Author: Len Riggs

Quick Tips for Increasing your Tips!

Are you interested in learning some easy tips to help increase your tips and make more money? See below for some quick tips to get more tips!

Remember Names

Simply asking for a customer’s name and remembering it creates a more personable experience for your customer. The easiest way to learn someone’s name is by introducing yourself and greeting them with a smile, which they will likely return. Just remember: getting the customer’s name is only half the battle, the most important part is putting in the effort to actually remember their name!

Remember Drinks

What’s the next best thing to do to increase your tip? Remember your customer’s drinks. If you see an empty glass, walk up and say ‘Would you like another (insert drink name, and customer’s name here).’ If they ordered a drink with specific instructions such as ‘on the rocks’ or ‘salted’ make sure you ask if they would like you to bring them the same exact drink or if they would like to try a different variation.  In addition, as you learned after receiving your MAST permit, you should also be sure to count the number of drinks you serve a customer. This will not only help you to judge the persons level of intoxication, it will also give you an opportunity to make a fun comment such as “You’re on your fifth already!”which might earn you some points!

Don’t Hover

I think we can all agree that bartenders who ‘hover’ can get a little annoying after a while. You can easily avoid the ‘hovering bartender’ stigma by constantly looking busy. If you’re not serving another customer, wipe down the counters, clean the glasses, etc. The trick here is to keep busy without abandoning your customers. You want to be able to anticipate your customer’s needs without seeming annoying. Additionally, you should keep in mind that you should never butt into anyone else’s conversation unless they invite you.


Compliments are pretty universally accepted and can be given freely across the bar. Whether male or female you can complement both genders, and even flirt a little with those of the opposite sex (although this should be very subtle, especially if that person is with a partner). Offering compliments on clothing or a customer’s ‘great choice of drink’, or even complimenting a customer’s facial features is perfectly fine. As with anyone, complimenting your customer will likely make them happy and will lead to a positive experience. Just remember not to over-compliment one person, or compliment too many people in your bar at one time.

Don’t Talk Too Much

Being overly chatty may lead to a negative experience for your customer, and could decrease your tips. Try politely answering questions when asked, chatting with the customer when they first sit down, and then leave them to their own devices and only strike up a conversation if they look lonely or bored. While it can be tempting to chat up everyone on a slow night, it may not be the best idea; especially if those people want to be left alone. If you want to be social, try finding an equally talkative person to chat with.

Be Attentive

Last but not least, pay attention to your customers. Taking away empty glasses, offering a refill or another drink, and making conversation with your customers (when they want to be social) can all earn you brownie points for increasing tips. This also includes wiping down the bar in front of your customer before you set down their glass, anticipating their needs, and remembering their name and drink.

As a bartender, your tips can be a large part of your income, and the best way to earn tips is to be friendly, attentive and good at your job.

Bartending Tricks: How to Flip a Bottle

If you have recently completed your mandatory alcohol server training (MAST) course then you’re probably ready to start working as a bartender. If so, you’ll probably want to learn a few bartending tricks to make serving more fun and to increase your tips! The first handy little trick you’re going to want to learn is how to flip a bottle, which you will use while making cocktails, serving beer, and mixing drinks. When you are first learning this trick it is very important to focus on balance. Also, please DO NOT try this if you’ve been drinking as you could actually hurt yourself.  Ready to learn your first bartending trick? Let’s get started.

How to Flip

Basic Technique: The following is a step-by-step guide designed to help walk you through the mechanics of flipping a bottle. Please use a plastic bottle when practicing for your first time.

Step 1: Grip the bottle with one hand by the neck, and hold a cup or glass with your other. Make sure you get a feel for the weight, and keep in mind every bottle is different for future flips.

Step 2: Gently flip your wrist forward to swing the bottle upward. Note: You don’t want to flip too hard as the bottle will go too high.

Step 3: Let go of the bottle when it swings on its own and then catch it once it has done a complete revolution with the neck pointing downwards. You will also want to move the cup or glass underneath the neck of the bottle in order to catch any liquid before it spills.


Start by grabbing a variety of different sized plastic bottles and then fill them up with water (about halfway or three quarters of the way full is probably realistic). Practice the trick over and over until you have it mastered it. Master status occurs after you can successfully do the trick ten or more times in a row without dropping the bottle. Once you have reached master level you can try with a glass bottle. Just make sure you practice in an area where it is easy to clean up any mess in case you accidentally drop the bottle.

Tips while practicing: You should practice with the lid on first so you can learn how to ‘catch’ the bottle neck first without having to catch a spill. You should also practice with different types of cups and glasses including wine glasses, cocktail shakers, and all other glasses you will find at a bar.

Perfecting Your Art

There are many variations to the basic bottle flip, many of which are required for flair bartending. The most common single “hand bottle flip” is simply pouring the alcohol directly into a glass. Other variations include flipping the bottle and catching it with your opposite hand, flipping the bottle and allowing it to spin twice before catching it, and (if working with plastic bottles or very cheap alcohol) flipping the bottle higher for a more dramatic effect.

Remember, you’ll want to fully master this technique at home with the same bottles you will be using at the bar before you try it at work.