Bar work is one of those things that many believe to be a rite of passage for students. Especially nowadays, with tuition fees as high as they are, not to mention the cost of renting student accommodation, bar work is often the go-to trade for students looking for a bit of spare spending money. But, as is the case with many businesses, Christmas is the most hectic time of the year for bars and restaurants, and I’m sure many of you can relate to the following types of customers that we encounter during the Christmas period:

The Seasonal Drinkers
These are the people who don’t drink that often, but save themselves every year around Christmas time to let their hair down and treat themselves to a few shandies. These are the ones who timidly queue up for 10 minutes before getting to the bar and saying, ‘Erm… what would I like… Mmm, I think I’ll have a glass of red wi- NO! Gin and tonic. Do I? Maybe I’ll just have half a cider.’ Three hours later they’re being escorted out by uncle Jimmy before being gently pushed into the nearest taxi home.

“What lagers do you do, mate?”
The beer fonts are right in front of you. They are at exactly eye level. You’ve been queueing for ages giving you plenty of time to survey our beers before getting to the bar!

Round Buying Etiquette
One of the most frustrating things for busy bartenders. You know what I’m talking about – when people come to the bar with an order of 20 drinks but decide to order each drink individually, one at a a time…

“Glass of house white please”

*Pours it and gives it to customer*

“Another one of those please”

*Pours it and gives it to customer, begrudgingly*

‘Oh, Karen wants one too? Best make it another mate’

*Resists urge to throw bottle of wine through the window*

The Bargain Hunters
The bar is busy, you’ve just served them a fairly large round consisting of a few pints, couple of vodkas and a handful of shots, they’ve already had a few too many so they pluck up the courage to ask for some money off their round. Unfortunately mate I don’t set the prices, nor do I have the authority to create a special deal just for your round. Full price, please, sir.

The ones who used to be bartenders
Ah, these people are great. These are the people who once upon a time worked a few shifts in their local pub and now they want to pass on their expertise to you, the bartender currently serving them, with advice on how to serve a drink. Yes, we know how to pour a Guinness and yes, we know what liquors go into that B-52 shot. Your basic bar knowledge isn’t impressing me or your new colleagues!

The money wavers
Yes, we have eyes and yes, we are aware that you possess the currency in which you can use to purchase a beverage. Waving it frantically in front of me whilst I’m serving customers who are ahead of you in the queue, however, will only result in you being pushed further down the queue. Slip that note back into your pocket at wait like a normal human being. This happens a lot at Christmas, usually from the Seasonal Drinkers who aren’t used to queuing up in a busy bar.

Just keep reminding yourself that this is going to be your last job before the daunting task post-graduate job hunting! Good luck this Christmas!

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