bad bartending habits

We all would like to think that we are the best bartenders in the world and that we never make any mistakes or have any bad bartending habits. However, we are human and human nature is to not be perfect. There are several bad habits that bartenders should avoid.

Bad Bartending Habits


Wasting Product 

One of the biggest bad habits is wasting products. Bartenders tend to do this in a variety of ways. For instance running the tap for a few seconds before putting a glass under it or giving out extra garnishes. It’s important to try to manage how much you waste. Wasted products hurts revenues for the establishment so be mindful of what you give out. After all, if you save your boss money by limiting waste, he will be happy and so will you.


Over-serving customers with alcohol doesn’t help establishment revenues and can actually be dangerous for customers. Be sure to pay attention to how much you serve and how often. If they seem to be getting too intoxicated you have to be the responsible bartender and cut them off.  And if anyone does get too intoxicated, be sure to help them find a safe way home by calling them an Uber or a taxi.  You could be liable if you allow them to drive home drunk and an accident occurs.

Not Offering Food Or Appetizers

Offering food to your customers not only generates more income for the establishment, it also makes sure that your customers do not drink on an empty stomach. If you aren’t asking every customer if they would like to see a menu, you truly are not meeting all the requirements of your profession.

Paying More Attention To Friends Or Certain Customers

People can tell when you are ignoring them and not giving them enough attention. It is never okay to ignore a customer or forgot why you are there. Your job is to serve everyone and take care of their needs. In doing so, you will generate more income and you will build repeat customers. You never know which customers will become ‘regular’ so it’s key to treat all your customers the same.

Acting Inappropriately 

We all act inappropriately at times. However, in the workplace, there is no place for that behavior. Bartenders can act inappropriately by over-flirting and only giving certain customers free drinks. It’s very important to watch the language and the gestures being used.  Bars are fun atmospheres where you maybe able to get away with some inappropriate behavior, but don’t forget this is still your place of work and their is a level of professionalism that needs to be upheld.

Not Following Your Work Schedule

An occasional sick day or requested time off is normal in any career. However, if you are always coming in late, calling in sick or leaving early, don’t expect that you will have a job for too long. When you don’t work your given schedule you are forcing others to have to work it. This will create problems with other bartenders, servers and your management staff.  And keep in mind your favorite customers will be checking in for you so if you are not there, you lose their trust and their money.  In order to keep your job and reputation, come to work on time and when you are scheduled.

Not Using A Bar Recipe Accurately

Bartenders tend to mix a lot of drinks. It’s great if you have many of these recipes memorized, but you won’t know all especially just starting out.  Make sure you know how to follow a recipe in order to make a drink properly. Be sure to measure accurately and don’t try to put your own spin on a drink you have never made before. This could end up badly.

If you minimize your bad work habits and learn good, productive habits you will impress your managers and your customers will love you. When in doubt, always remain professional and courteous.


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