The Most Effective Way To Get A Bartender’s Attention In A Crowded Bar

The Most Effective Way To Get A Bartender’s Attention In A Crowded Bar

When everyone is competing for the bartender’s attention, you’ll need a strong strategy to get served first. Behavioural researchers have studied the best and worst tactics to use when ordering a drink.

Photo by liborkriz.

The researchers, from Bielefeld University in Germany, analysed 105 customer attempts to order drinks in nightclubs in Germany and Scotland. They looked at what the customers were doing in the 35 seconds before being served. Their conclusion: The most effective strategy is to stand squarely to the bar and look directly at the bartender as he/she moved around. You need to do both to communicate you’re “bidding for attention”.

While that might not be mind-blowing news, it is interesting the tactics that didn’t work. That includes squeezing in between other customers (you might end up waiting even longer), leaning on the bar, looking at a menu or the drinks available, or looking at money. The Telegraph also reports that waving money is a surefire way of not getting served. This is not a strip club, people.

How to use body language to get served first at a bar [The Telegraph via The Week]


    • Come on… who modded that down. You can almost guarantee that a male bartender will notice assets first 🙂

  • Also, while watching the bartender like a hawk, you’ll find out when they are finished with another customers order. As they are taking their hand away from customer (giving change back), give a shout out. They usually look around to see who the next customer might be, so take this opportunity to make it you.

    • Also make sure your ‘shout out’ is polite, loud enough to be heard, but not actual yelling. Also guest login on WP8 is a bit broken

  • Give the bartender a reasonable tip with your first drink order, or tell them to ‘keep the change’. Will serve you faster every other time for sure.

  • I used to be so good at this. There is an art to slipping through the crowd to the front. You have to kind of move with the natural movements and slide through. Never actively pushing.

    One thing I find works is, yes focus on the bar tender, but look a little bored and defeated. Like you’ve been there waiting for ages.

  • also don’t be a twat, if the person next to you was there 1st make sure you don’t push in front of them.

  • Easy to get their attention. Stand on a table and shout towards the bar, “Barkeep! A round of your finest ale…for everyone… on me”

    • It says don’t wave money but holding it in a subtle yet visible manner that the bartender can see can help. Even if you have one hand resting on the bar with a note visibly sticking out it all helps.

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