Every bartender who works in a restaurant and or bar always dreads the holidays. Why? Because, there are always just enough people who are willing to go out on a holiday and drink to make it worth the owners while to stay open. It depends on the holiday, but for the most part bartending on a holiday sucks. Sometimes it is a good excuse to get away from the family celebration early and not have to deal with the clean up. But sometimes I’m not sure what would be worse, drunk family or drunken bar regulars. Either way there are some holidays that are fun to work and holidays that are horrible. So; when deciding where to go and drink on a holiday keep your favorite bartender in mind and decide whether it is worth it or not to torture them.
Holidays we love:
The day before thanksgiving: biggest drinking night of the year- love the money hate the college kids that come home. The only downfall to this holiday is that we always show up to thanksgiving lunch tired. Remember most bartenders do not get home from work on this night until 5am.
New Years Eve: Good money. Never had one off… get to watch everyone else party and count down the New Year while we pour Champaign. The money makes this night worth it. Plus usually this is a holiday where the bartender gets to dress up night and gets a bunch of free stuff from the reps.
Halloween: Love this holiday, gives you an excuse as an adult to spend money on a costume and act like a fool. Plus most people have Halloween parties on a different night because of their kids so you can still attend.
Saint Patty’s day: Best holiday to work in a bar. You can join in on the partying without getting drunk. Everyone usually tips well. Everyone is there to get shit faced and spend their pay checks. You don’t go home with the hang-over, but you do go home with pockets full of cash. Everyone dresses up in costumes and green shit. You go home with green hands from the food coloring in the tap beer. There is usually good music. It is the bouncers’ least favorite holiday.
Holidays we hate:
Easter: The church people/ if working in a restaurant the bartender makes no money and has to pour wine drinks and virgin frozen daiquiris all day long. If working in a regular bar business is slow and everyone is bitter.
Christmas Eve: Because we would rather be out last minute shopping and no one tips because they have spent all of their money last minute shopping. Plus usually you have to miss out on at least on family dinner or event for three customers to come in and bitch about their families.
Mothers/ Fathers day: Need I say more.
Fourth of July: Unless you are working at a tourist location or a patio bar, there is no money to be made. If you work the night shift at a bar you miss out on the fireworks. Everyone is having a BBQ and you have to sling drinks to the few people who have no porch or patio to party on.
Thanksgiving: Because bar patrons come in late, if at all and you have eaten too much to give a shit about the bar regulars problems. All the football games are over with before you get to work, so there is nothing to watch on the TV. Everyone is hung-over from the night before.
Memorial and Labor Day: Sometimes you make money, sometimes you don’t. Both holidays are usually a nice hot day you don’t want to spend inside. Either way, everyone is barbequing without you.
The best Holiday story I have for you is a story from when I worked in Detroit. I was working in a blues bar on Easter Sunday. We decided to have our own little Easter egg hunt and small dinner before we opened to start all of the bartenders and servers off in a good mood. It was working, everyone was having a great time and in high spirits before the doors opened, (even the Jewish and Atheist servers who I made help me hide the eggs were having fun). Then the doors opened!
I was serving tables and I had an 18 top of church ladies all dressed up in their Sunday best. The table ordered 18 glasses of different types of wine, they couldn’t just settle on a couple of bottles. I was trying to cash out another table at the same time I was delivering the wine to the large party. The guy was ready to get the hell out of the restaurant apparently and saw that I had his check with his credit card in it under my armpit. So instead of waiting for me to finish passing out the wine to the large party, he grabbed the book out from under my arm. This caused the whole tray full of red and white wine to go flying. The wine landed on top of about ten of the eighteen ladies and their new church clothes. I freaked out on the guy and proceeded to call him every foal mouthed thing I could come up with. The ladies were in shock; they had wine all over them and had just heard the f-bomb at least 6 times. Needless to say, their tab was upwards of $500.00 and my tip definitely reflected my sailor mouth. I walked away from the table with a twenty dollar bill. It was one of the worst tips I have ever received on a holiday. I also had to tip out the bartender and busser on the table, so I walked away with a five dollar tip. So, take notes bartenders and servers, even church people who drink do not like to hear the word fuck with their Easter dinner.