How to Make Friends with a Bartender

Turn your favorite bar into a home away from home.


Up next in Bar Life & the Art of Drinking (37 videos)

Whether you're in a pub or a club, you'll be the life of the party, bar none, thanks to this Howcast video series on bar life and the art of drinking.

You Will Need

  • Neighborhood watering hole
  • Bartender
  • Good attitude
  • Good joke or bit of trivia (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Smile & wait patiently

    Approach the bar, smile, and—most importantly—wait patiently for the bartender to approach.

  2. Step 2

    Be polite

    Be polite. The bartender is a server, not a servant.

  3. Step 3

    Make conversation

    If he isn’t busy, make some conversation. Avoid lengthy philosophical treatises in favor of a funny story from your workday or a recap of a great book you just read.

  4. Share a fun bit of trivia or a good joke. Bartenders love to pass them on and will appreciate a customer who provides new material.

  5. Step 4

    Be upbeat

    Be upbeat. Contrary to popular belief, pouring out your troubles to the person pouring your pint is not always appropriate.

  6. Step 5

    Don't be a pest

    If the bartender is busy, don’t be a pest or chatter incessantly while he or she is trying to turn out drinks. Keep in mind that the server is at work.

  7. Step 6

    Tip generously

    The quickest way into a bartender’s good graces is a generous tip!

  8. Don’t ask for free drinks. A bartender can’t always provide them and won’t look kindly on someone who always has his hand out.

  9. Step 7

    Invite him out

    To seal the deal, ask him or her to join you and your friends for a nightcap…at another bar, of course.

  10. The term 'happy hour' originated on U.S. Navy vessels as slang for the time set aside for evening entertainment.