking for a sample.

Interrupt us with your order when we’re speaking to another customer

This apparently becomes acceptable after people have had a couple of pints. Didn’t your mother teach you manners?

Ask for a surprise

I mean this could be anything from an Americano coffee to a shot of tequila. Or even some kind of sick combination of the two. Unless this sounds appealing, don’t ask us to surprise you.

Order a drink and sit down, expecting us to bring it to you

Just like every pub in the entire country, we don’t actually do this. By all means return to the bar fifteen minutes later having realised your mistake: I’ll have your warm, flat pint waiting.