Be attractive. Don’t be a regular.
From a highly scientific survey of fellow bartenders… plus my own experience.
First of all, know a few things:
- We get hit on all the fucking time. If I go a single shift without being hit on, it’s abnormal. And at this point, at least a few dudes in the bar on any given night have hit on me, either that night or previously.
- We are not here to have fun — you are here to have fun. You’re on that side of the bar, but we’re on this side. We are at work, and we might be having fun at work and like what we do, but we are first and foremost working. With few exceptions, our primary goal back here is to make money, not fuck or find a partner.
- We’re all different back here (and not just because of hair color, height or tit size.) Some might be DTF at the drop of a hat. But spoiler alert: some of us, like myself, are not at all worth your time.
Step 1: Lay some initial groundwork.
Like, be in the bar before it gets too busy. Don’t dominate her attention when she has other customers waiting.
Don’t order a stupid-ass drink. (Or do — whatever — if that’s your conversation starter. But tread carefully with your fucking grenadine, my friend.)
Don’t be a regular. Most bartenders would rather keep their regulars than sleep with you. Don’t shit where you eat.
Be a decent human being. Don’t expect free shit. Don’t get too drunk. Don’t be a douche. Don’t be a dick (pro tip: your “cute and not that offensive” nickname you use to address us is actually only offensive, and not at all cute.) Always tip. Don’t stalk.
Make sure she’s single, and/or has poor standards. And straight, if you’re a dude.
Step 2: Be attractive.
Don’t be unattractive.
(Includes being “average” but having an accent.)
Step 3: Be “charming.”
But lol, for the most part this just means “be attractive.”
Because statistically speaking, we see looks and personality as the same thing.
Step 4: Do NOT tip a lot.
You think that’s counter-intuitive, don’t you? Maybe a typo?
There are people out there who will advise that you “pay for your first drink with cash, and then leave a huge tip” because “this gets her attention.”
But these “people” are a.) salty AF dudes who’ve read too many bad pick-up tips, and b.) not female bartenders.
The truth is:
Nothing will lock a customer into “customer-zone” faster than shoving our face in the fact that he (or she) is paying to be here. You want to be treated like a customer and nothing more? Then double down on your customer-y monetary transaction. The more you tip, the more valuable you become as a customer.
We’re not here to be fucking bought. Expecting us to respond to this and do your work of translating “transactional” into “relational” is insulting at best.
Step 5: Be *remarkably* different.
I’ve given out my number exactly one time.
And it was to a 60 year old woman. Her first name was Debbi, no “e,” but everyone called her by her last name. She had a fantastic pixie cut, stark white against her slightly-tanned fantastic skin, and she ordered a draft beer — and a shot of Jamo. At 2 pm.
When Debbi learned that I had a motorcycle, she lit up and said that she’d been riding for 40 years. Then she asked if I was looking for a place to live, because she had an empty rental property in the area. I just so happened to be month-to-month in my current place and open to it, so I scribbled out my info and slid it across the bar.
Debbi is the sort of woman who shares articles on positive aging as a woman on social media and recognizes bartenders she just met as “kindred spirits.” She is the sort of woman we all want to be.
But unless you are Debbi without an “e,” your odds of getting in with me are literally next-to-nothing. Especially since I’m not single, but honestly either way.
But others do have loopholes.
Step 6: Do the work.
Apart from Debbi, who was obviously different… you have to leave your number, not ask for ours. We don’t give out our numbers to customers — because, see first bullet: “we get hit on all the fucking time.”
Don’t make it confrontational. Just write that shit on the receipt, or leave a business card or something. If we want to contact you, we’ll work it out.
If it’s more of “tonight, not later” situation, then you have to wait until we’re off and go in for the kill accordingly. Don’t expect us to scoop you up like our bag on our way out the door.
It’s your job to figure out what we want
If we’re only down for a hookup, we don’t want to be courted longterm. If we literally do not do one-night stands, don’t bother hanging around til close.
If we have zero desire to go on a date or hook up with you, your game is pretty much 86’d.
Step 7: Repeat
We like the people we see a lot. But, there’s a fine line here between “familiar” and “regular.”
Step 8: Profit
Or… accept defeat.
Because, look, we already know like a millisecond in — or sometimes before you even walk in the door — if we’re gonna respond to you.
If we wouldn’t be interested in a million years (lol, iz me) then you gonna have to wait a million years — or, more preferably, move the fuck along.
Some of us are here to work and only work, so to pull our attention off that goal and get us to risk our self-respect, reputation among colleagues, and sheer freedom of coming into work knowing we’ll never have a hook-up staring at us across the bar like a shit show in our place of business… would take something just short of a miracle.
It all depends on the bartender.