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26 Things Your Bartender Won’t Tell You

Bartenders share their secrets, tips, and best etiquette advice.


Yell, whistle, or wave money and I'm going to make you wait

Make eye contact and smile, and I'll come over as soon as I can. Know what you want and have your money ready. Don't create a traffic jam. Here are 15 witty bar jokes anyone can remember.


Start a tab

 If I swipe your card five times this evening, that’s five times as much paperwork I have to do at 4 a.m.

iStock/Julia Sudnitskaya

You want a drink made "strong"

Then order a double—for double the price. By the way, here's what your choice of drink says about you.


Liquor sales in bars and restaurants were down 2.2 percent last year

Even beer sales are slow. But people scrimp on food first, drinks second. Here's how to save money when you eat out.


A lot of bars have comp tabs, which allows me to give away drinks

 It's smart business and helps build a base of regulars.

iStock/Laur_Kalevi Tamm

 Bars that don't have regulars (in hotels, airports) have started using wireless gadgets

...that measure how much is poured and automatically ring up each shot. They're meant to prevent overpouring and to cut losses, but I don't like them—neither do customers.


If your tipping guideline is still 'a buck a drink,' listen closely

That doesn't fly if you order a $12 cocktail. Tip at least 15 percent. Brush up with this handy guide for tipping before you go out.


 At some bars, the sliced fruit garnishes sit out until they’re gone

Sometimes for days. Munch accordingly.


The smoothest guys compliment a woman, then walk away

It's very non-threatening. These punny food pickup lines will have anyone laughing.


I have the police on speed dial

And I never hesitate to call. Follow these 17 tips to help cut back on alcohol.

View Slides 11-20
Originally Published in Reader's Digest