Look, we’ve all been through this scenario before: we’re out at the bar, it’s slam packed and there is an endless line at the bar. We finally get to the front and there’s the bartender not noticing you. In fact, it almost feels like they are looking past you or through you like you’re made of glass. First, you start questioning if you look cheap or if you look ugly or if you look like you are not worthy of attention but it’s probably none of those things.
Generally, the bartender has a routine and has a system of serving and there’s nothing you can do to change it. Belligerently yelling at them or belittling them will get you nothing more than dirty looks, a longer wait or kicked out of the bar so don’t do that. However, here are some tips to get to the front and get noticed and get served faster!
- Slip-N-Slide Method – No, this doesn’t mean hose down the floor and slide to the front. It means you slide between people when they’re not paying attention. You start at the back and mozy your way through the crowd until you end up one or two people behind the next person being served. It’s really all about space. Slide into the space you fit best and find your way to the front. Most people won’t notice and if they do they’re a jerk.
- Bus Boy – Pretend to be a bus boy. Grab two empty glasses and hold them about shoulder height and make your way toward the bar. This also works if there is some liquid in the glasses so people will think you may spill on them. Elbows high, glasses up and move toward the bar like you own the place. Watch the crowd part like the Red Sea.
- Familiar Face – Keep going back to the same bartender. (After a good tip.) The bartender will likely recognize you and that kind of recognition gets you a two person pardon. You’re going to be 2nd or 3rd in line and they’re gonna give you the point and nod. They’ll serve you up, you reach past the people in front and boom shaka laka. You’re headed back to your table with drinks in hand.
- Eye Contact – Making eye contact with the bartender is a good way to make them understand your desire to tip and buy a drink. Eye contact can go a long way as long as you don’t get creepy. The eye contact will create a relationship whether the bartender wants to admit it or not and they’ll maybe feel bad if you are waiting too long.
- Make Friends – I’m not talking Facebook friends, I’m talking REAL friends. Be cool with the gal or guy in front of you at the bar and strike up a quick conversation. When they get closer to the bar, hand them your cash and ask them to buy you a drink with your money. It’s called consolidation!
Now that you have a guideline to getting a drink a crowded bar, go out and make some friends, make some eye contact and get your drink on! Don’t forget to tip the bartender, don’t forget to hire a designated drive and be cool. You’ll get a lot more accomplished on your night out if you’re friendly instead of jerk.