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On the subject of tipping bartenders... WHAT IF?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by mattsk42, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. I don't drink alcohol.

    It's true, I do not drink ever, and certainly not at a show. So what do I tip then if the band gets free drinks?

    Do I really give them a dollar for a 2 dollar drink? I can't tip the price of the drink, that would be even more odd.

    And then to take it to the extreme, my girlfriend will almost certainly have only water. I may go that route on some shows, too, to preserve the voice and because I don't HAVE to have pop.

    So then what do you do?
  2. Tell them that you want water when they bring you drinks. Politely of course:smug:. If they are prompt and courteous, tip them whatever you feel is fair for them making the rounds for you guys.

    If they give you the snob look and never come back, well then there is nothing to tip for now is there?
  3. Spoiled Grape

    Spoiled Grape I <3 Darkstar

    May 29, 2003
    Riverside, CA
    I don't tip at shows unless the girl is hot or the service is exceptional.

    See, it works both ways. I don't make extra money that show from merch unless someone finds me hot or the performance is exceptional. We both depend on tips and we both do our best to earn them or starve.
  4. pjwalsh


    May 3, 2006
    Elkton, Md
    I would tip the bartender at the normal magnitude for an alcohol-bearing drink. And don't forget that from a stage you are of course in an excellent position to remind other patrons to tip their bartender too - the bartender will appreciate that.

    Often the bartender and wait-staff will be the ones giving feedback to the people managing booking at the venue. I would make sure they are not walking away from you thinking they just got shorted on a tip.
  5. K2000


    Nov 16, 2005
    Umm, there is nothing "odd" about tipping a dollar, for a soda that costs a dollar.

    What do you tip at a restaurant, if you "only ordered appetizers" -- zero?

    What if the service was only average, and not exceptional, what do you tip -- zero?

    If so, give yourself a swift kick -- you're probably a big jerk.

    Here's a good rule of thumb... tip a dollar for every drink. If you get drink tickets for playing at the club, that doesn't mean you're off the hook for a tip. There may be some special situations where you don't tip on every single drink (the bartender is your friend, you ordered a water, and he/she was just standing around anyway, it's a real dive, you're totally broke that night, you know you're not getting paid a dime... okay, maybe you don't have to tip for every drink).

    If the bartender has other customers and you don't tip, you're probably a big jerk.

    A one dollar tip is a sign of respect, at bare minimum. If you can't pry a dollar out of your pocket for getting served, you're probably a big jerk. When in doubt, TIP. And don't make a big show about it, either.

    Hope that helps.
  6. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I usually drink soda at bars too. I don't drive even if I've only had one drink as there's too much to lose now a days.

    I usually tip a dollar for each glass of soda that I drink. Even if you get free drinks, the waiter/waitress/bartender is still working. You could just go up to the bar at the end of the night and give the bartender $5 or $10 and say "thanks". They'll remember you.

    Just like if you go to a bar and the waitress doesn't charge you for every single drink (sometimes they do you a favor), you should still tip based on what the tab would have been so that the waitress gets rewarded for the trouble.

    my .02
  7. it depends on what the place will pay the band and who books. if the booking person runs the bar and wants to chince out on the band, ill chince out on the bar, and vice versa. theres been too many gigs that want to split the door in an "unorthodox" way on a slow night while weve been drinking the whole night ending up in the negative.
  8. Fnord Explorer

    Fnord Explorer

    Feb 3, 2008
    I tip two or three dollars the first time I order a soda or water and leave it at that. It gets their attention because you are showing them you are appreciative of the service, even if it's only for water, and they'll be sure to get your next water/soda fairly quickly, even on a busy night. They *know* you know you don't have to be generous tipping them so it's a pretty nice gesture. And it goes a long way.
  9. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    +1 Wisdom. Never piss off people who have nothing to lose.
  10. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man

    very good advice. Look after these guys and they will look after you.
  11. dont the bars pay these people?
  12. Bhuti


    May 9, 2006
    Harlem, NY
    Warehouse/Shop Asst. &amp; endorsing artist of Warwick Basses
    Not really. It's courtesy to tip at LEAST a buck for each drink. Most of the time they are getting like 2.50 an hour and they get paied off their tips, so long story short no.

    Tip bartenders, Tip waitresses.
  13. its legal to pay someone only 2.50 a hour over there?
  14. It varies by state, but typically bartenders and waitresses fall under a category where it's assumed they will make the majority of their income on tips, so they can be paid a certain amount under the minimum wage.

    I know this will be a newsflash for some people, but otherwise a lot of bars and restaurants wouldn't be able to hire anyone...their margins really can be that low.
  15. makaky


    Mar 26, 2004
    Montreal Canada
    Here we go again ....
  16. bluestarbass


    Jul 31, 2007
    The last few times ive played, ive played for free. I dont depend on music for a living, so im able to play benefit shows for friends and such. No free drinks either. If I work for free so should the bartenders I spose. I'll usually throw a fiver at first then not tip the rest of the night. If I was getting free drinks id tip a dollar a drink. It does piss me off though when I play for free and Im expected to tip.
  17. Being 'stralian, I don't get the tipping thing, since employers pay employees a decent enough wage to make it worth showing up to work, sometimes...

    But I thought tips were based on a percentage of what you pay...so paying a one dollar tip for a one dollar drink as suggested by one poster is here is a 100% tip!

    But any percent of $0.00 remains $0.00.

    If I magically morphed to say Utah and I was on stage getting free drinks whilst working to help the bar sell drinks through playing music, I'd tip nothing. Thats what the punters buying over the bar are there for, right? And noone is tipping the band per song, right?

    OK, back to 'stralia for me...
  18. Drkwdsman@yahoo

    Drkwdsman@yahoo Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2004
    After the show is over and they kick the crowds out, we tip the doorman, the bartenders and other staff.

    They all worked hard and will work harder the next time you play there.
  19. I think free drinks or not, you should kick a little cash to the bartender or waiter(ess). It's not their fault that the owner of the club isn't paying you. They still rely on those tips to make a living (in the US) I always try to throw a little cash into the tip jar for the staff. Sometimes they bring us drinks on the bandstand, keep an eye on our tipjar for us. Without their help, you could have some rough dry gigs. I think issues like this is where you can see the difference in people that have worked for tips vs those who have not worked for tips. Your wages depend on the decency of the people you are waiting on. Not that you can't adjust the tip for lousy service, but come on.....
  20. RED5


    Jan 14, 2008
    Suffolk County,NY
    I work the house band at a local venue's open mic night. To be precise? We get paid. By extension we are part of the staff. That being said?, we cut a portion out of our pay out to go to the bar. It's just good business. Possibly as a result? I have booked three different bands I'm in at this place, no questions asked. A good rep is hard to come by, but we remember where we sit in the room.

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