Tipping for Beer

by: BeerAdvocate on 12-01-2003
Tipping for beer is a major pet peeve of ours. Too often do we see, and hear about, beer drinkers leaving pocket change or no tip at all when ordering beer. The beer was served to you, as food would be served to you, in our opinion beer is food, so why not tip on beer as you would on food?

For almost three years now, the industry standard in the US for tipping has been 18% to 20%. Based off of this, and the average better beer costing $4.50, we should all be dropping around a buck a beer. That might sound a bit steep, but you need to understand that you’re paying for service. Why is it important to pay for service? Many bartenders and servers, on average, are making a salary of less than $4 an hour. So they rely solely on tips to make a decent living. It also shows them that you appreciate their hard work, and their putting up with your drunken ass if you’ve stayed too long. Speaking of which, tip big early in your drinking session … else your cheer might make you forget to tip at all. A few mentions of “please” and “thank you” combined with your tip will also go a long way, and possibly sooth your bartender / server if they are busy and/or having a rough day.

Beer Karma for a Buck a Beer:

- Ensures a better time for you and your bartender / server.
- At the bar, good tippers become priority and as a result are served faster.
- You might get some special service or some beers bought for you.
- You’ll feel good about yourself as Beer Karma washes over you.

Another thing that is often overlooked, thus not taken into consideration when tipping, is the amount of time that you spend at the bar or table. The more time you stay, the less your occupied area can be turned over, and as a result fewer tips will be made. Don’t feel rushed, as long as you are an ordering customer, but rather drop some extra love on the table on your way out. If you’re just hanging out, milking your beer, or reading a book … go home! This isn’t Starbucks. You’re done.

Now bad service is inevitable. We all run into it, and there’s often many circumstance at work, many of which will be unbeknownst to you. The best thing you can do is not cop an attitude, as this only makes things worse, and it makes you look like the asshole (note: you will always look like the asshole). Be polite and if the bad service continues, ask for the manager, be constructive with your criticism and work with everyone to salvage the situation so you can get back to enjoying your experience and your beer.

So remember you cheap bastards … tip a buck a beer, and you’re in the clear.

Respect beer. Respect the bartender.

Thanks to Candice Allen for her input from the hospitality industry point of view.
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