Tonight you're feeling adventurous so you're going to check out a bar you've never been to. As you approach the door, you start getting some weird vibes. Is this a college bar?

signs college bar

While we all love to reminisce about our college days, all of your drunken escapades have probably made you forget what a college bar is really like. If you’re not sure what you’re in for before it’s too late, here are 5 dead giveaways that you’re at a college bar.


1. Happy Hour Specials for Amateurs


The list of drinks on the happy hour specials (along with the lack of fancy glassware) is almost a dead giveaway that you’re at a college bar. Let’s face it: college kids aren’t the most sophisticated drinkers so to them any drink that gets them wasted is more than good enough. Rum and Coke, Screwdriver, Jungle Juice, Fireball, and Jäger bombs are pretty much par for the course. But if you can stomach well drinks, what’s not to love about getting your drink on for $5?



2. Bros on Bros on Bros


If there are groups of rowdy Bros slamming down shot glasses on the bar and they're already shit-faced even though it's only 6 pm, it's almost guaranteed that you're at a college bar. And if you're still not sure, just check to see if they're drinking Tequila. If the answer is ‘yes’ and you’re not ready to bounce yet, here’s a pro tip. Make sure to leave enough room for them to do their thing because they take any “oohhhh shit…” song, like LMFAO's 'Shots', literally.


3. It’s Going Down While You’re In Line


Another thing that Bros are well-known for is fighting at the bar. So if you see people getting thrown out for being too drunk as you’re going in, that’s a good sign that you’re in for a night at a college bar. Another telltale sign is that the bouncer is eyeing people’s IDs with the flashlight way too hard as you watch them squirm in line hoping that their fakes are good enough to get them in.


4. Awkward PDA


There's PDA and then there's the "OMG, do you guys realize that you're in public?" If you see couples doing way too much right in the middle of the bar, you're probably in a bar packed with horny college students. Unfortunately, after some people have had enough $5 drinks, virtually anything goes.



5. You’re the Creepy Older Guy or Gal


If you’re older than almost everyone in the bar, even by just a few years, there’s a good chance that you’re actually the creepy oldie and everyone’s wondering why you’re there. Scope out the crowd. Does everyone seem to be the same age except for you? Don’t feel ashamed now. Just accept the fact that you’re at a college bar! 


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When you're at a bar, you shouldn't hide in the corner! Starting a conversation can lead to new friends, a great date and so much more. 


killer conversation starters


Don't know where to begin? These conversation starters will make everything fun when hanging out at the bar.


1. Hey! You know what?


What can be better than grabbing someone's attention? Peak one’s curiosity! It's a great way to add suspense to everything you're going to say after that. This simple line is an open-ended question, which is perfect for leading the way into what you can say next.

Besides, even if you don't have anything else to say after the first phrase, having a 20-second conversation with a person at a bar makes it easy to go over and talk to that person again later.



2. Hey, can you give me some advice on...?


This is a great conversation starter with the opposite gender if you're new to this game and just trying to build your confidence. There is nothing sexual in this line but it is a great opportunity to start a conversation without looking creepy or weird. This is just one of many indirect openers and it makes the other person feel like their opinion matters and you're ready to listen to them.


3. Have you tried this drink yet?


With this line, you're just being ‘cool’ and appearing to be friendly, confident, and social. There is nothing in this phrase that can cause negative reactions; even better, you’re providing an opportunity for someone else to continue a conversation by asking their advice.

As long as you say this in a friendly manner, most people will be happy to open a conversation. Likewise, some people at a bar can also feel unsure of themselves when approached by a stranger, so if you're saying it in a relaxed, confident way, they will begin to open up as well.



4. That drink looks cool, what is it?


When you're at a bar, there’s usually a lot going on around you and you can always comment on the drink to start a conversation. You will find many people with cocktails and this simple, yet playful phrase is a great way to show that you're a friendly person who wants to have fun with people. Particularly at a bar, when you can tease someone, it really makes you stand out from the crowd.

Keep in mind that starting and keeping the conversation going isn't rocket science, so keep it fun and simple. Usually, a question with an open answer is the best conversation starter; drawing people to you out of inquisitiveness. Present yourself with confidence and a friendly smile and you will appear as a playful and fun person.

These are suggestions that are guaranteed to work when you want to approach someone and start a conversation at a bar. Feel free to play around with these lines and your own openers will naturally appear. Now, you're prepared and can impress people with your confidence. Good luck!

Want to connect with people at the bar in a whole new way? Download the BOTY App on iTunes or Google Play for free!



BOTY is a great new app that connects patrons with bartenders in a brand new way and it's changing the image of the bar.


Every wonder why people leave big tips? Bars are a big deal all around the world. I personally love them because they are literally everywhere. I have been to Shanghai, Japan, Australia and all through Europe. And every country has a local bar where everyone loves to visit.

And depending on the culture most people leave bartenders with a decent-sized tip. You may wonder why that is. Here are a few reasons why people tip well when it comes to bartenders. 


People Leave Big Tips

Bartending: More Than Just Serving Drinks


Therapy Sessions


Bartenders are notorious for being great listeners and they hear it all. Bartenders spend a good amount of their time making sure you are ok and listening to any problems you may have. Think of it as therapy session that costs way less and comes with booze.  By the end of your time at the bar, you have spilled your guts out to this stranger.  They kept your glass filled and offered you advice so the least you can do is leave them a generous tip.


It's Madness


Bartenders have to juggle multiple tasks and know a lot of different things all at once.  They must understand how to think on their feet and how to concoct thousands of delicious drinks. If you order more than one drink and all are different. It is going to take your bartender some skills to be able to measure and mix your drink properly in a timely manner.

If the bar runs out of a certain ingredient, bartenders must know of similar drinks to create. They have to determine what you may enjoy or perhaps create something on their own. You should reward the bartender for thinking outside the box while tending to your needs through all the madness.


Better Customer Service


When things get hectic, the bartender has to stay calm and focus in order to maintain control of the bar. Because of this, your drink could take longer especially if you are not a good tipper. Bartenders have to pay bills and the best way to do so is to reward loyal customers and ones who tip really well.

Bartenders remember good tippers and watch out for you even if things become frantic. Not only will they keep an eye on you, they’ll tell the other bartenders to make sure they do the same. People like to be treated with VIP service. That's why people pay for first class or spend extra money to skip the line at the club. An extra tip here and there will get you faster service. Try it!!


Extra Security 


If you are a regular, you will get to know the bartenders and they will get to know you. Over time the bartenders tend to act like friends who help to protect you in certain situations. There have been a couple of times when I have visited my favorite pub and a few intoxicated people got too friendly and aggressive with me. The bartenders all knew me there and immediately diffused the situation. Suffice to say they all received a large tip that night as a show of my gratitude. You may tip a little more for some extra security.




The holidays are an ideal time for big tips to happen. People feel overly generous and want to do something nice for someone. Large tips can be seen as charity and tipping a bartender more can be a quick way to do it. At times, people want to express a sense of satisfaction and leaving a nice tip feels just as good to you as the person who receives it. You spend a good amount of your time at the bar, and over time you get comfortable with the bartender.  Leaving a big tip to the local bartender makes you feel like you are doing a good deed and helping out members of your community.  

People are often motivated to tip extra due to social pressures and wanting to be viewed as big-hearted. Bartenders work long hours and do it all with a smile on their face while providing the type of service that you don’t receive anywhere else. Good bartenders have a way of making you feel like things will be alright. For this reason many people leave big tips as a way of thanking bartenders for their commitment and service.

Tips for Tipping the Bartender



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What are some ways to help bartenders recuperate in the new year?

The holidays are often less than restful for us bartenders and servers.  Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s we often work our longest, busiest shifts of the year when most others are relaxing and enjoying vacation days.  


Bartenders Recuperate Holidays

Holiday Gifts Bartenders Love


While it’s great to be making extra money at a time when others are just spending it, it’s hard on our bodies and minds.  Read on for some tips on getting back to normal after this stressful season.


Set Aside Time for Yourself


It’s hard to explain to family and friends why you can’t attend parties or come home for the holidays.  So, the rare days off we do have during this time are usually spent running from place to place trying to see as many people as humanly possible.  

While this is important, it’s equally important that you set aside time to do the things you love to do. Maybe that’s heading to your favorite coffee shop with a good book or spending some quality time with Netflix. Whatever it is, get on it.



Get a Massage


Take some of that extra money and treat yourself to a massage.  Not only is it relaxing but it’s something us in the service industry should be doing regularly.  It is well know that massages help with ailments like back and neck pain, but it can also ease insomnia, anxiety, and a host of other issues both mental and physical.  

7 Tips to Survive Busy Nights Bartending


Get Some New Shoes


The New Year is a perfect time to throw out those raggedy old sneakers you’ve been wearing at work (you know the ones).  When your shoes get worn down they stop providing you with the support you need.  Proper footwear is imperative for service industry workers and neglecting this can lead to negative effects you’ll feel in your whole body.


Take a Vacation


While many people have the holidays to look forward to throughout the year, bartenders and servers don’t always view them with the same excited anticipation.  Instead, think about planning a trip somewhere you’ve always wanted to go.  Even taking the smallest step towards a personal goal of any kind can relieve the midwinter doldrums.





Bartenders Recuperate Holidays

Giving back to your community is especially important during the holidays when many families struggle and it has the added bonus of putting our own problems into perspective.

Tell us how you take care of yourself after the holidays!


Want to connect with people at the bar in a whole new way? Download the BOTY App on iTunes or Google Play for free!


You are looking to have an enjoyable time at your local bar. The best times typically involve good customer service.  A good bartender tip is to know it's all about the cash.


bartender tip cash is king


Bartenders know nothing about you when you first meet. The only thing they are likely to remember are how much you tipped them (if you did) and what you ordered.  

If you don't tip, chances are they won’t have fond memories of you. Bartenders determine who gets priority by those helping them earn a living. While your having fun at the bar, bartenders are working to pay the bills. The best way for you to get their attention is by taking care of them.

Check out a few things to remember when your at the bar.



Bartender Tip: Make sure they see you


If you just leave your tip on the table after they gave you your order, you never gave the bartender/customer relationship time to develop. And if they are busy, chances are they will have no idea who left the tip.

Give them a tip as soon as you order. This way, they know where it was coming from and are more likely to pay attention to you once the bar gets busy.

Bartender Tip: Provide Gratuity in Cash


Even if you plan to tip well when closing out your credit card tab, remember that bartenders don’t know that. You just spent your entire time at the bar not giving the bartender any assurances that you are not cheap and plan to tip well.

A good strategy is to pay for your first few drinks in cash. Even if you plan to use a credit card to pay the entirety of the bill. This shows the bartender you appreciate them and their service.  

Be mindful, it’s not always the same bartenders taking care of the same individual. Oftentimes credit card tips end up being split amongst all the bartenders during that shift. So even if you tip well, it won’t matter to that particular bartender since they only get a part of that tip. Cash may be split too, but at least they will be able to take home those tips the same day.  


Bartender Tip: Designate One Person to Buy Drinks


Don’t confuse the bartender. If you’re with a group, try to assign one person in particular to buy the drinks. The bartender probably has no clue who you’re with. They aren’t going to acknowledge you as being with your friend who just tipped them 10 minutes ago.  

If you plan to rotate who takes care of the drinks in any given outing, be sure to introduce the “new person.” The bartender need to know your friends of friends who tipped well last time. As time goes on, the bartender will eventually remember your group and know they can count on you all as reliable customers for bartender tips. This ensures that all of you get well taken care of by that bartender whenever you are out.  



Bartender Tip: Cash is King


Remember when you tip via credit card, that income is taxable and the bartenders don’t make as much. Understand they may not be able to take the tips home for the night. And when you mess with a bartender’s money, that takes the excitement and fun out of the job. If you are headed to the bar, take some cash and look forward to having a better time out.


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Are you unsure when to stop serving drinks?

If you are a bartender, you will come across some interesting people who are pretty difficult to deal with.  You have the customers that will repeat things over and over to the point that it becomes extremely annoying. Then you have those who will expect you to read their mind, and then get mad at your drink recommendation.  


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

5 Things to Look for During Bartender Training


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.  

Things Bartenders and Servers Should Know About Taxes 


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Bartenders aren’t just your average folks. Anyone who can put up with that much insanity on a daily basis must be pretty damn powerful, right? Kind of like God. 


Bartenders are like god


Allow me to be clearer: Bartenders aren’t all-mighty deities whose hobbies consist of floating in the sky, sleeping with their sister and chucking magical lightning bolts at mountain-sized monsters (I’m looking at you, Zeus).

But you know what bartenders are? Patient. Knowledgeable. Honest. Creative. And goddamn mystical.

Here are eight ways bartenders are just like God:


1. Bartenders are all-knowing like God.



Ask your bartender anything about drinks, nightlife or that weird guy trying to hit on you and they’ll give you the honest-to-God (pun!) answer you’re looking for. They know everything there is to know about people and problems. And the drunker you are, the more unsettlingly impressive their omniscience becomes.



2. Bartenders are creators.



God is said to have created the universe in six days, but bartenders can create far-more-elaborate concoctions in, get this, less than five minutes. The ingredients are basically the same, too: You got your water and your forbidden fruits and a load of stuff on the rocks (OK, promise, no more terrible puns).


3. They look out for you. 


If you’ve ever been a tad too drunk and tried to order another drink, your bartender probably said something like, “Dude, I’m gonna have to cut you off now.” And just like God or a guardian angel, your bartender’s got your back. While some bartenders may be annoyed by your antics, most care deeply about your well-being—or at least enough to know it definitely ain’t your time to die.


4. They talk to you when you’re feeling down. 



Some people turn to God during a crappy day; others head to the bar to discuss their innermost problems with a local bartender. At least with bartenders, you know they’re there to give you some one-on-one attention and relevant advice. Poor God, on the other hand, has to listen to a billion prayers at once.


5. You can confess your sins to them.


Bars don’t look a thing like confessionals, but they’ve likely witnessed more confessions than even the oldest of Catholic churches. Instead of holing yourself up in a claustrophobic box, spill your guts at a bar. Trust me, bartenders have heard it all. Listening to people’s regrets is pretty much written in their job description.


6. They have many followers.


On Twitter, that is.  And people will travel all across town to see them. Yes bartenders have plenty of followers.


7. They're always in the same place doing the same old stuff. 


Kind of like how gods have been incessantly depicted bopping around the clouds for the past few thousand years, bartenders are always exactly where you expect them to be—slouched behind a bar, mixing drinks and gossiping about that weird guy who tried to hit on you earlier.


8. They're wrathful. 


Whatever you do, don’t get on your bartender’s bad side. Whether you’re a professional asshole or are simply dealing with a typical bad day, bartenders aren’t required to take crap from anyone, and that most certainly includes you. If you continue your shitty behavior, expect some pretty extreme punishment, Moses-style. Yep—I’m talking permanent exile.


Want to connect with people at your bar in a whole new way? Download the BOTY App on iTunes or Google Play for free!



There are several things bartenders can teach you.

It’s been one of those days where all you want to do is have a drink. But unlike George Thorogood’s famous song, you don’t feel like ‘drinking alone.’  So instead you make your way over to your favorite bar where the bartenders know your name. And can tell by the expression on your face exactly what you need.


Bartenders Can Teach


Before you even manage to sit, there’s a drink waiting for you and a smile on the face of the bartender. You take a sip and suddenly things fall into place. And all is right with the world once again.  This is what I love about bars.

Being in my mid-twenties I have visited my fair share of bars and have spoken to many bartenders from all over the world.  I have come to realize that bartenders can unknowingly teach you valuable lessons about life.


1. Bartenders Can Teach about Alcohol


Bartenders are obviously exposed to the world of liquor at many different levels. If you ever have a question about any type of alcohol or drink, the best person to ask is a seasoned bartender.  They can tell you about the best liquors and what to avoid.  



2. Bartenders Can Teach about Limits


Dealing with intoxicated people comes with the territory of the job.  As a bartender gains experience on they job, they become excellent at determining what someone’s limit is. This is great for anyone to learn in order to keep themselves and their friends safe from alcohol poisoning and getting themselves out of trouble.


3. Diffusing


There are always going to be those incidences where bartenders are going to have to diffuse a situation between two patrons. Bartenders will rarely use physical force for this, only if necessary and more commonly use different verbal methods to rein the situation under control.


4. Storytelling


If you are a writer or someone who wants to be able to learn how to tell a great story, ask a bartender to tell you one. You cannot work in a bar and not have some juicy tales to spill, and for some reason bartenders just have the charisma that allows them to be exceptional storytellers.  Maybe it’s the drinks.  


5. Patience


If patience is a virtue then bartenders are the holy saints of it. In a bar you deal with people from all walks of life. And while that makes for an interesting work environment, it can also be pretty frustrating. There are always going to be those nasty customers who are rude, disrespectful and very critical right from the start and a bartender has to take it all while providing good service and timely drinks.


6. Understanding People


Bartending is one part providing and creating drinks and one part people watching. If you work in a bar long enough, you will figure out someone from the moment they step through the door.



7. Maintaining Stamina


People don’t think that bartending is a physically demanding job and they are completely wrong. You are standing/running around for up to 12 hours shifts with barely any breaks. Bartenders definitely know some tricks of the trade when it comes to keeping their stamina.


Bartenders Can Teach


Next time you go to a bar don’t just think of your bartender as someone who lives to serve you. Think of them as a teacher, a Jedi perhaps, who can teach you some valuable life lessons.


Want to connect with people at your bar in a whole new way? Download the BOTY App on iTunes or Google Play for free!



Why is it so hard saving when your entire income is cash? You’d think it would be easier when you can physically see all your hard earned dough disappearing. And yet, it's infinitely harder to save when you're taking home your salary every night instead of twice a month.


Bartender Saving Saving Saving Tricks Bartender Saving Tricks


We get it, that's why we've rounded up some tricks we think will help you keep some of that green.


Deposit That Money!


First things first, you can never save if you don't actually put your money, or most of it, in the damn bank!  It’s very hard to keep track of what you're accumulating week to week when there's a constant two-way flow of cash out of your wallet.

So, we recommend designating one day a week to count up and deposit all of your money.  My "week" ends on a Tuesday.  So every Tuesday I go down to the office and count up everything I've made that week.  Then I go right to the ATM and deposit it!  By doing this consistently, you’ll actually know how much you’re making for once.  The first step to saving really is keeping track!



Pay Yourself First


You may have heard your mom tell you this before, but it really works.  Choose one bill every month, like a credit card payment.  Then, every time you pay that bill, transfer the same amount as that payment into your savings account.  After a while, this starts to add up.  This method is also a good way to save for something specific, like a vacation. It's relatively painless since you're already doling out some cash, so why not feed your own piggy bank at the same time?



Be Realistic and Relax


When I started my current job I decided to put $100 a week into savings.  I wanted to see the numbers climb quickly, but it just wasn't doable.  So, I bumped it down to $75, giving me an extra $200 as a cushion for the month.  And, if on the last day I still had that money, I put it into savings.  What we mean by relax is, don’t put too much pressure on yourself.  The most important thing is that you save consistently.  It will start to accumulate; you just have to give it time.



Buy That Coffee, But Save At the Same Time



Sometimes it’s life's little luxuries that get you through the day.  If you look forward to that double mocha frappe every afternoon, and if you can truly afford it, get it!  Then, transfer the same amount that coffee cost you into savings.  Or, put $3 into a separate part of your wallet or an envelope and watch the money pile up.  It may not seem like a lot, but at the end of the year, you could find yourself with upwards of $1000 in extra savings!



Change Your Mindset Around Money and Saving


Whenever I spend money on something frivolous, like a taxi home because I'm feeling lazy, I try to think of that expense in different terms. For instance, you may not think twice about spending that $20 on a cab three times a week, but you wouldn't go to H&M and buy twelve new T-shirts a month would you?  While the goal isn't to shame yourself, sometimes we all need a bit of perspective.



Be Consistent about Saving


We know that this can be nearly impossible when you depend on tips, but it can be done. You may have to set a slightly lower number than you originally would have liked to, in order to account for slow weeks, but if you save the same amount every week, or even every month, you'll be on your way to building a solid little nest egg.  Knowing you're secure is truly the best feeling.


Want to connect with people at your bar in a whole new way? Download the BOTY App on iTunes or Google Play for free!


Everyone thinks being a bartender is all about fast cash, and a lot of it is. But, when the IRS comes calling, we pay and we pay big.


Bartenders and Taxes


For many of us, April 15 th looms like a giant question mark in our minds.

What will we owe? Will our tax bill wipe out our (sometimes measly) savings accounts?

The thing is, bartenders and servers rely almost solely on their tips, often all of which are received in cash. Our checks are then taxed and depending on how much of your tips your employer is claiming, they can amount to literally nothing. I’m talking voided checks or or ones worth pennies.

So, to help all those hospitality workers out there, here are some things you should know about your taxes.




What I Should Report?


bartender taxes


Most likely your employer is reporting your tips for you and taking the requisite taxes out of your hourly paycheck.  However, your stingy hourly rate may not be enough to cover the taxes on your tips.  This is why most of us owe the tax man come filing time.

Technically you should be reporting all of your tips, cash and credit card.  Some restaurants fudge this information as conventional wisdom has it that the IRS assumes you’re only making 8% of your sales in tips. However, this isn’t exactly the case. Following this advice could leave you at risk for an audit, especially if you’re claiming something below this threshold.

It is always wise to claim all of your tips; you’ll be thankful later when you’re not getting audited. Here is the IRS page about tip reporting.


What Can I Write Off?


bartender server taxes


Tip Outs

One major piece of advice we have for tipped workers is to keep careful track of what you’re tipping out to busboys, service bartenders, etc.  If this isn’t being factored into how your employer claims your income, you could end up owing more then you should.  You aren’t required to claim money you didn’t receive. So, have a chat with your manager about whether they’re claiming your income before or after your tip outs.

Your Uniform

If your employer doesn’t reimburse you for uniforms and shoes, you can and should write them off. Be sure to keep all of your receipts just in case.  If you buy your uniforms from your restaurant or bar, just ask them to make you out a simple receipt.  As long as they are required for the job and unsuitable to be worn outside of work (I’m looking at you, khaki Polos), you can write them off.

Any Extra Training or Classes

Did you have to get a food handler’s certificate or become TIPS certified to keep your job?  If so, save those receipts and write those babies off!

Credit Card Processing Fees

Although rare, if your owner is passing on the cost of accepting credit cards to you, you can write off the processing fees as an expense when you file your taxes.  Consult the IRS or a tax professional for more information on write-offs.


My Paycheck is Confusing, Help Me


bartender taxes server taxes


Firstly, find out what tax bracket you fall into by looking at your paycheck and extrapolating it for the entire year.  While this may vary, it should give you a good idea of how much you’ll be claiming. Remember, you’re looking at your “Total Pay”, not your “Net Pay” which is only what you’re taking home in your check.

Next, check out the tax rates in your area since you’re expected to pay the Federal government as well as the state.  This will help you understand what percentage of your income the IRS expects you to pay.

There are plenty of resources and tax calculators to help you out with this. While we don’t recommend taking these as gospel truth, it’s really nice to know the general amount you need to be socking away for taxes. If you often get voided checks from your establishment, there may be a shortfall. This means you will owe money because your hourly rate is not enough to cover the taxes on your tips.





How Should I Budget for Taxes?


bartender taxes server taxes


The general rule of thumb is to allocate 10-15% of what your total pay is every week for taxes.  If you get into the habit of doing this, and placing it into a separate account, you won’t even miss that money.  Then when it’s time to pay up, you have what you need (hopefully) ready to go.  While this is obviously not foolproof, it’s a good start and if you have money left over after paying the IRS, hallelujah!

We hope this article helps you figure everything out. However, we are neither lawyers nor tax accountants so you should always seek professional advice if you have any questions about your taxes.



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