How to Tip a Bartender 2022


At a restaurant, you usually tip at the end of the meal, while at a bar, you often have to tip throughout the night. If you're a good tipper, then you're probably used to getting good service. If you're a poor tipper, you might be wondering why you get ignored in line. When you plan a night out, you should always make sure you have enough to tip the bartender if you want to have a good time.


Part 1 of 2:Tipping Your Bartender

1Tip big on the first round. In some circles, it's common practice to leave a large tip on the first round. Depending on the bar, leave between 50-100% to make a good first impression.

Some bartenders might think you want special treatment for leaving such a large tip. Don't act like the bartender owes you anything, and don't make a big deal about leaving a good tip.

Even if you don't tip large on the first round, you should at least leave something. Don't stiff your bartender, especially on the first round.

2Tip according to the drink. If you order a beer or a glass of wine, you can usually get away with tipping between $1-2. If you order a cocktail, tip between $2-3. The longer your bartender spends making your drink, the more you should tip them.

3Leave a tip for every drink. If you're paying in cash, make sure to leave a tip for every drink. A good rule to follow is about $1 a drink. In nicer bars, leave $2 per drink.

If you're paying with a card, calculate 20% of your tab at the end of the night. For more expensive cocktails, it's a better idea to go with 20% of the tab rather than tipping by the drink. If you have trouble calculating the appropriate tip amount, just divide your total costs by 5.

4Tip extra for exceptional service. If your bartender was particularly quick to serve you, or made each drink perfectly, reward his good service. It's the bartender's job to make sure you have a good time. Not only is he responsible for making your drinks, but he's also responsible for making you feel welcome in the bar. If you appreciated the extra lengths your bartender went to improve your evening, leave a big tip.

5Don't bargain with your bartender. Don't try to convince your bartender to give you a free drink in exchange for a tip. You're asking the bartender to steal, which could get her fired.

Don't ask your bartender to make you a strong drink unless you are willing to pay for it. If you want a stronger drink, order a double.

If you do end up getting a strong drink, remember to reward your bartender with a nice tip.

Part 2 of 2:Practicing Good Etiquette

1Be patient. Bartenders have a lot of customers to serve, and they have to give each one their full attention. Don't wave money at the bartender to get his attention. Just make eye contact, and wait your turn.

Don't slam your hands on the bar or yell to get the bartender's attention. Don't do anything obnoxious in the hopes that you'll get served next. Chances are, if you're rude, you're going to wait longer.

2Order your drinks the right way. When the bartender approaches you for your order, be ready. Don't hold up the line trying to decide what you want.

When ordering a mixed drink, start your order with the type of liquor you want. If you have a brand preference, say so. Don't say,"Can I get a Whiskey and Coke with Jack Daniels."Instead, say,"Can I get a Jack and Coke?"

3Don't ask for drinks after the bar has closed. Bars give a"last call"warning several minutes before they start closing up. This is your last opportunity to order a drink. Bars give their patrons a few minutes after close to finish their drinks, but they legally cannot sell you another drink.

4Be respectful. Your bartender is a human being and deserves to be treated with respect. Don't boss your bartender around, and don't make demands.

Don't argue with your bartender over the amount of your tab. Your bartender has a better idea of how much you drank than you did.

Don't talk on your phone while you're waiting in line.

5Know how to tip when you travel. Tipping customs are different depending on where you are. In the U.S. you are expected to tip no matter what. Even if you have bad service, it is still considered rude to stiff someone. In Japan, however, tipping is an insult.

In the U.K., you wouldn't leave a tip, but you would offer to buy the bartender a drink.

If you travel to a place and you're not familiar with their tipping customs, just ask your bartender.