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Thread: Sitting at the bar when you don't drink?

  1. #11
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    I don't think bartenders care if you don't buy anything, as long as you tip them. They don't care much for filling the owner's pockets - plenty of them steal beaucoup shots. After all, what if you aren't hungry and you don't drink?


    If you don't tip them, they'll think you're a stingy bastard.


  2. #12
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    Not sure if this thread was prompted by this recent Serious Eats article and most of you have seen it, but here is one bartender's (polarizing) take on it: http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2011/0...of-drinks.html


  3. #13
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    The bartender in that story sounds like a straight up ass. If I were in the customer's position I would be calling over the manager. I've gotten only water at a bar before and tipped - the bartender there told me tipping for water is entirely unnecessary. It was a busy night and people were all around... Does the bartender in the story want everyone to get drunk and then drive home?


    I guess this negates the whole thing about bartenders not caring what you get as long as you tip. Granted it doesn't say if the customer tipped in that story or not. It isn't brought up, so I'm assuming it didn't matter.


    In either case, always tip your bartender.


  4. #14
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    Albert, I don't think bartenders truly care much if the house makes money.


    My take is, I'm putting money on the counter, it's your choice what to do with it. If you take it all for yourself as a tip, don't complain about the house not getting money. You will probably need to tip much more as a teetoler than as a drinker, because your drink is free.


  5. #15
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    I read that article and all the comments. I sympathize with owners of bars, coffee shops, cafes, etc. People come to these places to unwind at their own pace, and the only way these businesses make money is on snacks and drinks. One guy can drink water at a bar. Some girl can use the wifi on her MacBook and only order one house coffee while she spreads out across an entire couch / table. Too many of these people and your place is packed yet generating less revenue.


    Slightly different: I've been in restaurants that play club music and want to turn tables as fast as possible. The staff is literally watching you eat and the check comes before you can ask for dessert. I rarely go to these places; usually the food is overpriced and you're paying for ambiance. In my opinion, if the place is packed to the gills and the owners are forcing people out, then they're not charging enough. But, "turn & burn" is a different business model, like it or not.


    What is the acceptable amount of time that you should stay with respect to the amount of money you spend there? I'm guessing owners and patrons use a different scale. If owners of these places made it public (IE 1 drink / hour minimum) would they get more or less business?

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  6. #16
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    Whoa, FUCK that bartender who wrote that article. "But I have a responsibility to the business, and cannot sacrifice the experience of people who want to actually buy things so that you and your friends can finish your conversation."


    Don't forget that these guys finishing their conversation DID still buy drinks from you, douchebag. Your responsibility is not to the business--it's to the customers. Unless you own the place, I guess.


  7. #17
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    hey guys, thanks for all the responses. Yeah, I don't intend to be "that guy" who just sits at the bar and doesn't order anything or tip. I always grab a bite or a non alcoholic drink and tip (I think pretty well) for however long I'm there. Still though, I've always felt a bit uncomfortable there. And yeah, I feel like I have had a few encounters with "those" types of bartenders, oh well. Thanks though for the input...puts my mind at ease and now I'll feel a bit more natural and comfortable grabbing a bite and watching a game!


  8. #18
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    I know this is a bit of thread necromancy, but my thoughts on this are: if it's busy, and you're taking up better-paying/tipping-alcoholic-drink-ordering-space, tip accordingly. if space isn't at a premium, you can tip less, down to a certain level. I'm talking, tipping up to 100%-200% of soda cost if you got a lot of refills and ordered nothing while sitting there for an hour and a half, down to tipping 20% on whole tab if you ordered food and sat there for an hour.


  9. #19
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    I got banished from a bar stool at a coffee shop/hipster bar last week for reading something on my netbook while drinking tea. It was a week night and space wasn't exactly a hot commodity, so I was surprised that the bartender bothered. I think that left about 3 seats occupied at the bar and definitely subtracted from her tip. I wouldn't have sat there if it was busy, of course.


    In answer to one of YackoYak's questions, I would under no circumstances frequent a place that had a minimum amount to purchase in order to stay. Anyway, a regular who orders a tea and sits there for 3 hours a few times a week is probably bringing in other business via friends who come to hang out with them and by being friendly with other patrons, creating a better atmosphere.


  10. #20
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    ^ That's the real thing. There's one coffee shop I love to frequent because I love sitting outside and shootin' the shit with the old ladies there. If it weren't for them, I'd never go.


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