How to Make More Tips as a Bartender

If you're a bartender and you enjoy your job and being around people, you'll make more tips as a bartender than the person who comes to work, puts his hours in and mixes a good drink. Get to know your customers, make every customer feel special and let them know you're happy to see them. You want your customers to come back to see you again and again. The more your customers like you, and the happier they are with your service, the bigger and better your tips.


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    Keep your bar surface, cocktail glasses, shakers and preparation area clean and free from spills and other debris. A clean bar is just as important as good service.
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    Acknowledge your customers as they approach the bar. If you're waiting on another customer, smile at the new or returning customers or nod a greeting.
    • Walk over to greet your customer as soon as possible. If your customer is a regular, be sure to address him by name. Customers feel welcome, liked and important when you do this.
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    Offer your regulars their usual cocktail or drink, served exactly the way they like it. You may score a bigger tip if you remember details, such as whether a customer prefers a twist over a lemon wedge, no ice or a splash of soda in a cocktail.
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    Be efficient when waiting on customers, mixing drinks and operating the cash register. The majority of a bartender's income comes from tips, so good customer service skills are essential.
    • If a customer has to wait more than a couple of minutes for service, it can have a negative impact on your tip. The customer may also decide not to visit your bar again.
    • Keep your customer's glass full. When you notice an empty glass, ask your customer whether he would like another drink.
    • Be sure to garnish all drinks, unless you know the customer does not like garnish. If you can remember whether a customer prefers a lime, lemon, olive or celery, you may increase your bar-tending tip.
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    Conjure up a special drink for an indecisive customer. This is a great way to make a new friend and earn a better tip.
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    Feel your customers out. Some customers like to have fun. They may respond well to jokes, minor flirtations or casual conversations. Others prefer to sit and drink quietly.
    • Listen when your customers are upset or unhappy and want to talk but don't get involved. Politely excuse yourself when necessary to wait on other customers. You want to be sure you don't neglect anyone.
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    Have fun, laugh and enjoy your time at work. Be creative, tell a good joke or do a magic trick when time permits. You won't make more tips by just mixing drinks.


  • If you have a difficult time remembering names, repeat the customer's name when introduced.
  • Talk to the owner about having some happy hour specials. This will draw more business and save the customer money, which may lead to more tips.
  • Keep a bartender's handbook available to refer to when necessary.
  • If a regular asks for a specific wine or liqueur on more than 1 occasion and you don't normally stock the item, see whether you can order a bottle to keep on hand for the next time he is in.


  • Never eavesdrop. Even though you may hear a conversation, pretend that you don't.

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Categories: Hospitality