For Cocktail Week 2015, we surveyed area bartenders and liquor pros on aspects of the bar world and will reveal these responses to you all week long. We've asked them their thoughts on the word mixologist, what their handy hangover cure is and today we ask — what do customers do that really annoy you?
Will Rivas (Bazi and Macchialina) — If people call me a mixologist I won’t correct them. It’s a term that has become common and guest sometimes say "but you are more than a bartender you’re a mixologist". I feel that the mixing of drink is only part of the equation of being a complete bartender. The most important aspect is the hospitality given to the guest. Anyone can make a drink but a bartender will make you feel at home at their bar.
When they say "surprise me" and then complain about the drink I select
Ervin Machado (Louie Bossi’s Ristorante, Bar and Pizzeria) —— When they say "surprise me" and then complain about the drink I select. If you don’t like gin, tell me not to make you a gin cocktail!
Alexander Aportela (Finka Table & Tap) — Customers don't necessarily piss me off but I do find myself educating people on certain things that we do differently at Finka. For example, our large hand-crafted ice cubes gets confused for making our drinks "smaller" when in fact they are used in order to lessen dilution.
Carlos Cruz (Seaspice) — With time working in this industry, one has to learn how to control their emotions. At the end it is just business, not personal. There is nothing that a customer will do that will really piss me off, unless, they don't pay.
Sitting down for 15 seconds, then acting like they’ve been there for 10 minutes.
Mike Calcara (Better Days) — I'll refer you to the Facebook page: Why Bartenders and Servers hate people. They are killing the game when it comes to this issue.
Daniel Najarro (Bagatelle Miami Beach) — When they steal the garnishes (strawberries, olives, raspberries, oranges).
Jose Gill (American Social Brickell) — "Buddy. Surprise me."
Jamal Giles (SUGARCANE raw bar grill) — I think I can usually smile my way through anything, but what gets me angry most is a guest that orders a drink at a time for all ten of his friends or yells my name (which he just learned ) from across the bar to order for someone who just stepped up to the bar. This usually happens when he or she is trying to make themselves look like they’re hosting a giant party.
As long as you don't whistle at me, we're ok.
Steve Minor (MO Bar + Lounge) — Sitting down for 15 seconds, then acting like they’ve been there for 10 minutes.
Joel Mesa (Bulla Gastrobar) — I really try not to be judgmental about this one, because people go to a bar to not only have a good time, but to be whoever they want to imagine themselves to be. I always say when we are inebriated, we become what we wish we could always be. Generally, bartenders complain way too much about all the little things people shouldn't do, such as not waving money, yelling their names out, etc. For me, as long as you don't whistle at me, we're ok.
George Strom (SUSHISAMBA Miami Beach) — I think it’s rude when a customer stands with their back to the bar (especially in groups). Give up the real estate for someone else who actually has some business at the bar and isn't just using it for a leaning post.
Isaac Grillo (Repour Homemade Cocktails) — Those are an irritant in general, but for me... I think the one thing that gets to me most is when asked what's your next step in life or is this your only job. This is my career, I’ve worked hard to become pretty good at it, and its working out pretty well, thank you.
Suggest that bartending is not a professional career.
Jessica Kirk (Wood Tavern) — When they start pealing my orange I was going to use to garnish a drink with or put their hands on any of my food garnishes without asking.. it’s just rude..
Ben Potts (Beaker & Gray) — Suggest that bartending is not a professional career.
Alex Alfonso (Premier Beverage) — Just being rude. Applies to anyone not just customers, fellow bartenders, bosses, anyone. Just be nice.
Josh Gonzalez (Sweet Liberty) — Ask to make their drink strong, ask me to make them that one drink they had that one time at that one place but they can’t even remember what’s in it… See that I’m clearly busy shaking string and running around the bar and they can’t wait 5 seconds to place an order, relax I’m not standing here with my hands in my pockets I’m busy I will get to you wait your turn I’m fully aware of who’s next.. My favorite one when the guest ask for something and we don’t carry it and they can't
What gets me the most is when people sometimes snap their fingers at me, it's really disrespectful.
fathom how is it possible, just get over it we don’t have it and never will, order something else or f*** off. Another great one is when your really busy and they are waving you down because they want to order and you finally get to them and they go .. ummm and have no idea what they want to order… HAVE YOUR ORDER READY BEFORE YOU CALL ME !!! It’s ridiculous and selfish there are other guest here who need my attention.
Danny Zeenberg (Ritz Carlton South Beach) — Customers that ask for buybacks (free drinks) but have never purchased anything and customers that quote prices in the store as if that's what the bar is supposed to charge.
Be a gentleman, let me take the ladies’ order before you blurt out "Vodka Soda, 6 limes!"
Jeremiah Goll (Sunset Lounge Bar) — When they tell me the piña colada has no liquor. First of all it's a frozen drink, and secondly it's a pure sugar drink. If you want to taste the alcohol just get yourself a shot of mezcal and not a sugar rush.
Martin Garcia (The Pool & Beach at Thompson Miami Beach) — What gets me the most is when people sometimes snap their fingers at me, it's really disrespectful. In any industry or any use of it. It's not a gesture that should be used to address someone or grab their attention. We always write our names on the colorful chalkboard behind the bar; we suggest guests try our names first, rather than a snap.
Peter Lopez (Kuro at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino) — Our guests are truly fantastic and give us the excuse to pretend that we’re working when we’re actually having a great time creating fun new cocktails. What does drive me crazy is the tropical, lagoon-style pool that is feet from the bar that I’d love to be floating in!
Rob Ferrara (Lure Fishbar and The Rum Line) — What usually aggravates me is when a guest doesn’t show any chivalry. Be a gentleman, let me take the ladies’ order before you blurt out "Vodka Soda, 6 limes!"