Why Are Bartenders So Rude? (Helpful Guide)

why are bartenders so rude
Joe | Last Updated: May 10, 2023
I'm Joe, a veteran bartender with over a decade in the industry and a burning passion for mixing drinks.

It’s Friday night, you’ve just got off work and decide to meet up with some old friends to catch up over a couple of drinks at a local bar.

Spirits are high and there’s a great atmosphere in the air, you haven’t seen these friends in months and have lots to catch up on.

But there’s a problem, you get to the bar and are about to order your favorite drink, a Whiskey Sour, only to be ignored for 15 minutes and told that there’s a queue and your now at the back of it for asking to be served.

Infuriating, you’ve waited patiently and are now at the back of the queue because the bartender is having a bad day. Sadly, this happens all over the world on a nightly basis.

Today, we’re going to answer a question that many customers are eager to learn the answer to, and one that has earned bartenders a bit of a bad reputation. “Why are bartenders so rude?”

Let’s get into it…

Why Are Bartenders Rude?

Working as a bartender in a busy city bar isn’t easy, being shouted at by customers is a regular occurrence, and dealing with problem after problem can be exhausting, but this isn’t an excuse to take it out on punters.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons why bartenders can be rude to punters.


According to The American Institute of Stress, about 33 percent of people report feeling extreme stress, with 77 percent of people experiencing stress that affects their physical health.

Bartenders are certainly not immune from stress, the work is high-pressure, demanding, and requires an ungodly amount of patience at times.

why are bartenders so rude
Photo by cottonbro studio

If a bartender is feeling stressed, they are much more likely to be rude and impatient with customers. Whilst we all deal with stress in some form or the other, you may have caught the bartender on a particularly stressful day.

This doesn’t excuse being rude to customers, but in my experience being stressed is certainly a cause of bartenders being rude on occasion.


If a customer is being increasingly impatient and constantly nagging the bartender to be served, they may find themselves on the receiving end of a sharp, rude awakening.

Working behind a bar can be exhausting, especially toward the end of the shift, and if customers are being impatient or shouting to be served, the bartender may lose patience.

Try to be patient with bartenders when at the bar, there’s only so much one person with two hands can accomplish, and serving drinks takes time.


In lots of bars around the world, bars are understaffed which means the bartenders that work there can be overworked and doing more than they usually would.

Likewise, if a staff member has called in sick, the other bartenders still have the same amount of work to do and can find themselves becoming increasingly stressed and tired.

Catching a bartender whilst they are stressed and overworked can give the impression that they are being rude and not wanting to engage with customers, but would you if you were in this situation?

Oftentimes when bartenders are overworked, they just want the shift to end and go home to their families.


Working as a bartender is not for everyone, it’s a role that requires a certain personality and attitude to make the best out of it and really succeed.

Those individuals that find themselves working as a bartender by force, maybe they need to make ends meet and a bartending role that became available may not be fulfilled by the role.

Being unfulfilled and dissatisfied at work is an awful feeling, I’ve been there. These bartenders can be short-tempered, rude at times, and frustrated with their situation, which may lead them to be rude to customers of the bar.

>>Read more: can a bartender take your keys?

Why Do Bartenders Ignore People?

The reason why bartenders ignore people is simply that they are busy. They just do not have the time to be engaging with every customer when there is a queue at the bar.

On average, it takes a bartender about 30 seconds to pour a glass of wine, 45 seconds to pull a draft beer, and one minute to make a cocktail.

If you’re in a bar with friends, you’re likely ordering multiple drinks at the same time and drinking in rounds, where you may order up to 5 or 6 drinks at a time.

why are bartenders so rude
Photo by Maor Attias

Trying to make multiple cocktails at the same time can be challenging, even for the most skilled bartenders. It takes time, concentration, and effort to make multiple drinks in a timely manner, therefore, bartenders have to ignore people to do this.

It’s not because they are trying to be rude and ignore customers, but simply that if they do stop and chat with you, it adds time to how fast they can make drinks which only adds to the queue.

Bartending is all about efficiency, especially when the bar is busy. Everyone needs to work as part of a team and knuckle down to help service customers quickly, or they leave and take their business elsewhere.

How Do Bartenders Deal With Rude People At The Bar?

Customers aren’t usually rude to bartenders for no reason unless they are very intoxicated and are being a nuisance. In this case, it’s best to advise these customers to leave.

The way that most bartenders deal with rude customers at the bar is by advising them that if they continue to be rude to staff they will be asked to leave the premises.

Often customers that are in the bar with their friends do not want to be made to leave, so quickly change their tune and start being polite.

But some customers do not, and this is when door staff are usually called to escort the rude customer off the premises.

Understanding why the customer is being rude is crucial. Is it because they’ve had a drink spilled on them, or perhaps they’ve been waiting in the queue for so long? If so, an apology and free drink do the job for most rude or annoyed customers.

Some bartenders choose to ignore rude customers altogether, and will not look at them or serve them until they are behaving in an appropriate manner.

Each bartender and customer is different, and the way rude customers are dealt with varies from bar to bar. But being rude to bartenders that are simply doing their job is unacceptable in every bar and will not be tolerated.

Are Bartenders Actually Rude?

Some bartenders are unquestionably rude, whether it’s because they are stressed, run-down, or having a bad day causing them to be rude, it does happen.

However, I don’t want to tar all bartenders with the same brush here, as MOST bartenders are NOT rude at all and it’s in fact the customer that is interpreting the situation wrong.

Customers that have had a few drinks and are a little drunk tend to call bartenders rude because they have yet to be served at the bar, which frankly is unfair.

rude bartender
Photo by RODNAE Productions

Bartenders are usually rushed off their feet dealing with customers and serving drinks, and they just haven’t gotten around to serving you yet.

In my experience, having worked in 10-plus bars I’ve only come across a handful of bartenders that are always rude and just not great with people.

But these are often given the boot very quickly as it’s part of a bartender’s role to be able to service customers effectively and appropriately.

Being rude has no place in a bartender’s role, and whilst everyone has outbursts from time to time due to stress, being overworked, or being unfulfilled, the majority of bartenders are not rude.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you now have a deeper understanding of why bartenders may be rude at times and a clear answer to “why are bartenders so rude“.

In most cases, the reason why bartenders can be rude is that they are overworked, stressed, tired or run-down, or the customer has the wrong perception and the bartender is busy serving other people.

Bartenders are people just like you and me, and in fact, they love engaging and chatting with customers when the bar is quiet and they have time to do so.

Try to look closely at the circumstances that made you think the bartender was being rude, as more often than not the bartender was just doing their job.

Whilst there are some bartenders out there that are not fit for the role and are rude, these are rare to find, especially in a busy bar with lots of customers, and they don’t usually last long.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post and learn more about the world of bartending.

Catch you in the next one!