How Much Should I Tip A Bartender?

How Much To Tip The Bartender

The hardest question when your drunk
"how much to tip"

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The big Question

Tips can be a very touchy subject, some people hate that they have to tip. Others that have working in hospitality, understand the basic fundamentals of tipping. So lets quickly dissect the reasons tips is around and the different forms it has.

For more info on tips check out our full tipping guide (coming soon)

History – the history of tips is a little different to how we know it today A TIP was given to a bartender or server “to insure promptitude” T.I.P.  This normally happened before service, as they wanted prompt and quick service.

Today – Well it is a bit messy the reason why tips are now expected. We personally stick to the fact you should not tip if the service was bad. But in the States you might get chased down the street if you don’t tip. Today TIP’s are to fill  a wage gap. Hospitality workers are normally getting minimum wage so some feel the customer should make up the difference to make it a more livable wage no matter how their serves is. (More on this in our complete guide)

Economics – Tips are good because they keep labor costs for the employer down. This means they can hire more people and keep the cost of food and services down. Good for the customers.

How much should I TIP a bartender? The answer depends on the bar. A normal pretty standard bar or pub $1 per drink. For more high end upper class bars $2. We also take in to consideration the quality and neediness. If you ask lots of questions about drink and they answer and are nice about it, maybe a little more.

If you want great speedy service look at the history of tipping, tip a good amount up front and a little on each after. We find this works well if you are going to be there all night every time you go back to the bar they will serve you first.

Tipping a bartender

It is very hard to know how much to tip a bartender, as in a restaurant you just add 10-20% on to the bill. But at the bar when you get a $5 beer you feel weird tipping $1 – 25% they just popped a top off a beer.

Bartenders see all types so if you don’t tip they will not remember you in a weeks time. But that night they may not serve you quickly, so just think about your time frame and how many drinks you are going to have.

Look at the change they give, If they give you back big bills then you cant tip. So don’t worry, they can not expect you to drop a Tenner on 1 Beer. We always tell bartenders to give change or small bills to encourage tips. 

Just think about how busy, hard or annoying the night is for the Bartender, if they are doing it tough and still have a smile on there face, tip well. If they are kicking back and on their phone maybe not as much.

The golden rule is If you want better service make sure you make them remember you for positives not negatives.

Please tell us

Please tell us your thought son tipping below in the comments.

How much to you tip the bartender?

Are you a bartender?


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