August 18, 2017

There are certain social do’s and don’ts that the seasoned bartender will pick up on the fly – the unwritten rules of bartending, if you will. When working in such a social industry, the interpersonal know-how is almost as important as the technical. While they’re not strictly, everyone that’s spent any time working behind a bar will respect them almost intuitively.

Cluboid call these the Bartending commandments

Those who follow them, will be welcomed graciously into the bosom of the team. And those who don’t? Well, let’s just say they don’t tend to hang around too long.

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As ever, you can rely on AllBartenders to continue your education on the demands of the nightlife professional. So without further adieu, here are the 10 Commandments of Bartending ..

1. Thou Shalt Always Save Your Fellow Bartender From Sloppy Drunk Advances

You get hit on a lot in bartending – it is an unfortunate occupational hazard. It’s our job to be nice to our customers, so add that to the hazy filter of beer goggles and apparently we’re irresistible. We’re a captive audience behind the bar, so when one of the team’s good customer service gets confused with affection , they can sometimes get ensnared and that’s our cue to intervene. They’re on break, they need to change a barrel or see the manager – whatever it takes!

Trust me, we’re always grateful for this rule when it’s our turn and we’re stuck with this guy…

sleazy guy hitting on you - All Bartenders

2. Thou Shalt Not Actually Make the Drink Stronger When Someone Asks

There is not a single bartender that hasn’t had someone say something to the effect of ‘…and make it a strong one,’ as if measurements aren’t a thing at all. If you’d like a double, we’d happily make one for you, but don’t be cheap and expect us to do you a favour. That’s bad bar-code, oh and also stealing .

We just put a drip of liquor in the straw so the first sip is misleading. You’re on our territory remember.

Dont go there! - All Bartenders

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3. Honour thy Commitment to the Party Business

Busy nights are busy because everyone is off work, this by default means you are not. Sometimes you’re going to be drafted in last minute to cover a shift, or provide an extra pair of hands during party season. That’s just the nature of this industry, but hey, it means we’re always right in the midst of the action. Bartenders know that the hours aren’t always ideal, but with great power comes great responsibility.

Sometimes you’re gonna get that call…

nooooo - All Bartenders
When you do get that call, remember, that it’s all in the aim to make your bar a success, and put money in your pockets.

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4. Thou Shalt Not Leap Across the Bar When Someone Clicks Their Fingers at You

This also goes for waving money in our face, whistling, waving, clapping or any other way you’d attract a vendor at a baseball game. Finger-snapping rage is second only to the ‘barrell has run out halfway through pulling a pint’ rage, or the ‘asked for a Guinness at the end of the order’ rage. Bartenders must achieve a state of zen whereby antagonisation washes right over them, and they can complete said transaction without going full Gordon Ramsay.

Gordon Ramsey getting angry - All Bartenders

5. Thou Shalt Refer to Google in the Back Room

You’re working in a premium nightclub and someone’s asked for an Old Fashioned but you’ve blanked. Is that Malt or Bourbon? You always forget. When it’s busy, there’s nothing less efficient than grabbing another bartender and needing them to walk you through ingredients. We know that interrupting a fellow bartender trying to mentally recount their order is a no-no. We’re strong, independent professionals with opposable thumbs. We’re not nipping to the stock room for another bottle, we’re consulting our old friend Google. The real task is concealing the look of panic when you ask for it.

The glaring stare - All Bartenders
All Bartenders - Looking for staff

6. Thou Shalt Not Covet thy Fellow Bartender’s Tips

You shouldn’t do anything to trump your fellow bartender.  With regards to tips, this will depend on how the bar decides to split gratuities. If every man or women is for themselves, then it’s very bad etiquette to move in on someone else’s regular.  Even if you know they’re generous, or shortchange your team for the more affluent tables.

We’ll all expect you to be on form if the tips are pooled, there’s just no room for slackers. If you’re not pulling your weight but still consistently taking a share bigger than you bothered to put in, you’re a weenie.

Cheeky monkeys - All Bartenders

7. Thou Shalt Put on a Show When Doing Anything with a Cocktail Shaker

Some bartenders are master mixologists, others are not, but you’d be hard pushed to tell the difference if we’ve had anything to do with it. We know that working in a bar is all about the showmanship and experience, so you’d better believe we’re gonna shake what our mommas gave us, whether we know what we’re doing or not.

Swishy swishy.

shaking cocktails with a smile - All Bartenders

8. Thou Shalt Get All Necessary Activities Done During Your Precious Time Off

We’re in the rhythm of being nocturnal, so this means we’re sleeping most of our days away. It’s party central and we love it, it just doesn’t always leave a lot of time to run the errands most people can get done on their lunch break. That means the race is on to get to the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker, all before they close and our evening shifts begin. If you’re coming with us, be prepared.

Rushing through tasks - All Bartenders

9. Thou Shalt Not Minesweep or Drink When No-one’s Looking

Minesweeping – for anyone unaware – is the act of drinking what’s leftover when a drink has been abandoned. Gross, but everyone’s thought about it. You’re facing a long night; it’s hot and there’s an untouched, ice cold beer sat right there. Even so, bartenders are loyal and true team players – we know that’s not cool. Doesn’t mean it’s not crossed our minds though. You know, just one little sip.

sneaking a wee drink - All Bartenders


10. Thou Shalt Be Prepared to Get Right Back on the Horse

If you have to work after a big night out, that’s bad enough. But it gets worse when you’re forced to face liquid satan the morning after.

There is one massive silver lining though – a bar is ideal for disguising the fact that you smell like a brewery, so it’s probably the best place for you. Bartenders are made of stronger stuff, and we’re certainly not going to be calling in sick for anything as menial as a hangover , even if we are looking a bit green. 6 jagerbombs? Coming right up.

Feeling under the weather - All Bartednders
If you’re a bartending trooper, then hop across to the jobs board to find your perfect employer or training programme today.

This article has been contributed by the team over at Cluboid

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