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Campus-area bartenders divulge tips on securing best service

Courtesy of MCT

We all want our bartenders to be happy, don’t we? 

These are the people we can count on, Thursday through Saturday ­- or even more frequently for some – to always have a drink ready for us. 

That being said, it’s time we learn how to treat these people that most of us take for granted. Here, some friendly campus-area bartenders get their turn to sound off on bad bar behavior, offer tips on tipping and divulge how to ensure you’ll get the best service on your next bender.  

What not to do

One of the biggest pet peeves for some bartenders is not waiting your turn. 

“Don’t be obnoxious,” said Jane Tsai, Midway on High bartender and fourth-year in Spanish at Ohio State. Tsai said her greatest annoyance is “when we’re really busy and someone whistles or snaps their fingers.”

Jenny Berry, a fifth-year in history and bartender at Chumley’s, agreed.

“People are very rude in the fact that they don’t wait for you, they’re screaming across the bar,” Berry said. 

For John Cordas, a Columbus State student and bartender at Ugly Tuna Saloona, his greatest vexation is customers who get too personal. 

“Learning my name off my slips and then yelling my name to get my attention (presses my buttons,)” Cordas said. 

One thing bartenders tend to laugh at is when you don’t know your stuff. 

“It’s funny when people pronounce beers incorrectly,” Berry said. 

Tsai also recommended not asking for free drinks or discounts. 


When it comes to tipping, one bartender had some perhaps unexpected advice. 

“Tip on experience,” Cordas said. “Tip on how much fun you’re having.”

Tsai said she understands bartending for college students means she shouldn’t expect much in the way of a tip. She did, however, recommend a dollar a drink as a good rule, with a little more for mixed drinks and complicated orders. 

Getting the best service

As far as securing the best service, patience is key. Understanding that bartenders are busy is important.

Berry said she likes customers who wait their turn.

She also recommended “striking up a conversation with the bartender, as long as we’re not slammed.”

When the bar is packed and the bartender is busy, it’s also important to be efficient in your drink ordering. 

“Have a general idea of what you want to order when you come up to the bar,” Tsai said. 

As another time-saving measure, Tsai suggested opening a tab if you’re going to stick around a while, instead of closing it after every order. 

“Smile, be polite, know what you’re ordering and speak clearly,” Tsai said. “We will remember that even if it’s busy.”

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