Bar Etiquette – mind your P’s and Q’s

Shut down is around the corner, trips and outings have been booked and you’re ready for some time to let loose and relax. The problem is when we’re out of our local hangouts and watering holes, we tend to also lose our inhibitions and sometimes act totally out of character.

Now, we’re Thirst Bar Services – we’re not your university lecturer warning you about copywriting infringements on your next assignment. We are, however, experienced bar professionals and have a couple of things to remind you about while indulging in the local nightlife and activities of your holiday destination:

Respect the venue

Popular venues are expecting holiday goers and different cultures flooding their establishments. What they’re not expecting you to do is:

  • Vandalise their property
  • Steal their merchandise
  • Defame the exterior
  • Park your bike or scooter in a car-width parking bay

Consider other customers

When we’re away we feel totally invincible because we know we never have to see the locals again. We know you want your drink at the bar first or the table that has a reserved sign on it, but disrespecting other patrons really kills the vibe and makes the experience unpleasant for everyone.


  • They are paying customers too
  • There is a right way about going about things and dealing with allegations
  • You won’t impress your friends or significant other by getting into a fight – by them a drink if you’re looking to impress them
  • You may actually see them again #awkward

Be empathetic toward the staff

Holiday season demands long shifts, little sleep and small returns for some staff. Also, remember that because they’re working – they’re not on holiday! Your experience will be elevated if you treat the staff of an establishment with extreme respect and gratitude.

A little bit of emotional intelligence goes a long way here as well. If your waiter/waitress isn’t beaming for the entire duration of your sitting, consider that they’ve probably been working a long shift and have had to deal with a few customers that you are trying very hard not to turn into.

For the most pleasant interaction with the staff of an establishment:

  • Greet them, and remember their name
  • Say please and thank you
  • Be careful of your non-verbal communication – not only is it sometimes extremely powerful, but it’s also seen by everyone else.
  • Don’t over complicate the menu
  • Tip accordingly

General bar etiquette

If the venue has hired a mobile bar service – like Thirst, there are a couple things you need to consider:

  1. The bar has been specifically chosen for the venue and the event to match the theme and atmosphere exactly
  2. The bar is kitted out with the perfect offering and variety for as requested by the organisers. This implies that there is generally a set drinks menu as well
  3. The staff working behind the bar are highly trained and skilled professionals and should be treated as such
  4. They’ve been booked to be there for a limited amount of time
  5. The bartenders are charismatic and enjoy a bit of banter
  6. The bartenders want you to take photos of them and of their creations!

Whether the venue has hired a bar or not, there is some general bar etiquette to be conscious of:

  • There are loads of people waiting for their drinks. Know what you want, place your order and move on
  • Have your payment method ready – better yet, show the bartender you’re ready to order and pay
  • Remember that you are dealing with trained professionals
  • Don’t hit the bar to get attention
  • Move your conversation to a table or to the seated section of the bar
  • No one will find you funny or entertaining if you get behind the bar

If you’re a business owner of a well-known establishment which welcomes loads of holiday-goers, we’d love to hear what you would say to customers, if you could.

Or, if you’d rather just share this post to your social pages we’re certain they would get the message 😉


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