Bartending tips are the sign of a happy customer; a nice tip really affirms the job you’re doing and can energise you during a busy service.
But how much can you expect from bar work tips in the UK and how can you get more of them? Here’s how you can get that tip jar filling up nicely...
How much do bartenders make in tips?
If you're working in London at a top establishment, the average tips for a bartender could total between £50 - £100 per shift. However, this is most likely the highest amount achievable, as tipping is not a big part of the hospitality culture in the UK.
For a first bartending job, the average bartender tip total per shift is roughly £10. Which is still a nice little supplement to a bartender salary. When it comes to tips, it's the experience that pays.
It's important to note that just like the bartender average salary in the UK, the cash tips average varies, too. Many factors are at play when receiving bartending tips like experience, establishment and geography.
How much are the tips in a pub?
Tips for working in a pub can vary just as much as a bartender working behind a bar. In London, tips can be higher but it really varies all over the country and in different pubs. It's a bit of a guessing game, unfortunately.
For most, a pub is less of an experience than going to some concept bar in Shoreditch, so won't even think about tipping. Build a rapport with regular customers and this should help bring in tips into the pub.
How to get more tips as a bartender
Keeping the guests happy is the easiest way to get some bartending tips. But the fast-paced environment behind bar can mean it’s easy to lose sight of what the best practices are.
Here are our four top tips for getting those bartending tips…
1. Be polite and welcoming
Stone-faced bartenders are unlikely to be tipped often. Customers want to see a happy face as they order drinks and have a good time. Show those pearly whites!
2. Make great drinks
This includes so many aspects of the drink like method, taste and ingredients. It's all about the quality of your bartending skills. For example, you’re more likely to get a good response from using fresh produce in the drink. It doesn't matter if it's mixed drinks or pints of craft beer, serve it with pride!
3. Be attentive
No one likes waiting at the bar - even for a great tasting drink. So, be efficient in the way you work and look commanding. Customers also hate not knowing where they stand with the bartender. By communicating to the customer that they're up next, you’re likely to get a better response and possibly a little tip.
4. Don’t look desperate for a tip
Not everyone tips and that’s their choice. No bartender automatically deserves a tip, so work for the profession, not the tip! Doing this makes it more likely to get some bartending tips.
Important considerations for tips
As we’ve already said, bartending tips can differs all over the UK. What you can expect to receive in London is likely to be different to that in Cardiff. Plus, there’s divides between establishments and bartending experience. For example, the difference between a cocktail bar, restaurant bar, nightclub and pub are night and day for bartender tips.
Take a look at some more important considerations when getting bartending tips...
The impact of credit cards
The rise of card use for payments has seen a steep fall in cash tips. Bars and bartenders alike have felt the effects of this, with significant decreases.
It’s no wonder customers have moved to card. It takes a few seconds to pay, simple and no need to carry annoying pieces of change. Unfortunately, it’s these annoying bits of change that make up bartending tips. Bartenders now have to keep in mind that cash tips may be a bit harder to come by in this digitalised world.
Bad bar managers
It might be hard to believe but these awful people do exist. A bar manager that takes the tips of their hard-working bartender and staff, the very people supplying the customer’s excellent experience, is bang out of order. It’s totally unfair but it may be something you experience.
The best thing to do would be to tell the customer exactly where the tips go. By magic, you should notice how empty the tips jar becomes, to your manager’s surprise. Hopefully, over time they might realise why the bartending tips are down.
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