The 9 most annoying things your group can do at a bar, according to a bartender
- Large groups can make a bartender's job difficult when they demand separate checks, expect special treatment, and don't know what they want to order.
- As a bartender, I often treat big groups better when they make my life easier.
- Here are the nine most annoying things you can do at a bar when you're in a large group, and what you should do instead.
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In the service industry, large groups have always had a bad rap.
Whether it's a beer-league team winding down after a game or a bachelorette party painting the town red, the phrase "the more the merrier" doesn't always hold true for those on the other side of the bar, like me.Recent changes to how the IRS classifies certain tips have raised the stakes - and anxiety - of serving a big group. Since 2014, bars and restaurants have been financially incentivized to stop charging automatic gratuity for large groups. That means I can bust my butt to provide good service to a group, to the neglect of my other tables, all for a horrible tip that wasn't worth the effort.
However, there are ways to make your bartender an infinitely bigger fan of your big group, despite our anxiety over the lack of an assured gratuity.
And there's something in it for you, too. When I'm feeling charmed by a big group, I'm more likely to suggest cool items that aren't on the menu, give honest opinions of what's on the menu, dole out small tastes of my recommended spirits, and gush about the best spots for you to hit next.
A really happy bartender might even "forget" to ring in a drink or upcharge on your tab.
With that in mind, here are nine of the most annoying things you can do at a bar when you're in a big group, and what you should do instead.