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How to Make Friends with a Bartender

Turn your favorite bar into a home away from home.


  • Step 1: Smile & wait patiently Approach the bar, smile, and—most importantly—wait patiently for the bartender to approach.
  • Step 2: Be polite Be polite. The bartender is a server, not a servant.
  • 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.
  • TIP: 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.
  • Step 4: Be upbeat Be upbeat. Contrary to popular belief, pouring out your troubles to the person pouring your pint is not always appropriate.
  • 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.
  • Step 6: Tip generously The quickest way into a bartender’s good graces is a generous tip!
  • TIP: 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.
  • 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.
  • FACT: The term 'happy hour' originated on U.S. Navy vessels as slang for the time set aside for evening entertainment.

You Will Need

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

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