1. Give a knowledgeable customer a hard time about returning a beer. It slays me how waiters will take back hundred dollar bottles of wine without comment, but tell some bartenders that a $6 beer is skunked or oxidized or riddled with diacetyl and you’re in for the fight of your life. Key words: “I know this beer and it’s really not supposed to taste like this.”
2. Pour a draught to overflowing and then set it down in front of the customer without a coaster or cocktail napkin (or three). My shirt may not be fancy, but it’s usually clean and I like to keep it that way.
3. Ignore a customer who just sat at your bar so that you can finish chatting with the waiter at the service bar. Gaz Regan calls it “mindful bartending,” and the man has a point. Pay attention, and if you can’t get to someone right away, at the very least make eye contact.
4. Garnish a beer without asking first. I know that some places like putting lemon wedges on hefeweizens and orange slices on Belgian-style wheats, but that doesn’t mean every customer wants it. Particularly when fulfilling at order at the bar, it takes no time at all to ask if i want fruit or not.
5. Serve a bottle of beer and then walk away without even asking if the customer might like a glass. Because, you know, not everyone wants to swig from the bottle all the time. Or ever.