Pub Etiquette #2 & More Beer

So since I’m cooped up on my sofa its time for another lesson.

Today’s lesson is Ordering.

This is a complex topic – there are several aspects to the process of ordering: 1. the bar approach, 2. choosing the beverage, 3. communicating with the staff, 4. exchange of money.

  1. This is the easy bit. You come into the pub and you make your move towards the bar working past the people in the way. Then you have to make your presence known. The tricky part of this is deciding when and how to talk to the bar staff. There is no easy answer to the 1st part – it rather depends on whether you know what you want but the second part is related to the 1st lesson. Don’t snap your fingers, or bang on the bar. Don’t wave money around like you don’t care if the person next to you grabs it out of your hand. Don’t yell “oi you” and don’t start ordering while we are serving someone else unless we invite you to. A raised hand/finger, eye contact, a polite excuse me or ‘are you free?’ should be sufficient to get your staff to pay attention.
  2. Believe it or not we don’t mind if you don’t know what you want as long as you admit it. Ask for advice, we can probably give it – and not just for you but for your friends too
  3. Apparently this is quite hard. You ask for drinks and we serve them. The trick is that you should try to be clear and specific, we’d like to know what, how many and what size. Speak up. Give us as much information as possible in one go and we will stop you if it gets too much and ask you to confirm as we go in case we have misheard. Asking for 1 drink at a time is very inefficient especially if you have to confirm size etc with multiple people or want a lot of Guinness. If we ask you a question its so you get the right drink, don’t ignore us or disappear for a conversation in the middle of the order (taking drinks away is fine as long as you let us know you are doing it).If you are asking for information about drinks please do it first (before ordering) and if you tell us you want something particular we will try our best but don’t get too upset if our suggestions don’t live up to hopes.
  4. Money. You don’t want to part with it but we do have to ask. It would be helpful if you got some out in advance especially if you want to pay with exact change and we are busy. I will help you count if you like but I reserve the right to worry about whether you are struggling because you are drunk. Please don’t put it in a puddle on the bar just out of my reach, that’s why I have my hand out. And yes honestly, it really is that expensive – I am sorry, truly sorry because it costs me that much to buy too, but I can’t change it just for you and whining about how it was cheaper way back when is only funny/interesting about once.

I hope that this doesn’t sound too patronising; actually I hope it is a little bit patronising because I, just like you, am often surprised by how inept people can be.


More Beer: Okocim

Ah, polish lager how we love thee. This canned beer is my saviour in times of trouble.



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