We’ve all been there. You’re at a bar you’ve never been to before, it’s packed, and getting a drink appears to be slightly more challenging than, say, getting a football recruit to attend Ohio State without committing multiple NCAA violations. Thankfully, we can help. We asked our friend Janell Knight (on the right above), a bartending vet who works private events (and promo model gigs) in Southern California, to break down the dos and don’ts of getting served. By a hot bartender, even.
MADE MAN: What can a guy do when he walks into a crowded bar to quickly and smoothly get the bartender’s attention and get served ahead of all the other suckers?
JANELL KNIGHT: I try to be pretty fair. First come, first served. In a busy environment with loud music, eye contact is a good way to get a bartender’s attention without coming off as rude. Sometimes guys will come to the side of the bar trying to sneak money into my hand so I serve them first. One time a guy handed me a hundred dollar bill with his phone number written on it. I didn’t call, but he definitely got my attention!
MM: Besides wearing Crocs, what other moves are so annoying, they’ll actually cause you to try to ignore us.
JK: I hate when guys use words like “babe” or “honey” to get a drink. The worst thing you can do is trash-talk the service of a co-worker. Complaining about slow service will only make the service slower for you.
MM: What can we do the first time we order to improve our chances of you hooking us and our buddies up quickly the next time we need a drink?
JK: The biggest tippers always get the best service. We are there to make money. It’s always cool of someone to buy me a shot too. The most important thing though is to be patient and polite. I will serve the patient guy way before the guy waving his arms in the air. It’s pretty cool when someone knows my name, too.
MM: How much does ordering, say, an Appletini as opposed to, say, Wild Turkey, decrease our chances of fast service the next time around?
JK: Martinis and blended drinks are the worst when it’s busy! My blender is magically broken at five o’clock every day, ha ha. I usually remember people by what they drink and if I see a guy who ordered Wild Turkey behind a guy who ordered an Appletini, I would pour the Wild Turkey first. I hope any guy ordering an appletini is taking it to a girl.
MM: Do you actually want us to ask for your number, or are you just being so funny and flirty to get bigger tips?
JK: I wouldn’t date anyone I met while working. Any pickup up line you think is original we heard a thousand times that night. One guy was being so pushy, I told him I would rather French kiss my own brother. A few girls I work with give out their number with no intention of ever hanging out with the guy. We are there to work. If we were looking for a date, we’d be on eHarmony.
MM: Are the rules at all different if we are dealing with a male bartender as opposed to a female bartender?
JK: Not when it comes to getting good service. Be respectful and patient and he will notice. Guy bartenders are there to work too but I have seen a guy give his number to a girl ordering a drink. I think girl bartenders make more money. It’s usually guys spending money in a bar and they are more likely to give it to a girl.
MM: Anything major we are forgetting to ask?
JK: Just remember to tip your bartenders. We make a living off our tips and we remember the people who don’t tip.