Tips: Ordering drinks in a busy bar
Ordering drinks when it’s 3 people deep at the bar can be a tricky process. All bars obviously try to serve their customers as quickly and efficiently as possible but here are a few tips to ensure that you’re getting served as quickly as possible…
Make eye contact
This simple act is by far the best way to ensure that your bartender is aware that you are waiting for a drink. This is doubly important in venues where customers are drinking at the bar, rather than a table – your bartender simply may not be aware that you even need a drink.
Give your order in one go
Bartenders are unlikely to be able to give you the value of Pi to 15 decimal places but they ARE very good at remembering long drinks orders. If you know your entire order, just reel it off – they’ll work out the most efficient way of making all your drinks and you’ll get them much more quickly.
Don't cover your mouth
This is especially important in loud bars… Many bartenders have the ability to selectively lip-read. That doesn’t mean they can hold a conversation like that but “Double vodka coke” is definitely doable. If you cover your mouth, you take away that ability. Also, it’s much harder to hear you!
Come as a group, order as a group
Even if you want to pay separately, it’s MUCH quicker if you give a group order. Just let the bartender know that you’ll be paying individually. They’ll appreciate it and you’ll all be served more quickly.
Order your Guinness first
If you’d like a Guinness (or any other drink that requires a settling time), it’s a good idea to order it first. That way, it can do its thing while your other drinks are prepared. Ordering it last results in thumb twiddling and your bartender forgetting that it’s there!! 😉
Order from a distance
If there are a load of people standing at the bar, drinking rather than ordering, don’t be afraid to let the bartender know that you’re waiting – even if you’re 2 or 3 people back. As mentioned previously, many bartenders can lip-read and take your order from a distance, even if it’s difficult to hear you. If it’s a complicated order, just shout louder!
All bartenders will make every attempt to ensure that customers get served in the order that they arrive. However, this is not always easy in a busy bar, so if you have been waiting longer than others, let your bartender know. The more politely you do this, the more likely it is to work. Conversely, if you know that the person to the side of you has been waiting longer, let the bartender know as well – it’s always massively appreciated and guaranteed to get you served next!
If you hear a bartender take an order for 15 different cocktails and you’re standing there, wanting 2 bottles of beer and a glass of water, let the bartender know. “Do you mind sorting me out a couple of beers while you make those cocktails?” is always a good idea – most cocktail bartenders will be more than happy to complete 2 or 3 orders at the same time.