I've said it many times over and it usually sticks true. In the smaller bars there is a "bar life" for bartenders. Especially if the bar has a more corporate feeling.
What I mean by this is that there is a turn over of employees every few years. A lot of owners and managers will do this to keep up with the neighborhood and to keep bringing in new clientèle. If you keep the same stagnant employees then the place never changes and never gets better. In the overall scheme of things it always comes down to the owners making money. Yea, it sucks for the employees but they're there to make the owners money. If your not doing that then you will be replaced. It won't be a hard thing to do either, there are always students and younger people looking to get into a bar to work.
So the process is slowly starting to happen. People have been slowly nit picked enough that they are starting to drop like flies. Some of them deserve it, others don't.
The typical bar life that I've noticed over time has been right around 5 years. Every 5 years or so there's new people at all my old haunts. This is where the management comes in. If they do their part right and keep up with the regulars they'll introduce them to the new kids. Regulars are good to have. Especially if they're the ones that make it good for the bartenders to be there. The ones that know how to tip and are usually never a problem.
If your a regular somewhere and never give more than a dollar tip then don't feel bad that you don't get introduced to the new kids. Your cheap and people shouldn't waste their time on you. Why do I say that? Because bartenders and waitresses don't make much more than 3 or 4 dollars an hour in the little bars. They make very little hourly and they rely on tips to make ends meet. So if your a cheap ass and don't tip for shit then they'll spend their time on someone else.
Sound crappy? Hey, give up the money you make now and start making $4 an hour. Let's see how you feel about people then.
Granted, in the bigger clubs where your paying $10 to $12 for a short jack an coke, maybe they make more per hour. I couldn't tell you if they do because I've never been one of them. If they don't make more than $4 an hour then they're making a lot more in tips because people in bigger clubs usually have the money to waste and there are a lot more people so the crappy tips add up faster.
What I will say. Give up at least $2 or more when you order a drink. If you open a tab then tip around 25 - 30%. These people are putting up with you all night. Your insults, your come ons, your drunkenness, your wandering hands and eyes. It's worth it in the long run so you don't get the "cheap ass" rep. That rep will keep with you for a long time. It'll also slow down their reaction time when you want another drink.
Remember, your just another face in the crowd. No matter what you look like it's how you treat the people serving you that matters. If you take care of them, they'll take care of you.
Good advice to take with you everywhere.
It's also worth noting that the alcoholic content of your beverage is usually commensurate with the generosity of your tips. :-)
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