It’s one of the unspoken truths of working in the food industry that most customers are dicks. For every friendly family of four that walks into your joint, you’re just as likely to get an obnoxious businessman, determined to make your life a living hell by sending everything back and spending his evening shouting at you and your colleagues. This reality is even more true if you happen to work in a bar.
The classic combination of alcohol and annoying clients has been bothering bar staff for as long as there have been liquor licenses. But, if you want to be a more conscientious customer, it turns out that are a few things that you can do to make a difference. According to those that man the bar, most of these revolve around avoiding a few, specific drinks. Here are a few of the most annoying orders you need to immediately stop making.
According to an anonymous survey of 260 bar staff, the drink that was most likely to negatively affect a bartender’s opinion of a customer was the ubiquitous appletini. No matter how delicious you may think it is, the chances are that whoever is making it for you is unlikely to look on you favourably for the rest of the evening - with 49% of bartenders reporting that they would view such a client negatively.
According to angry bartender Lisa Millar-Jones, writing for the Matador Network, ordering a mojito is a sure-fire way to end up in her bad books. In the article, Millar-Jones elaborates that “the primary reason this particular cocktail irritates bartenders is the time it takes to make. On a busy night, with patrons four-deep, most bar professionals don’t want to spend five minutes muddling mint leaves.”
A little known fun factoid about Ireland’s most famous export is that it should take precisely 119 seconds to pour the perfect pint. Small wonder, then, that adding a glass of the black stuff to the end of an order is a surefire way to irritate already busy and beleaguered bar staff. If you must get a Guinness, make sure you order it at the start so it has time to settle.
4. Long Island Iced Tea
Even though it’s basically just a blend of all the alcohols left in the liquor cabinet, long island iced teas are near the top of almost every bartender’s list of pet peeves. In an interview with Business Insider, mixologist Elena Alvarez of “The Airliner” in Iowa City revealed that "the really difficult drinks with a lot of ingredients are always annoying to make when things are really busy." By virtue of it’s massive and eclectic ingredients list, long island iced tea is one to avoid.
5. Espresso Martini
It might have experienced a popularity boom in recent years, but espresso martinis deserve a special place in hell for Twisted Bar’s very own Alex Duncan. Apparently, there is nothing more annoying than a group coming in, 30 minutes before closing, post coffee machine clean and ordering a round of bean based drinks.
6. A Free One
Even more annoying than the appletini, the same 260-strong survey found that there was nothing more irritating than a customer asking for a free drink. On a scale of 1-7, bar staff rated the habit as a whopping 6.1 for totally infuriating, proving that it isn’t just complicated drinks orders that will grind gears.
7. Surprise Me!
Even with all the irritating customer habits described above, there is one that stands supreme above the rest. Asking for a busy member of staff to “surprise you” is not cute, funny or flirty. It is, to someone who has about 100 other customers to see in the next 10 minutes, unbelievably annoying. Make your mind up and come prepared. Or else.
At the end of the day, you’re free to conduct yourself how you please at any bar, as long as you don’t start fighting or throwing up over other guests. But, in the interests of community spirit, maybe we should all take the time to consider exactly what it is we’re ordering. No one likes a grumpy bartender.