The Overserved's Guide to Being a Regular

Categories: The Overserved

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Sometimes you really do want to go where everybody knows your name. If you've played your cards right, your favorite place will know your drink order, have a secret parking spot for you and let you stick around after hours. The art of the regular takes practice, so here are a few tricks to stay in the good graces of your home away from home.

Let's just start with tipping. It's not that you have to over-tip, but a consistent 20% tip or more is important because you know you will be back and, as a regular, you are paying for more than attentive service. Learning where the employees park, walking in without being ID'd, an invitation to the round of shots the bartenders take on duty: These are just a few of the perks, and your generosity will be rewarded with a free round or a heavy pour. Put faith in the system and it will all come out in the wash.

The bar is more than the bartender. While he or she may certainly be the high priest or priestess in our temples of inebriation, don't forget to show love all around the club. In business, it's long understood you should be nicest to the assistants, and the same idea is true here. Don't forsake the busboys, the occasional cook who pops out of the kitchen, the cocktail waitresses and, my god, the doorman.

Guess who can grab you that late-night taco from the back when the bar is slammed? That cook. Not quite ready to leave at 2 a.m.? Now the doorman will kick you out last. Or, better yet, all the cocktail waitresses will tell you to go to back tables and hide - now you're after-partying with the staff till 3, all because you were friendly to some fine folks who were going to take care of you, either way.

The etiquette of a good regular isn't unlike the etiquette of a good guest. It's not about tipping your way into favor or drinking enough to pay the rent on your favorite watering hole. It's about being the kind of guest who gets invited back, and taking an extra step or two to add to the festivity of a place you care about.

Learn the names, and learn their kids' names. Learn a birthday. Know the other regulars. Bring a Christmas gift, or a plate on Thanksgiving, a night the service industry is always working. Don't be the guy who never leaves, don't be the lady crying at the end of the bar.

These are our town squares, where we watch our teams win, where we toast new years, where we make fools of ourselves and have regrets. Find one place and make it more your home than others. Just don't forget to treat it like family, and damn it, you've got to be kind.




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13 comments
mynameisURL
mynameisURL

*jeez* Get a room! Better yet, a stall.

Deb
Deb

Creepy? They memorize my drink order, and send over new spirits they think I might like, based on what they know about me as a customer. The least I can do is learn a thing or two about their actual lives.

Johnnysmithapples
Johnnysmithapples

Well put Deb.  Willie, you are the patron that makes bar staff hate customers.  Youtube "the bartender hates you."  I have no doubt you are typecast in at least two of those vids.   

Steve
Steve

When are we going to learn what Erykah and Wayne taught us?

Johnnysmithapples
Johnnysmithapples

As a 12+ year bartender/manager this article nails it.  Should be mandatory reading for those turning 21 years old.

Deb
Deb

Hey Willie! I am from planet Earth, what planet are you from? Is it one where women don't have jobs or disposable incomes that they then spend freely in the marketplace so that their most favorite places that they think make the city better do well? On Earth, and specifically in Dallas, Earth, I get to elect how I spend my time and money, I have spent some of that time at bar (2 bars in particular), where I am a regular. It is neither a club or venue, it's a regular bar - that sometimes has a door guy for security on the weekends and does enough food business to garner a busboy. It's not even in Uptown or anything, swear!

Chuck G.
Chuck G.

Time to read something and comment on? It took all of about a minute and a half to do both you complete dumb dumb.

Steve
Steve

 Go ahead, make 'em get the blender out for you, little guy.  #SugarRim

peepee doodoo caca
peepee doodoo caca

And where might i find poopoocaca? This could be volatile and explosive. Love yer name, too, darlin'. 

Willie
Willie

I don't know what planet Deb Doing Dallas is from, and I won't even mention the fact that a woman is giving out advice about being a regular, but the idea of a regular doesn't exist, or shouldn't exist, at bars with doormen and busboys.  If you go to a place with a doorman, you're a douchebag.  And if you go to a place with busboys, you're going to a restaurant. 

Chuck G.
Chuck G.

Awful hairpiece Danson wore. Overrated show about some bar workers and silly, no-life bar patrons.

poopoocaca
poopoocaca

7) poopoocaca needs to learn that after step 6, step 7 would logically follow

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