How Much Do Bartenders Make In Tips?

how much do bartenders make in tips
Joe | Last Updated: November 24, 2023
I'm Joe, a veteran bartender with over a decade in the industry and a burning passion for mixing drinks.

If you’ve ever found yourself in a bar wondering how on earth the bartender does it, you’re not alone.

Bartending is a mentally and physically demanding job that is not for the fainthearted, with staff often on their feet for the whole shift with little time for breaks.

Whilst serving drinks is a large part of a bartender’s role, they’re also constantly communicating, making recommendations, and producing a welcoming and fun environment for guests.

With all that work going on, it’s fair to wonder: how much do bartenders make in tips?

In this article, we’ll go through how much the average bartenders make in tips, the factors that influence their tips, and how much top performers make.

So whether you’re a bartender looking to improve your earnings or are curious as to how much bartenders make in tips, by the end of this article you’ll be well-informed about the world of bartender tipping.

How Much Do Bartenders Make In Tips?

The amount of money a bartender can make in tips varies greatly depending on a number of factors such as the bar they work in, the bar’s tipping policy, and the bartender’s skill and experience.

That said, most bartenders in the US can expect to make between $50 – $150 in tips each shift, with bartenders who work in busy thriving bars earning more than those who work in quieter establishments in rural areas.

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It’s not uncommon for top-performing bartenders to earn $500+ per shift if they’ve perfected the tip-earning recipe.

In countries outside the US, such as the UK, New Zealand, and Australia, tipping the bartender isn’t as expected as it is in the United States and Canada.

how much do bartenders make in tips
Photo by Darya Sannikova

This means that bartenders working in these countries may earn significantly less in tips and rely more heavily on their base salary.

It’s also important to remember that in some establishments, tips are shared between all staff members which includes bartenders, servers, and kitchen staff.

Bartending can be a very lucrative profession, but there are many factors that will play a role in how much each bartender earns in tips, their geographical location, and the establishment they work in being big ones.

>> Read more: How do bartenders keep track of tabs?

Do All Bartenders Make Good Tips?

No, not all bartenders make good tips. A bartender may work in the busiest, classiest, and most expensive bar in New York, but if they’re not a good bartender they won’t make good tips.

The experience of the bartender and their communication skills have a big impact on how much they can earn in tips, if they’ve got good conversation and can make punters laugh, they are sure to earn good tips.

Some bartenders are more qualified than others, such as flair bartenders.

These are specialized bartenders who dazzle and entertain guests by using bar tools and ingredients in a stylish way.

Flair bartenders often work in fancy bars, and naturally, as they’re juggling bottles, throwing, and catching drinks, customers will often tip them more than a regular bartender.

Factors outside the bartender’s control also affect their tips, such as the establishment they work in and its tipping policy.

Some bars collect tips in a “tip jar” and divide the tips between all staff members at the end of the week.

This often works well in bars that have a tight-knit group of staff, but in others, it can cause complications and arguments from which staff members are lagging and not pulling their weight.

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Factors That Influence How Much A Bartender Makes In Tips

Whilst some bartenders can earn GREAT tips, not all bartenders do, and there are a number of factors both in and out of the bartender’s control that influence the amount of tips they’ll make.

Let’s take a look.

The Bar

When it comes to earning tips, the establishment that the bartender works in plays a HUGE role.

Not all bars have the same policies when it comes to tipping and some may collect tips in a jar and divide them out at the end of the week.

This is great for some members of staff, but it’s not great for the bartender who’s CRUSHING it and raking in tips every single shift.

The tips the bartender earns are split up by all staff members, meaning that they earn less because of the establishment’s tipping policy.

The location of the establishment is also a big factor in how much bartenders can earn from tips. Naturally, busy thriving bars attract more guests, so there’s a better chance of bartenders being tipped just by pure numbers.

Whereas bars that are not so busy and perhaps in rural areas have less footfall which means fewer tips.


Whether a bartender works in a busy or quiet bar, they can still earn tips. This is where the bartender’s skill and experience come into play.

how much do bartenders earn in tips
Photo by cottonbro studio

Bartenders who have been working in bars for years know how to communicate effectively with customers and can provide them with good conversation and a laugh here and there.

This goes a long way in the bartending world. Customers enjoy having a chat and are much more likely to tip if they’ve had a positive experience in the establishment.


It’s all well and good having a chat with customers, but if you can’t multitask and ensure the customers are being served efficiently, there’s a slim chance of receiving a tip.

Nobody wants to wait at a crowded bar to be served, so bartenders who are quick and efficient whilst still keeping a smile on their faces receive more tips.

Speed, precision, and efficiency work wonders for bartenders, master all three and the tips will come rolling.


Good conversation is everything in bartending. As mentioned earlier, customers love a good natter whilst having a drink after they finish work.

This is great for those that are strong communicators as they’ll often find themself speaking to customers about allsorts, making time fly by on shift and receiving more tips.


OK let’s not beat around the bush on this one, there’s no denying that attractive bartenders make more in tips than those who aren’t so handsome.

Whether male or female, attractiveness can be the difference between a $500 tip night or a $50, especially when working in classy establishments.

If you’re out to earn more tips, look fresh, smell nice, and get chatting and you’ll be well on your way to a night full of cash.

Can You Make Good Money As A Bartender?

Yes, you can make AMAZING money as a bartender. Just remember to seek out roles that are in busy, thriving bars where customers are more likely to tip and you can really use your charm to earn more.

Bartenders who work in major cities and tourist destinations are more likely to earn much more money than those working in rural or quiet bars.

Once you find the right establishment to work in, begin honing your communication skills and confidence by speaking to customers on every shift.

how much do bartenders make in tips
Photo by Rachel Claire

Remember to be efficient, look fresh, and smell nice. Get this recipe correct and you’ll make much more money than an average bartender.

Tips often make up the majority of a bartender’s pay, so really put some effort in and watch your paycheck rise every month.

Wrapping Up

To sum up, bartenders can make anywhere from $50 – $150 in tips per night, with top-performing bartenders often going home with $500 or more.

There are a lot of factors that need to be considered when it comes to how much bartenders can earn in tips, including their skills, the bar, and I hate to say it… how attractive they are.

But, whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned vet, there’s no excuse for not coming home with money in tips so long as you put the effort in and give it your all.

Thanks for learning more about the world of bartending today and how much bartenders earn in tips.

Catch you in the next one.

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