It’s thirsty Thursday. You’re at a downtown bar. The music, live or not, is only a decibel below sound regulation. If you’ve made the mistake of going to the bar between sets, you’re probably trapped in a wedge of people on the hunt for libations. With limited bar staff, how are you going to get that beer before the next set starts? If you’re a self-proclaimed live music aficionado and can’t possibly be torn away from the onstage magic, here are a few tips to help wet your whistle and get you back on the dance floor before your friends finish their cigarettes.
German scientists conducted a study in 2013 and determined some of the best techniques for using body language to get served first at a bar. We’re not exactly sure how our local bars on Dirty Sixth compare to the busy establishments in Bielefeld and Herford, but we trust drinking experts from a country where the word for “hard cash” (Bargeld) translates literally to “bar money”.
1. The Friedrich
Stand squarely to the bar and look directly at the bartender as they move around. Yes, you are now ostensibly a robot waiting for booze, but according to the study this is the tactic with the greatest success. Too many sippers at the bar already? You may just have to wait. The study claimed that those who prefer to sidle up to the counter in an attempt to squeeze between other customers are using an approach (the Winkler) that “may actually leave them waiting for longer.”
2. The Schültz
Smile. Whether you’ve still got some pent up testosterone after an East Cameron Folkcore show or you’re fighting back tears of joy from Holiday Mountain, go ahead and flash that upside-down frown while you’re waiting to be served. Depending on how many teeth you have left after a mosh pit, your chances of being served next should improve.
3. The Spaßmacher
Don’t talk to your friends at the bar. At least not until you get your drink. If you absolutely need to discuss how shredding that last Hikes song was, do so while following the first two tips. If you’re fiddling around with the menu or you’re engaged in a deep existential discussion with your buddy, you’re probably the lowest priority for the bartender. Given, this isn’t the most social advice but if you’re reading this you’re probably not too worried about keeping friends – you want to get served, now.
4. The Achthaben
Don’t gesture with your hand or head to the bartender. This is Austin, and although some pushy New Yorkers have been incorporated into our local population, that’s not how we do things here. Snapping, whistling, tapping your glass on the bar, waving money, and shouting at the bartender are all out of the question. However, the study noted that “holding a wallet or money in hand did have some success.” Additionally, hand movements like drumming fingers on the bar were observed to catch a bartender’s attention in some instances.
5. The Krämer
Tip your bartender! Like musicians and performers, bartenders are responsible for reinforcing the infrastructure of the Live Music Capital. When they pour your drink, reward them like they just destroyed a seven-minute guitar solo. Now we know that bartenders try their best to objectively serve those who arrived first, but with a little persuasion they might end up playing favorites with you.
6. The Voraussicht
Know what you’re ordering beforehand and keep it simple. At any given Austin bar you can go ahead and assume they’ll have tall boys of PBR and Lone Star so you can save a few seconds by not asking. If your favorite drink demands a complicated mixing process, don’t burden the bartender by ordering more than one. There are other people waiting and if there’s any truth to karma, that might be you stuck behind the patron ordering two Mojitos, a Cosmopolitan, and a Manhattan when you just want a beer.
Wunderbar! Now you’re back in action, drink in hand! The music’s about to start so unless you need to use the bathroom, get out there and keep hydrated!
– Jack Anderson