Lifestyles Center Blog


It’s Friday night: the end of another successful week of completing assignments, attending each and every class, and practicing effective time management skills. You’re excited- half because you’re still on an adrenaline-high from that Open Mic performance in the quad last night, and half because you’re hydrated, stuffed, and, should you choose to drink, you are ready to drink responsibly!

Fast-forward a few hours. You’re leaning over a crowded, wet countertop, desperately waving crumpled dollar bills as far as your arm can extend. There’s a sweaty, kinda stressed-out looking girl behind the counter. You call out to her, but somehow she doesn’t seem to see you. Well, she does see you, and there are a few reasons why you may not be her priority.

Here are some tips on how to treat your bartender right:

  1. No touching. There is a generously-sized countertop between you and the bartender; respect that boundary. Most people don’t respond well to being physically poked and prodded while already under pressure. And if we’re being honest, your hands are probably not too clean at that point in the night, either. For cleaner, more approachable hands, the Lifestyles Center Outreach Team offers free hand sanitizer if you participate in a short, wildly entertaining yet fascinatingly informative game (look for the red outreach wagon on campus)!
  2. Some drinks take time. If you order nine Jolly Rancher shots, for you and your eight friends, it might take a little while. If your bartender doesn’t know how to make it, tell them (they might be new and overwhelmed). While you’re waiting, be sure to check out our website at
  3. Don’t steal tips. As tempting as it can be to pick up the unsupervised, soaked little dollar bill on the counter in front of you, resist that urge. Minimum wage for the service industry is nothing for them to brag about (unless they’re begging their mom for money), so respect their dependency on your generosity.
  4. Tips do not equal power. You may have a crisp hundred dollar bill in your hand, but that does not mean you have control over anyone else. The person behind the bar is a person with dignity, not a dog you can wave a treat in front of. If a bartender does his or her job, a customer should tip.
  5. Try to understand emotional boundaries. Sometimes customers feel a connection with the bartender who listens to their problems and provides them with excellent service. However, a few weird things happen when a customer asks his or her bartender on a date. One, the bartender will likely say no, considering the customer is usually drunk. Two, that “no” may affect how much that customer tips, which is kind of a no-no. If you are rejected by your bartender, tell us about it in the form of stand-up or song at the aforementioned Open Mic Night (Thursdays at 7pm in the Lake Effect Cafe; bring your friends). If by chance your bartender says yes, the Lifestyles Center in Mary Walker offers 10 condoms for a dollar, and 15 for a dollar on Wednesdays. Consent is sexy.

So appreciate a good bartender when you see one. They deserve your respect, just like you deserve theirs. Drink responsibly, take care of yourself, and the next time you see your favorite bartender, leave a good tip.

Written by Susie Fox, Peer Educator

Photo Cred:Here