Debit and credit cards make it easy to start a tab at your favourite bar, but for bartenders, cash is king. If you pay and tip for your first round using cash before switching to plastic, your bartender might thank you for it later when the bill comes. Photo by Vratislav Darmek.
The relationship you establish with your bartender is important. They usually treat friendly people well and love to take care of the people they know will take care of them. Plus, considering that there isn't much of a tipping culture in Australia, tipping is sure to get you attention. If you're starting off a night at your favourite pub or tavern, the folks at Wired suggest you always use cash before cards:
If you only use plastic your bartender won't appreciate your generosity til the end of the evening when you sign your bill. Kick off with cash, and lay down the tips upfront. Then switch to a tab, and you'll be pleasantly surprised to find that not all of your drinks show up on the bill.
This advice isn't uncommon, but it's helpful info for those who think there's no reason to carry around cash anymore. Bartenders want you to have a good time, and if you scratch their back they will do what they can to scratch yours. Check out our post on how to get a bartender's attention without being a jerk for more tips.