As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/

Bar Etiquette - How long until the staff hates me?

MadpoetMadpoet Registered User regular
I need to get the hell out of the house, but I still need to code. If I claim a table at a bar and set up shop, how long per drink until I've overstayed my welcome? My thought was to go on weeknights when it's not so busy, work for a couple hours, have a few drinks, and then walk it off on the waterfront. I don't want to impose on wait staff though.

Any Portland PAers that can recommend somewhere downtown that would be good on a weeknight? Not super busy, and in range of wifi? Good spanish coffees a plus.

Posts

  • RendRend Registered User regular
    Madpoet wrote: »
    I need to get the hell out of the house, but I still need to code. If I claim a table at a bar and set up shop, how long per drink until I've overstayed my welcome? My thought was to go on weeknights when it's not so busy, work for a couple hours, have a few drinks, and then walk it off on the waterfront. I don't want to impose on wait staff though.

    Any Portland PAers that can recommend somewhere downtown that would be good on a weeknight? Not super busy, and in range of wifi? Good spanish coffees a plus.

    Have you considered a public library instead? I'm not a portlander and don't frequent bars so I am afraid I can be of little help in answering the question you asked, but perhaps there may be other, less unorthodox options.

  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    As long as you keep drinking and there are still plenty of open tables, no one will hate you. If they're coming by and asking if you want another drink and you say "no i'm fine thanks" or just ask for a water, then they'll start to be get annoyed. If other people are around and need your table, they will hate you.

    tapeslingerLaOsYoSoyTheWalrusEnc
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    There's got to be coffee shops in Portland that also serve beer no?

    Edit: I frequently bring my computer to do work at bars where I'm a regular, but it's always daytime and relatively slow.

    Djeet on
  • MadpoetMadpoet Registered User regular
    Rend wrote: »
    Madpoet wrote: »
    I need to get the hell out of the house, but I still need to code. If I claim a table at a bar and set up shop, how long per drink until I've overstayed my welcome? My thought was to go on weeknights when it's not so busy, work for a couple hours, have a few drinks, and then walk it off on the waterfront. I don't want to impose on wait staff though.

    Any Portland PAers that can recommend somewhere downtown that would be good on a weeknight? Not super busy, and in range of wifi? Good spanish coffees a plus.

    Have you considered a public library instead? I'm not a portlander and don't frequent bars so I am afraid I can be of little help in answering the question you asked, but perhaps there may be other, less unorthodox options.
    I'm a big proponent of Ballmer Point programming. That, and after dealing with marketing all day, I need a couple shots. Also, I get along with bar people better than coffee shop people, generally.

    Rend
  • LailLail Surrey, B.C.Registered User regular
    NotYou wrote: »
    As long as you keep drinking and there are still plenty of open tables, no one will hate you. If they're coming by and asking if you want another drink and you say "no i'm fine thanks" or just ask for a water, then they'll start to be get annoyed. If other people are around and need your table, they will hate you.

    This.

    If it's not super-packed, the wait staff will probably like you there since you'll be a low-maintenance customer who is still paying. If it's starting to get busy, or you stop ordering, then it is time to leave.

    tapeslingerDeadfalltynicLaOscabsyTaranisEnc
  • ComahawkComahawk Registered User regular
    Lail wrote: »
    NotYou wrote: »
    As long as you keep drinking and there are still plenty of open tables, no one will hate you. If they're coming by and asking if you want another drink and you say "no i'm fine thanks" or just ask for a water, then they'll start to be get annoyed. If other people are around and need your table, they will hate you.

    This.

    If it's not super-packed, the wait staff will probably like you there since you'll be a low-maintenance customer who is still paying. If it's starting to get busy, or you stop ordering, then it is time to leave.

    Seconding this.

    Used to work in the industry and this is pretty much how it is. The only thing I can add is grab a table for two if possible, preferably in a back corner. People will try to talk to you otherwise, plus you are out of the way and taking up a table that is less likely to be used when it is busy.

    tapeslingerLaOsEnc
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Lail wrote: »
    NotYou wrote: »
    As long as you keep drinking and there are still plenty of open tables, no one will hate you. If they're coming by and asking if you want another drink and you say "no i'm fine thanks" or just ask for a water, then they'll start to be get annoyed. If other people are around and need your table, they will hate you.

    This.

    If it's not super-packed, the wait staff will probably like you there since you'll be a low-maintenance customer who is still paying. If it's starting to get busy, or you stop ordering, then it is time to leave.

    Thirded.

    Also, make sure you tip well. If I go alone to a pub or restaurant I always make sure I can leave a 20 on the table; you don't have to go that steep, but you should tip higher than you normally would (otherwise you're screwing-over the server who has to deal with a single patron table).

    With Love and Courage
    tapeslinger
  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Lail wrote: »
    NotYou wrote: »
    As long as you keep drinking and there are still plenty of open tables, no one will hate you. If they're coming by and asking if you want another drink and you say "no i'm fine thanks" or just ask for a water, then they'll start to be get annoyed. If other people are around and need your table, they will hate you.

    This.

    If it's not super-packed, the wait staff will probably like you there since you'll be a low-maintenance customer who is still paying. If it's starting to get busy, or you stop ordering, then it is time to leave.

    Thirded.

    Also, make sure you tip well. If I go alone to a pub or restaurant I always make sure I can leave a 20 on the table; you don't have to go that steep, but you should tip higher than you normally would (otherwise you're screwing-over the server who has to deal with a single patron table).

    Yup!
    If you're a frequent flier and you tip well, it's generally a beneficial arrangement for all parties. it is not uncommon to my experience to have bar staff learn your name/favorite drinks/habitual needs like a specific table with an outlet, for example, if you're low-maintenance and polite. I would say 1-2 beverage minimum per hour; really depends on what the beverage is, though. Pounding down dollar PBRs is counterintuitive to productivity, but a good beer might take a while to work at without getting plastered as well. I would suggest probably supplementing the beer with an order or two from the kitchen to keep from marinating (ymmv, etc, etc)

    Donovan Puppyfucker
  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    If the bar isn't busy, I can't imagine a server would be upset with this. You're ordering items, which is the only sticking point some servers have with people who "set up shop." If you're concerned when you first try it out, just talk to your server -- say you're going to be doing a bit of work but that you'll be having a couple drinks. If it's actually a bit quiet, don't be afraid to tell your server to leave you alone for the first 30 minutes or so after your drink comes, or to swing by only when it's convenient for them.

    If the place is quiet, your presence simply means a couple extra bucks for them at the expense of walking around a little bit more. If you weren't there, they wouldn't get paid any extra, so it's really not a big deal. The only bad thing could be if they need your table or if your laptop bugs other patrons (unlikely).

    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    it depends on the bar, but most restaurant/bar types of places won't really care as long as you order something reasonable and don't stay all night. I can't imagine any kind of place you'd actually want to set up to do work would have a problem with you sitting there for a couple hours as long as you order a beer or two

    NREqxl5.jpg
    hold your head high soldier, it ain't over yet
    that's why we call it the struggle, you're supposed to sweat
  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    edited July 2013
    Madpoet wrote: »
    I need to get the hell out of the house, but I still need to code. If I claim a table at a bar and set up shop, how long per drink until I've overstayed my welcome? My thought was to go on weeknights when it's not so busy, work for a couple hours, have a few drinks, and then walk it off on the waterfront. I don't want to impose on wait staff though.

    Any Portland PAers that can recommend somewhere downtown that would be good on a weeknight? Not super busy, and in range of wifi? Good spanish coffees a plus.

    @Esh

    Edit: Ah, PM already sent. Carry on, then.

    Sir Carcass on
    Esh
  • MadpoetMadpoet Registered User regular
    Thanks everyone for the input. Sorta of a silly question, but I am really bad at the whole "leaving the house" thing.
    If any Portlanders stumble on this, feel free to PM me about any bars I might not know about - I'm in the burbs, so part of town doesn't matter.

  • Reverend_ChaosReverend_Chaos Suit Up! Registered User regular
    Even if they are busy the staff typically won't care, as long as you tip well enough. Tip on your drink, and then throw in a little extra for each hour you are there.

    “Think of me like Yoda, but instead of being little and green I wear suits and I'm awesome. I'm your bro—I'm Broda!”
  • SilverEternitySilverEternity Registered User regular
    edited August 2013
    The Ender wrote: »
    Also, make sure you tip well. If I go alone to a pub or restaurant I always make sure I can leave a 20 on the table; you don't have to go that steep, but you should tip higher than you normally would (otherwise you're screwing-over the server who has to deal with a single patron table).

    Although it will get you remembered/appreciated, a $20 seems a bit little steep depending on the situation.

    I used to work at a bar that never got packed and we regularly had a woman come in alone with her laptop and sit for a couple hours to do work. She would sometimes get only two beers and sometimes a meal and a beer. She tipped around 30% but always at least $5 (>50% for two beers). Personally I didn't mind serving her even when it was just $5 as long as I couldn't fill that table with someone else (i.e. we weren't busy) and she wasn't demanding (which she wasn't). Basically it just required getting her initial order, checking if she wanted food, then eyeing her table occasionally to see if the beer was empty. I got to know/recognize her by the third time she came in and actually appreciated her because it was so easy and nice.

    I've worked in three different restaurants and each had semi-regular solo customers. Basically as long as you're not rude and you're not making them "lose" money, I don't think servers would mind. As others have said, make sure it's not busy. I worked at a restaurant/bar that got packed every night (even weekdays) from 6pm-10pm, usually with a 15-30 minute wait and if a table sat around after their meal or was a hold-over from the afternoon (ie. came in at 4pm and was still there at 6:30), it meant less money for the restaurant and the server, and garnered a moderate amount of hatred.

    Another tip, if you become a regular somewhere, try and get to know shift changes, close out your bill with the initial server if it gets to be near the end of his/her shift, then change over to the new server. Some restaurants require servers to stay until all their tables have left or at least closed out.

    SilverEternity on
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Yeah, everyone else has said it, but the summary is:

    You probably aren't pissing off anyone as long as there isn't someone waiting for your seat who would be a fresh round of income for the wait staff.

    What is this I don't even.
  • TheCanManTheCanMan Registered User regular
    It might not be a bad idea to tell your server that it's fine to let you know if they need the table. Even if you've perfectly capable of recognizing with it's starting to get busy all on your own, it'd be a nice way to let them know that you're not going to stubbornly sit there nursing your beer while people are standing around waiting for a table.

  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    Don't forget about hotel bars.

    Drinks are a bit more pricey, but hotel bars / lounges tend to be pretty chill places to grab a drink and get some work done.

    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Also, make sure you tip well. If I go alone to a pub or restaurant I always make sure I can leave a 20 on the table; you don't have to go that steep, but you should tip higher than you normally would (otherwise you're screwing-over the server who has to deal with a single patron table).

    Although it will get you remembered/appreciated, a $20 seems a bit little steep depending on the situation.

    I used to work at a bar that never got packed and we regularly had a woman come in alone with her laptop and sit for a couple hours to do work. She would sometimes get only two beers and sometimes a meal and a beer. She tipped around 30% but always at least $5 (>50% for two beers). Personally I didn't mind serving her even when it was just $5 as long as I couldn't fill that table with someone else (i.e. we weren't busy) and she wasn't demanding (which she wasn't). Basically it just required getting her initial order, checking if she wanted food, then eyeing her table occasionally to see if the beer was empty. I got to know/recognize her by the third time she came in and actually appreciated her because it was so easy and nice.

    I've worked in three different restaurants and each had semi-regular solo customers. Basically as long as you're not rude and you're not making them "lose" money, I don't think servers would mind. As others have said, make sure it's not busy. I worked at a restaurant/bar that got packed every night (even weekdays) from 6pm-10pm, usually with a 15-30 minute wait and if a table sat around after their meal or was a hold-over from the afternoon (ie. came in at 4pm and was still there at 6:30), it meant less money for the restaurant and the server, and garnered a moderate amount of hatred.

    Another tip, if you become a regular somewhere, try and get to know shift changes, close out your bill with the initial server if it gets to be near the end of his/her shift, then change over to the new server. Some restaurants require servers to stay until all their tables have left or at least closed out.

    It's a bit steep, and I doubt it's expected, but I look at it this way:

    Most of the time I go to restaurant lounges on Friday. It's almost always busy. Most tables host about 4~ people, from what I've seen (people doing double dates, people meeting family, whatever. I could be wrong, but that's what it seems like whenever I go out). If they each drop 25 bucks on food / drinks, which is typical whenever I'm with a group, the tip for their table will be about $10~ (assuming they weren't cheap assholes, which I try to assume most people aren't).

    I usually buy about 25~ dollars worth of food, which would make my tip about $2.50.

    So the server who happened to get my table would be hosed out of $7.50, assuming minimum tips, and the restaurant would have a table grossing 25 dollars instead of 100 dollars. I grew up in Oil Patch Country; people never leave the minimum tip there.

    i figure 20 bucks in gratuity covers my bases, letting me be That Guy With The Big Tips! ^.^ instead of That Fucking Guy? Again? >.<

    With Love and Courage
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    Also, make sure you tip well. If I go alone to a pub or restaurant I always make sure I can leave a 20 on the table; you don't have to go that steep, but you should tip higher than you normally would (otherwise you're screwing-over the server who has to deal with a single patron table).

    Although it will get you remembered/appreciated, a $20 seems a bit little steep depending on the situation.

    I used to work at a bar that never got packed and we regularly had a woman come in alone with her laptop and sit for a couple hours to do work. She would sometimes get only two beers and sometimes a meal and a beer. She tipped around 30% but always at least $5 (>50% for two beers). Personally I didn't mind serving her even when it was just $5 as long as I couldn't fill that table with someone else (i.e. we weren't busy) and she wasn't demanding (which she wasn't). Basically it just required getting her initial order, checking if she wanted food, then eyeing her table occasionally to see if the beer was empty. I got to know/recognize her by the third time she came in and actually appreciated her because it was so easy and nice.

    I've worked in three different restaurants and each had semi-regular solo customers. Basically as long as you're not rude and you're not making them "lose" money, I don't think servers would mind. As others have said, make sure it's not busy. I worked at a restaurant/bar that got packed every night (even weekdays) from 6pm-10pm, usually with a 15-30 minute wait and if a table sat around after their meal or was a hold-over from the afternoon (ie. came in at 4pm and was still there at 6:30), it meant less money for the restaurant and the server, and garnered a moderate amount of hatred.

    Another tip, if you become a regular somewhere, try and get to know shift changes, close out your bill with the initial server if it gets to be near the end of his/her shift, then change over to the new server. Some restaurants require servers to stay until all their tables have left or at least closed out.

    I usually buy about 25~ dollars worth of food, which would make my tip about $2.50.

    Where is 10% anything but an insult?

    What is this I don't even.
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    Also, make sure you tip well. If I go alone to a pub or restaurant I always make sure I can leave a 20 on the table; you don't have to go that steep, but you should tip higher than you normally would (otherwise you're screwing-over the server who has to deal with a single patron table).

    Although it will get you remembered/appreciated, a $20 seems a bit little steep depending on the situation.

    I used to work at a bar that never got packed and we regularly had a woman come in alone with her laptop and sit for a couple hours to do work. She would sometimes get only two beers and sometimes a meal and a beer. She tipped around 30% but always at least $5 (>50% for two beers). Personally I didn't mind serving her even when it was just $5 as long as I couldn't fill that table with someone else (i.e. we weren't busy) and she wasn't demanding (which she wasn't). Basically it just required getting her initial order, checking if she wanted food, then eyeing her table occasionally to see if the beer was empty. I got to know/recognize her by the third time she came in and actually appreciated her because it was so easy and nice.

    I've worked in three different restaurants and each had semi-regular solo customers. Basically as long as you're not rude and you're not making them "lose" money, I don't think servers would mind. As others have said, make sure it's not busy. I worked at a restaurant/bar that got packed every night (even weekdays) from 6pm-10pm, usually with a 15-30 minute wait and if a table sat around after their meal or was a hold-over from the afternoon (ie. came in at 4pm and was still there at 6:30), it meant less money for the restaurant and the server, and garnered a moderate amount of hatred.

    Another tip, if you become a regular somewhere, try and get to know shift changes, close out your bill with the initial server if it gets to be near the end of his/her shift, then change over to the new server. Some restaurants require servers to stay until all their tables have left or at least closed out.

    I usually buy about 25~ dollars worth of food, which would make my tip about $2.50.

    Where is 10% anything but an insult?

    England.

    CroakerBC
  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    Also, make sure you tip well. If I go alone to a pub or restaurant I always make sure I can leave a 20 on the table; you don't have to go that steep, but you should tip higher than you normally would (otherwise you're screwing-over the server who has to deal with a single patron table).

    Although it will get you remembered/appreciated, a $20 seems a bit little steep depending on the situation.

    I used to work at a bar that never got packed and we regularly had a woman come in alone with her laptop and sit for a couple hours to do work. She would sometimes get only two beers and sometimes a meal and a beer. She tipped around 30% but always at least $5 (>50% for two beers). Personally I didn't mind serving her even when it was just $5 as long as I couldn't fill that table with someone else (i.e. we weren't busy) and she wasn't demanding (which she wasn't). Basically it just required getting her initial order, checking if she wanted food, then eyeing her table occasionally to see if the beer was empty. I got to know/recognize her by the third time she came in and actually appreciated her because it was so easy and nice.

    I've worked in three different restaurants and each had semi-regular solo customers. Basically as long as you're not rude and you're not making them "lose" money, I don't think servers would mind. As others have said, make sure it's not busy. I worked at a restaurant/bar that got packed every night (even weekdays) from 6pm-10pm, usually with a 15-30 minute wait and if a table sat around after their meal or was a hold-over from the afternoon (ie. came in at 4pm and was still there at 6:30), it meant less money for the restaurant and the server, and garnered a moderate amount of hatred.

    Another tip, if you become a regular somewhere, try and get to know shift changes, close out your bill with the initial server if it gets to be near the end of his/her shift, then change over to the new server. Some restaurants require servers to stay until all their tables have left or at least closed out.

    I usually buy about 25~ dollars worth of food, which would make my tip about $2.50.

    Where is 10% anything but an insult?

    England.

    In the context that in England we are expecting the staff to be being paid a liveable wage before tips.

    MhCw7nZ.gif
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    This isn't really a tipping debate, other than if you're going to take up space and not spend as much money as when you'd go to socialize, then you should tip more generously than how you would normally tip.

    a5ehren
  • QuantumTurkQuantumTurk Registered User regular
    Yea, overall you will be fine. Just keep an eye out and pay up if it is getting busy/they might want the table for higher paying people. I'll also second letting the server know they can tell you when they need you to leave. Depending on the place/management they might not be ABLE to tell you directly, but they can hint. Generally, if a server asks you if you want the check, they are trying to turn the table (not always of course.) And I'll second tipping a little higher than you normally would, to compensate for being a single person table. Just generally be courteous, and recognize that it's a business, and you will be fine. In fact, do it enough, and you will probably be like the woman mentioned above, the servers will LIKE you, because you, (in addition to your smiling face) are bringing in reliable money.

    You sound like you are a courteous customer anyway, you would be amazed how many people don't consider any of this. I was recently out celebrating with some friends at a tiny little bar/fancy restaurant. We ordered apps and drinks as we waited 2 hours for a proper table, and while at that table we ordered dish after dish (small plates) and kept up our wine and drinks. Over the 2+ hours of us at the table constantly ordering, the 7 top next to us had been done since we sat down. In those 2 hours they ordered 2 coffees. That was it. After they finally left we apologized to the staff FOR them. Their squatting probably lost the place hundreds of dollars.

  • AresProphetAresProphet I see a darkness in my fate I'll drive my car without the brakesRegistered User regular
    Being nice in general to the staff (and management) goes a long way, too. If you're going to be there often it doesn't hurt to get to know the staff by name, make small talk, crack a joke now and then.

    When you treat people in the service industry like human beings instead of just another part of the landscape, they'll do the same.

    oh, gimme some time
    show me the foothold from which I can climb
    yeah, when I feel low
    you show me a signpost for where I should go
    EsseeShadowfire
  • NakedZerglingNakedZergling A more apocalyptic post apocalypse Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    Madpoet wrote: »
    Thanks everyone for the input. Sorta of a silly question, but I am really bad at the whole "leaving the house" thing.
    If any Portlanders stumble on this, feel free to PM me about any bars I might not know about - I'm in the burbs, so part of town doesn't matter.


    Where in portland are you? im in Aloha

  • MadpoetMadpoet Registered User regular
    "Unincorporated Washington County" So, just a bit north of you.

  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited August 2013
    Thank god I live in a country where tipping is almost nonexistent. The manager of a restaurant here might hate you for not buying much and occupying a table but the staff won't give a toss.

    Edit : can i just note how weird it is how popular this thread is? I never can predict what ends up popular in H&A

    Dhalphir on
    Donovan PuppyfuckerMadpoet
  • Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    I still tip if someone does a great job, or if I want preferential treatment at a bar (next time you're in a really busy bar/club, when you get to the counter sling the Barperson a $50 and see if you have to wait at the back to be served drinks for the rest of the night {protip: you won't!})

Sign In or Register to comment.