Illustrations by Ms Anje Jager
When the hordes at the bar are between you and a stiff drink, it's best to apply some insider bar-tiquette. Here's how to make the Friday night ordering process that little bit easier, letting the weekend begin on time...
BE PREPAREDFirst up: know what you're going to order. If you want a No 3 gin martini then you also need to know how you want it prepared and served. If you want to know what bourbons we stock, read a menu before you approach the bar. That's what it is for after all.
BRING YOUR MANNERSInserting a 'may I' or a 'please' into an order is always appreciated. Bartenders find this sort of introduction quite pleasant and refreshing and it will get you noticed. It will also aid you next time you're manoeuvring among the other hordes for a top up.
CONFIDENCE IS KEYBe direct in your approach to the bar and always maintain good eye contact when you order. We will respect these subtle nuances and return the favour. Mumbling into the bar runner and fumbling with your money doesn't speak volumes about you as a drinker.
NO BRIBES PLEASENever offer to buy the bartender a shot to grease him up. Alcohol is not something we're short of. If you are pleased with our service then leave a tip or pass on your praise to our superior. That means more to a seasoned professional then buying shooters when the bar is 10 deep.
PATIENCE IS A VIRTUEBartenders respect the guy who waits patiently until he is next in line. We generally serve right to left so bear that in mind when you position yourself. You might have to take three busy minutes out of your social life until we are with you, and the man who takes this on the chin and does so graciously will show up on our radar and will get preference when he returns. The guy whispering obscenities under his breath and looking around for divine intervention will continue to wait until every single girl has her drink and I've had my cigarette break.
It's insulting. It may seem like we're low-paid trained monkeys who jump at money but we've a till full of the stuff.
Order your and your girlfriend's drinks and leave it at that. Don't wait for her friend to come over and order more. You had your chance, they'll get theirs.
Just. Don't. You'll be ignored
MEANS NO SERVICE
MEANS NO SERVICE
The 'No Service' sign you're standing in front of is there for a reason: so the waitress behind you can take drinks to other equally-important people tonight. Wait as long as you like, but you won't get served.