Bar 101

Featured, Pubs and Grub — February 14, 2013 at 10:55 pm by

This week we begin our Bar 101 blog.  This blog is designed to help you, the bar patron, establish yourself as someone who knows what the hell to do and how the hell to act when going out to a bar.  Bars are wonderful places with booze, loud music, good food, and maybe even a decent looking girl who will talk to you for more than 10 seconds.  If you are to enter these places you need to understand that there are certain understood “rules” that exist between bar patrons and bar employees.  These “rules” are not posted anywhere, nor are they directly given to you in any other form.  These “rules” and their nuances are a sacred knowledge that are either God-given or learned over an extended period of time.  Some people just get it right off the bat.  This could be because they are just cooler than you, and everybody else, or because they grew up around bars or restaurants.  A lot of people with older siblings are also informed of the “rules” before they start going out, so they too have an advantage.  Others start working in the bar business at a young age, and are taught the “rules” by the people who help make them.  These folks are the ones who get served first, the ones whose favorite drinks get remembered, and the ones who are loved.   But then there are the masses, the many who wander into bars all wrong.  These folks are the unforgiven.  The douches and hoes that populate the night like drunken mosquitos, annoying the living shit out of everyone.  This blog is designed to help you avoid being one of the douchey masses.  This blog will teach you the unspoken rules.  Some of you already know the rules, but you may find the blog amusing anyway.  Some of you will read the rules, and upon being enlightened, will change your behavior accordingly.  Yet others will read the blog and still refuse to abide by the rules.  If you are one of these people, you are  probably a self-absorbed jackass, who will eventually die alone and unloved.  And yet still others will read the rules and choose which rules to follow.  These people may agree with some of the rules, but find or think themselves exempt from some of the others.  So be it.  If I can only help these folks in one small way, I have still helped and my efforts have been worth while.   Welcome to Bar 101.

Lesson 1: Credit Cards/Debit Cards

Pick a card any card...

Pick a card any card…

 No one carries cash anymore.  The invention of the debit card has created a world where even criminals must force their victims to go to the ATM in order to rob them.  It is no longer a society of cash transactions, but a society of online money transfers, where a piece of plastic is currency.  This plastic currency is accepted everywhere, including most bars.  That’s all well and good as long as you know to properly use it.  Credit cards/debit cards are perfectly acceptable forms of payment , but they are not meant to be used exactly as cash.  If you only have a credit/debit card and are using it to pay, start a tab with it.  Do not stand at the bar and wave your credit card in the air like it is a crisp 20.  Simply order your drinks, hand your card to the bartender, and say, “I would like to start a tab.”  Do not say, “Just close it now.”  Especially if the bar is busy.  Credit card transactions take longer, and it is god-damn ridiculous to expect someone to run your credit card for $3.75 every time you decide to order a Miller Lite.  If you want to pay as you go, get your ass to an ATM before you come out and withdraw some cash.  Not only does it hold others up from ordering quickly, it makes you look ridiculous.  You are basically telling the world that you are too fucking stupid to remember to pay your tab at the end of the night, and that you are too fucking lazy to go to the ATM.  Therefore, you will continuously pay with a credit card and hold everybody up.  I can almost guarantee you that if you are at a busy bar with your little Citibank Platinum card, you will be served after the guy with the cash.  Especially if you have pulled the ol’ order and swipe trick previously.  So, if you plan on paying as you order, it is better for everyone if you bring cash with you.Credit/ debit cards are perfectly acceptable forms of payment if you are starting a tab.  In fact this is probably the most convenient way to do business when out drinking.  It allows you to order your drinks and get back to your friends quickly throughout the evening.  There is no currency transaction (cash or plastic) occurring, so this makes for faster serve times for you and the person who is ordering after you.  At the end of your night simply pay (either by card or cash), tip, and leave.  Everyone wins in this scenario.

The argument for carrying cards instead of cash is that it is safer.  This is horseshit.  I have never heard of anyone who was asked if they were carrying cash or plastic right before they got mugged.  If the thugs want your wallet, they  mug first.  No street tough ever walked up to anyone and said, “I was going to beat the shit out of your drunk ass for your wallet, but if you are carrying plastic, kindly tell me and I will take my weapons and bad intentions elsewhere.” 


The other argument for plastic is that people claim they spend less when carrying the card.  In fact the opposite is true.  It’s like poker chips, the plastic gives the illusion of not being real money.  Credit card paid tabs are always the biggest tabs.  If you want to budget what your spending, bring a set amount of cash.  (And then hit the ATM at 11:30 when your banged-up self runs out of cash.)



In fact the issue is not using the cards per se, it is how the cards are used.  In fact many bars are putting a minimum charge policy in effect to avoid credit card company fees for every small transaction.  So  just stay away from running your card every time you go to the bar, it makes life better for everyone.





One Comment

  1. Nice write up. I will tip you after your next lesson

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