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How does buying drinks at a bar work?

Going out to a bar with friends can be a relaxing and social experience, but if you’re not familiar with the process of buying drinks, it can be confusing and overwhelming. This guide will provide you with a step-by-step breakdown of how buying drinks at a bar works, including how to order, how to pay, and bar tab etiquette.

Step 1: Finding a Seat

The first step in buying drinks at a bar is finding a seat. Depending on the bar, you may have a choice between sitting at a table or taking a seat at the bar. If you’re with a group of friends, it’s usually best to opt for a table, as it will be easier to socialize and hear each other talk.

If you’re flying solo or with just one other person, sitting at the bar can be a good option. It’s easier to get the bartender’s attention when you’re sitting directly in front of them, and you may even strike up a conversation with the person next to you.

Step 2: Choosing Your Drink

Once you’ve found a seat, it’s time to choose your drink. Most bars will have a menu that lists their selection of beers, wines, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages. If you’re not sure what to order, don’t hesitate to ask the bartender for a recommendation – they’re usually happy to help.

When ordering your drink, be specific about what you want. If you want a beer, for example, be sure to specify the brand and type (e.g. “I’ll have a Corona Light”). If you’re ordering a cocktail, provide the bartender with the name of the drink and any additional information they may need (e.g. “I’ll have a Margarita on the rocks with salt”).

Step 3: Placing Your Order

Once you’ve chosen your drink, it’s time to place your order. When ordering at a bar, it’s important to be respectful and polite to the bartender, especially when the bar is busy and there’s a lot of noise. Look the bartender in the eye, speak clearly and confidently, and avoid using a dismissive tone or demanding attitude.

To start, you may want to get the bartender’s attention by making eye contact, nodding, or giving a friendly wave. Once they’re aware of your presence, tell them what you want in a concise and clear way.

Step 4: Paying for Your Drink

Now that you’ve placed your order, it’s time to pay. Most bars will accept both cash and credit/debit cards as forms of payment. If you’re paying by card, you’ll usually be asked to hand over your card to the bartender, who will swipe it and return it to you.

If you’re paying with cash, hand over the appropriate amount (including a tip, if you desire) to the bartender. They’ll usually count your change back to you, which gives you a chance to double-check the amount and ensure that you’ve been given the correct change.

Step 5: Bar Tab Etiquette

If you plan on staying at the bar for multiple drinks, you may want to consider starting a bar tab. To do this, simply give the bartender your card or ID, and they’ll keep track of your drinks throughout the night. When you’re ready to leave, they’ll add up your total and charge your card accordingly.

It’s important to remember that starting a bar tab comes with a certain degree of responsibility. Be sure to keep track of how much you’re spending, and be prepared to pay the bill at the end of the night. Additionally, make sure to tip generously throughout the night – a good rule of thumb is to tip $1 for every drink you order.


Buying drinks at a bar doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following these simple steps and remembering to be courteous and respectful, you’ll be able to enjoy a night out without any hiccups. Whether you’re sitting at the bar solo or with a group of friends, the process of ordering and paying for drinks at a bar is straightforward and easy to navigate. So when you’re ready to relax and unwind, head on out to your favorite local bar and enjoy a refreshing drink.


What does it mean when a bartender buys you a drink?

If you’re out at a bar or a nightclub, it’s not uncommon to receive a drink from the bartender – it can be because they’re feeling generous, the establishment is having a “happy hour,” or because you’re simply a regular customer. However, if a bartender buys you a drink, it could also be an indication of good behavior or having a high level of social skills.

One way to receive a free drink from a bartender is during happy hour. Typically, happy hour lasts for a couple of hours in the late afternoon or early evening, and serves as an incentive for customers to come in and have a good time. During happy hour, bars and nightclubs offer discounts on drinks to encourage more patronage. But aside from that, there are also cases where the bartender wants to show their generosity and appreciation to regular customers, so they’ll buy them a drink without any real reason behind it.

Additionally, a bartender could offer you a buy back when you’ve been a really good customer. A buy back is a term used in the bar industry to describe when a bartender offers a free drink to someone who has already spent a decent amount of money on drinks or tips. This not only helps to maintain a good relationship between the bar/nightclub and the customer, but it also inspires loyalty and encourages the customer to come back.

Finally, there are instances where the bartender offers a buy back if the customer demonstrates good behavior. Sometimes, customers who are engaging, friendly, or social with the bartender might receive a free drink because they’ve earned the bartender’s respect and admiration. Essentially, by buying a customer a drink, the bartender is acknowledging that the customer is a good sport, a loyal customer, and an important part of the establishment’s business model.

Receiving a drink from a bartender could be due to many reasons, including happy hour discounts, being a good customer, or simply having a high level of social skills. Regardless of why you might receive a free drink, it’s always a nice feeling to know that the bartender has decided to show their appreciation in this way, and will likely keep you coming back for more.

What is the best thing to drink first?

When it comes to staying hydrated and maintaining good health, one of the simplest things you can do is drink enough water. But what is the best thing to drink first in the morning? While many of us might instinctively reach for a cup of coffee or a sugary fruit juice upon waking up, it is actually recommended that we start our day with a glass of water.

The main reason for this is that your body is deprived of water when you sleep, especially if you sleep for 6-8 hours at night. Drinking water first thing in the morning helps to rehydrate your body, flush out toxins, and get your digestive system going. This is especially important after a good night’s sleep, as your body’s metabolic processes have slowed down and need a little jump-start.

In addition, drinking water on an empty stomach can help to boost your metabolism and aid in weight loss. It can also help to suppress your appetite and reduce the likelihood of overeating later in the day. Drinking water before meals is a great way to get into the habit of consuming more water, and can help to keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a cup of coffee or tea after your morning glass of water. But it’s important to remember that caffeine can dehydrate you, so it’s essential to rehydrate with water when you can. Additionally, the sugary drinks that many of us consume in the morning can leave us feeling bloated and tired – not the ideal way to start the day.

The best thing to drink first in the morning is a glass of water. It’s simple, refreshing, and can help to set you up for a healthy and productive day ahead.