A bartender has revealed the five things she’d never do as a bar patron, after working in the industry for nearly two decades.
Shelly, who goes by @shellycantsitwithus on TikTok, recently shared her do’s and don’ts for viewers looking to grab a drink at a bar. In the viral video, which has more than 1.2m views on the app, Shelly revealed five things bar-goers should avoid, after working as a bartender for 19 years.
“These are all based on my personal experiences and if they make you mad, I don’t care,” she cautioned viewers, and added the cheeky caption: “I like to ruin things for people.”
The first tip Shelly shared in the video was to check the bar’s surroundings to make sure its cleanliness is up to par. She explained that if a bar is generally dirty or the bathrooms are not maintained, it’s probably a good sign that their “beer lines” – hoses or tubing for draft beer systems – are most likely not clean as well.
Second, she warned against visiting bars or restaurants that “batch” their cocktails – making drinks in advance for large groups of people – because the batches the drinks are made in “rarely ever gets cleaned.”
“If they’re advertising that that batch cocktail is a Patron margarita, did you know that all they had to do was add one bottle of Patron to the entire batch and they can call the whole batch a Patron margarita?” she added.
Her third tip for bar-goers was to never put the fruit that’s served with cocktails inside the actual drink. She claimed that the garnish could be contaminated, from bartenders handling dirty rags and cash with their hands all night.
“I was a bartender who obsessively washed my hands,” Shelly said. “Not all of us are like that.”
For her fourth tip, Shelly suggested customers should be as friendly as possible to their servers, as she’s seen some bartenders do questionable things to a rude customer’s order. “The unhinged sh*t that I have witnessed or heard about servers, bartenders, doing to your food or drinks because you were a d**k,” she claimed. “You can send your food and your drink back and be f***ing kind about it.”
Shelly’s fifth and final tip – and perhaps the most important one – was to never leave a drink unattended. She explained how she’s witnessed some people subtly spike a drink in very creative ways. “The number of times that I’ve called the cops on people who have spiked a drink so subtly,” she revealed. “Like, reaching over to give me cash and dropping something in someone’s drink.”
Shelly’s viral video prompted fellow service industry workers to share their own horror stories from working in a bar, and many people agreed with Shelly’s five tips.
“Oh my god. I love love love this because sadly I can attest to all this,” one person commented.
“Dude former bartender here. Totally spot on,” another user wrote.
“As a former bartender, the things that come out of the beer lines are straight from Stranger Things,” joked someone else.
One TikToker said: “I arrived at work once as a cocktail bartender to find the marg batch filled with fruit flies…my manager made me strain them out instead.”
Others took the opportunity to share some tips that they’ve learned over the years. “One of mine is ‘order according to the bar environment,’” one person explained. “Not going to order something like a Manhattan at a dive bar.”
“New fear unlocked,” someone else wrote.