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Boston Bartenders Praise Customers' Best Habits

Make your bartender happy with these good bar behaviors.

Patrick Gaggiano"I think the last two questions tie into each other [best customer habits and worst customer habits]. I can't stand when hospitality workers answer these questions with responses that outline what they don't like doing or making or what a guest should or shouldn't do/order/say at a bar. It's a bar. It's a complete stranger interacting with you for three minutes. There are bound to be some variables — maybe some not so enjoyable — but it's why we all got into this business in the first place — the spontaneity of our guests. I don't care what job you have, you're not going to like certain aspects of it. You complain enough about what you don't like in those jobs — you get fired. I don't see why it's different for the bar world. You don't like the way people order drinks or what language they use to talk with you? I hear Facebook is hiring — sit behind a desk all day. There's no better feeling than turning around a customer’s night who's in a bad mood. We're lucky we are in a business that has the opportunity to do that. The only opinion I have on the good guest/bad guest habits is simply this: Please, as a guest, be aware of the power you hold being a bartender’s/server’s/restaurant’s first guest of the night. You hold the fate and flow and vibe of the whole night in your hands. Go easy on us." —Patrick Gaggiano, bar manager at Viale

Greg Neises"Smiling :)" —Greg Neises, bartender at Tico


Katie Mae Dell Isola"Asking for things all at once, instead of item by item." —Katie Mae Dell Isola, bar manager at Haru


Dan Greenough"Guests that shake your hand, ask for suggestions, request to be cashed out when they see a new bartender come on the bar." —Dan Greenough, food & beverage manager of all Burtons Grill locations


Kevin Murphy"Being open to new creations, giving honest feedback, having a great sense of humor, having a great time." —Kevin Murphy, operations manager of Deuxave


Ryan Lotz"Saying please and thank you go a long way." —Ryan Lotz, bar manager at No. 9 Park


Vikram Hegde"Becoming regulars at my bar. Also, tipping well. Doesn’t take much to be my favorite." —Vikram Hegde, bartender at Sarma


Jake Kress"Eye contact, patience, polite, leaves 30% because they know the bartender is busting their hump at something not everybody can do." —Jake Kress, bar manager at Grill 23 & Bar


Kaitlena Cash"Giving me money. Also, I really like when people remember my name. Hi, I'm Kait! I'm also a huge fan of manners. Please, thank you, all that good stuff is an A+ in my book!" —Kaitlena Cash, bartender at Anthem Kitchen + Bar


Sal Gesamondo"We don’t have customers, we have guests, but I would have to say being honest. If you don’t like something, tell us! Everyone’s flavor profiles are different and I want to make you something you enjoy! And being genuine." —Sal Gesamondo, operations manager of Tavern in the Square

Giulio Favuzza"When a customer is involved and pays attention to the server when they are at the table. It helps with the interaction and makes the experience memorable. The server is more energetic and enjoys being there — their job is to create an experience for the customer and not just a place to have lunch or dinner!" —Giulio Favuzza, beverage manager of Red Heat Tavern

Lauren Hayes

"My favorite moment is when guests who have been drinking cocktails all night, especially from the dining room that I haven’t personally interacted with, stop by the bar on their way out and shake my hand. It’s really classy and very much appreciated." —Lauren Hayes, head bartender at Ten Tables in Jamaica Plain

Molly Woodhouse"Growing up in the South and Midwest, I really love hearing ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and meeting eye contact and a smile from a guest." —Molly Woodhouse, general manager and beverage director of Vida Cantina in Portsmouth (and an alum of The Butcher Shop and Menton)

Ian Nal"Guest who are willing to try new drinks. Guests who tip on the whole check and not $1 per drink." —Ian Nal, general manager and beverage director of Fish Restaurant & Wine Bar in Marlborough


Brian Mantz"‘Please’ and ‘thank you’ go a long way. They certainly aren't required, but it's pleasant and it only takes a moment to be courteous." —Brian Mantz, bar manager at Wink & Nod


Colin Kiley"Best habit by far: Trust the guy (or gal) that takes care of you. If we've served you several times before, chances are that we know what you like...AND...what you WOULD like. When you put yourself in our hands and are honest about what you liked and ESPECIALLY what you didn't, it helps us make your future experiences that much better." —Colin Kiley, bartender at Puritan & Company

Libby Spencer"Being polite & engaged! I am behind that bar to give you the best possible experience; let's both have a good time. I also love when people just tell me what they like — I have an almost perfect score when it comes to making someone a drink they love based on their likes & dislikes." —Libby Spencer, bar manager at Deep Ellum

Tom Tellier"We love when guests use our name! It shows they pay attention and actually care!" —Tom Tellier, beverage director for Restaurant dante and both locations of il Casale


Emmet Kelty"It's hard to sum up the best customer habits. It's really a conglomerate of all actions related to creating a sense of community at the bar. These actions are always performed by people who realize they are in control of their own experience (in a positive way, not a dominant way) and have come in to have a good time. Perhaps they're politely talking with other guests or moving down to make room for more people. I also love answering questions about wine/beer/cocktails/food; it shows me that someone is interested and engaged in what is about the happen next. I see it less as a matter of ‘habit’ and more as an overall personality thing." —Emmet Kelty, lead bartender at 51 Lincoln

Todd Lipman"‘I like a bit of this flavor, that flavor, this spirit, that spirit…make me something fun.’" —Todd Lipman, head sommelier at Bistro du Midi


Davide Crusoe"Having an open mind and asking me to make them a cocktail that I like. Manners including ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ aren’t so bad either." —Davide Crusoe, general manager at Chopps in Burlington


Christine Kerow"To be genuinely nice and respect your trade." —Christine Gerow, director of restaurant & bar at the Westin Waltham-Boston's Seventy at Third Avenue


Sam Treadway"Out to try new things!" —Sam Treadway, bar manager at Backbar


Seth Freidus"Being polite." —Seth Freidus, beverage director at Alden & Harlow


Sean Woods"People who go out looking to have a good time, are happy with each other, and happy with me entertaining them while they're here." —Sean Woods, bar manager at Ribelle


Naomi Levy"Being patient and respectful is the best way to make a friend out of your bartender. It really is the oldest rule in the book. Treat others as you would want to be treated." —Naomi Levy, bar manager at Eastern Standard


Ezra Star"The best guests I have had are people who are curious about where they and know how to create their own sense of fun and adventure. They are usually people who know when enough is enough or have good handle on themselves." —Ezra Star, general manager at Drink

Jared Sadoian"When they look you straight in the eye when you serve their beverage or food and say ‘thank you.’" —Jared Sadoian, head bartender and beverage director of Craigie on Main and The Kirkland Tap & Trotter


Tenzin Samdo"Being patient and polite when it’s extremely busy." —Tenzin Konchok Samdo, head barman at TRADE


Jonathan Mendez"Understanding that the service we provide is just as valuable as any table-service. We love to have fun. We’re engaging, and energetic. It’s nice when the guest recognizes it." —Jonathan Mendez, beverage director and bartender at TRADE


Ryan McGrale"Saying ‘hello’ back when I ask it first, rather than just going into your order. It’s polite when in my house." —Ryan McGrale, beverage director at Tavern Road


Michael Florence"Warm smile, friendly conversations, and an open mind." — Michael Florence, bar manager at Ole


"From my experience, two things: guests who know what they want when they are ready to order. You're not sure, and want to ask a few questions, that's great! That's what we're here for! If you want to be feted, well... there's a time and place. Friday night at nine o'clock, three deep at the bar, is not necessarily the time or place. Secondly, we all would love it if you told us you wanted separate checks when you place your orders and start your tabs. It's fine to split things afterwards but just slows down the whole process for everyone." —Ashish Mitra, bar manager at Russell House Tavern

"Please and thank you." —Tom Dargon, assistant general manager of BOKX 109

"Customers who are willing to take a risk based on our recommendations. Sometimes a guest will be surprised: they always thought they abhorred gin but suddenly love a gin-based cocktail etc." —Lara Egger, co-owner of Estragon Tapas Bar, and Sahil Mehta, bartender and server

"Knowing exactly what they want to drink. I can't tell you how much I respect a person who walks in and says, ‘_____ is my drink. I would like one of those.’" —Tyler Wang, bartender at Audubon

"The best customer habit that I love is just being friendly to those around you. Some people don't like to talk a lot and that is totally cool. But if you are at a bar then there's a chance there is a person around you who enjoys a conversation with a stranger. Some of my favorite guests have the great talent of being able to talk to anyone around them. This creates a very hospitable vibe and atmosphere at the bar. People tend to be more patient and have more fun when everyone around them are getting along and conversing." —Rob Dunn, bar manager at Lineage

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