Being a regular at your local bar, restaurant or cafe is about more than getting free drinks or good service — it's also a solid way to improve your happiness and build a community. But to get that, you can't just be a regular, you should be a good regular. Here's how.
Image from robmadeo.
Of course, first off you need to actually pick a spot to frequent, one that has an atmosphere you feel comfortable in. Once you find that place, here's what to do next.
- Be respectful of the employees' time. Chatting with the staff is one of the benefits of being a regular, but be mindful of their time and if things are getting busy and they need to serve other customers or do side work to get ready for the rush. Plus, you don't want to get them in trouble with their boss for chatting instead of working.
- Help when you can. Not every place wants customers bussing dishes when it gets busy, but if you see glasses piling up, you can bring them up to the bar or if a chatty customer is slowing down your favourite bartender, jump into the conversation to free them up. If you'd rather stick to smaller stuff, at least clean up after yourself before you leave.
- Don't abuse your good standing. Free drinks and food are often part of being a welcome regular, but don't assume you'll always get something for free or that you can bring your friends by and expect the same treatment. No matter how comfortable you feel, you also shouldn't assume you can do things like grab stuff from behind the bar or enforce house rules on other customers.
- Maintain positive relationships. Part of being a regular is having a community at your local spot. After all, that's really one of the biggest benefits, and you don't want to ruin it with relationships going south. Keep your relationships with the staff, and other regulars, positive by staying within appropriate boundaries (like not over sharing personal stories, broaching potentially offensive topics or getting into fights).
When you're a regular somewhere, you start to feel comfortable, but remember that you're still a customer. Follow the above tips and you'll stay on the staff's good side, which comes with all sorts of benefits.
How to Be a Good Bar Regular [Lucky Peach]