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Tipping a bartender on an absolute, bare minimum, to the drop pour.

Not sure how you figure an 11% tip on bar service is cheap. As you can read throughout the thread a buck a drink is just about the norm. I didn't "take it out on her." I didn't "rather cowardly" save "a few bucks." Not sure how you can discern management is "clearly responsible" based on what's known. Nope, didn't take a table and eat. And, dinner service merits 15 to 20% gratuity, bar service 10%. Seriously questioning that you actually bartended in NYC.

Sep 20, 2012
Particular in Not About Food

Tipping a bartender on an absolute, bare minimum, to the drop pour.

Yes, bobbert, sadly buy-backs have left NYC just like H & H bagels and mom and pop stores. On busy nights a bartender would turn over a shot glass on the bar in front of you to indicate they owe you a drink after your 3rd. When you ordered your 4th drink the bartender would declare it was on them. They didn't offer it, they waited until you ordered. This would never be allowed if people got into cars to drive home so thankfully we all get into cabs, subways, or stumble home.

Sep 20, 2012
Particular in Not About Food

Tipping a bartender on an absolute, bare minimum, to the drop pour.

I think you're correct jaykayen. You got me thinking and pouring here at home. And, 6 oz seems to be my mental image of the correct pour. I also poured 4.5 in a glass and that looks a little more than what she poured me that night. Still, in this town, outside of some red-sauce joint in Little Italy that's a slight.

Sep 19, 2012
Particular in Not About Food

Tipping a bartender on an absolute, bare minimum, to the drop pour.

You ask, "What am I missing here?" and I'll answer -- a great deal. As I explain deeper in the thread, I wasn't drinking "free" samples and complaining about the pour of the samples. That would be crass, don't you think? I was noting that the initial pour of the drink I ordered after the "taste" was well short of any reasonable pour. (see my explanation of a "taste" below; it's not what you're thinking.) Not an over pour, just the common 8 oz pour. I didn't feel I was entitled to more I felt entitled to 8 oz not less than 5. While I always appreciate and like more I didn't expect it. Ironically, 90% of the bartenders in the city, outside of the tourist traps, pour very, very generously.

Nope, I didn't measure. I did however use the last 30 years experience of drinking wine at restaurants and bars to be able to tell when I'm getting slighted. I used that same experience to make a pretty good guess that her career ambitions did not have anything to do with being behind this particular restaurant bar. Since she's probably going to starve and lose the apartment if she's counting on tips from her service I suspect she's a far more accomplished professional in her future ventures.

Sep 19, 2012
Particular in Not About Food

Tipping a bartender on an absolute, bare minimum, to the drop pour.

Couple of things seem to have been confused here -- perhaps it was my prose. First, there was no "free sample.' There was a taste. You have more saliva in your mouth than what a bartender will pour for a taste and it's extremely common here in New York. It's about the same amount you've left in your glass that ran down the sides when you're through drinking. And owner/manager approved. Competition among bars/restaurants in New York is fierce since one can easily walk out the front door, turn right or left and walk 15 steps to a different one. A "taste" for comparison is common. The rosés came from very different grapes and regions. Second, I purchased the drinks. 2 for $18. Third, my argument was about fairness. 8 oz. is an expected pour. Both of mine were less than 2/3 that. That was not management, that was the bartender. And brings me again to my dilemma: how do I justify doing anything extra when even the most simplest of expectations fell so short. In my eyes, out of two drinks, she's completely screwed me out of at least 6 ounces, and, I'm the jerk for not wanting to tip. Remember, the "taste" is common -- it's nothing special here.

Sep 19, 2012
Particular in Not About Food

Tipping a bartender on an absolute, bare minimum, to the drop pour.

The other night at a restaurant on the upper west side of Manhattan I sat at the bar while waiting for a friend to join me. I asked the bartender (a young blond actress type wishing she was clearly someplace else) about the 3 Rosés they had and if I could have a taste of two of them to choose. No problem. One was decent; typically in restaurants, Rosés are lifeless and plain but this was pleasant enough. It was $9 a glass. I watched her eyeball the pour to maybe, maybe 4 and a half oz. While pouring she had the concentration of a neurosurgeon removing a tumor to pouring the absolute minimum. Not one drop extra would be in the glass. In fact, she left about 1 oz in the bottle, corked it and put it back in the ice bin. (Later I watched her pour the remnants of that bottle into another customer's glass, open another bottle and top off the glass to her minimum standard again.)

Okay, I see where we are. It's my choice how we go forward as the lesson is mine. Fool me once... Maybe the owners watch her like a hawk, but that didn't make sense as she was allowed to free pour the cocktails and not measure as I would expect with a hawkish owner. Those pours were also scant at best. Nope, I think she's doing what she thinks is best, but it's definitely not in her best interest to make money.

Then, despite all the evidence I had, I ordered another one. I really didn't expect anything different and she performed exactly as predicted. It was a roll of the dice.

So, now I'm stuck. I know she's making a living off of tips and I feel like a schmuck. Problem is: she's a terrible, terrible bartender. I feel incredibly guilty not tipping her. But I also feel slighted, taken advantage of, a John Doe, captive to protocol, and in a hole of expectations. I look like the jerk if I don't tip. Here's the thing: I have the money, you have the booze. This is a symbiotic relationship. It's quid pro quo. You take care of me and I take care of you. The owner gets the $9 for the glass and your fate is by the pour. The bartender has given me even less then the bare minimum and I'm supposed to give the full price plus a tip? I was really torn. What do you all think? What do you do?

(Yes, I tipped. I gave a buck a drink but loathed it.)

Sep 19, 2012
Particular in Not About Food