David Philby
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    • David Philby

      Hi. I’m a bartender that is actually GOOD at his job. I’ve also trained a few dozen legit bartenders over the years. So, where to begin with this list… 1. True - I like people who don’t dither, but I’ll still get around to you even if you don’t have money out. 2. False - what? Just, what? Who the fuck is going to come back to the bar if they’re served drinks that they don’t like, and are met with whiny face when they say so? Yeah, you don’t need to be a dick about it, but if something is too sweet/bitter/weak/strong let me know, and I’ll try to make it more to your taste. 3. Revolting - mistakes happen, but this is the most basic element of a bar. If you can’t manage to get out a clean glass, or at least be properly mortified/apologetic (IE the drink, once it’s remade, in a CLEAN glass, is on the house) serve in Solo cups. Or better yet, stop calling yourself a bartender. 4. True - I get tipped either way. 5. False - that’s the management’s problem, not mine. This is 2013. If the management hasn’t figured out a way to get a better deal on credit card swipes, either switch to cash-only (and deal with the fun of usurious ATMs with $5 fees that always break down) or charge more for your drinks. Either way, money is money. 6. Revolting - it takes me 10 seconds to cut down a lime, a little bit more for a lemon. If you think you’re going to get slammed, it’s ok to plan ahead and cut a bit extra when there’s downtime (which you then wrap tightly in clingwrap and put in the fridge). But leaving them out all day, exposed to fruit flies, other people’s germs? Christ, don’t these bartenders have any fucking pride? Would they want a drink made with a slimy fucking lemon? 7. False - this is literally your job - make drinks, make it good, and make the customer happy. I’m beginning to think that these opinions were given by people that worked exclusively in dance clubs or TGI-Fridays. I’ve never come across this attitude in a legit bartender - hate making mojitos? Practice making them at home until you’re really good at it and can do it without thinking. Margaritas? I literally can’t think of a simpler drink. An unhappy customer is not going to tip you well for getting a subpar experience. Speaking of which… 8. False - you expect drunks to whip out their phones to calculate 20%? Now I really think this article was written by embittered waiters who had to work barback one night a week. Dollar a drink for decent to good service. If it’s great service, or if I’ve made the best drink you’ve ever had, the sky is the limit. That’s all ye need to know. 9. False - this shit’s just getting contradictory now. Talk to bartenders, make friends, and then the next one says, don’t be friendly to bartenders, leave them alone, the bar is not your living room. Which is it? Be yourself - if I like you, and I have the time, I’ll engage you in conversation. If I don’t like you, you’ll get your drink with pleasant and efficient service, then I’ll move onto someone else. But I can smell agenda like shit on a stick. 10. False - if your super-sensitive bartendery feelings get offended at someone calling you boss… just quit. Just fucking quit. If any of the bartenders I trained reacted like this, I’d say the same thing - just fucking quit. They’re your customers. They’re not there for your comfort or convenience. YOU ARE SERVING THEM. 11. False - It’s a kind offer, but I’m far too busy with my job to be drinking. If I like you, we can meet up later. But this is my job, and I really don’t care if other bartenders drank with you. In short, unless you’re at the kind of shitty college/dudebro/Top 40 dancehit bar, almost all of these ‘truths’ are false. I don’t know who these supposed ‘bartenders’ are, but I would never work with them, and I would never train someone to act like this. Now I just want to know where these people work, so I know never to go there.

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