Cracking The Code: Why Do Bartenders Open Cans?

why do bartenders open cans
Joe | Last Updated: May 23, 2023
I'm Joe, a veteran bartender with over a decade in the industry and a burning passion for mixing drinks.

Have you recently found yourself perplexed wondering why the bartender is opening cans for customers when they could easily do it themselves?

It seems to be a waste of time and only slows service down. But surely there’s a purpose behind this seemingly mundane act?

In bartending, every second counts, with numerous customers waiting to be served and becoming increasingly impatient as they wait for their drinks.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the reasons why bartenders open cans for customers and the purpose it serves. While it may seem like a pointless action, the truth may surprise you.

So if you’ve ever wondered why do bartenders open cans? Stick around as you’re in the right place.

Let’s get into it…

Why Do Bartenders Open Cans?

As a bartender, I often get asked why I bother opening cans of beer or soda when customers could easily do it themselves. The answer is simple: it’s all about presentation, professionalism, and efficiency.

Opening a can in front of a customer adds to the overall experience of the drink. It shows that the bartender is taking the time to craft a quality drink and pays attention to the small details.

That small detail of opening a can for a customer can be the difference between the customer being satisfied or unsatisfied, so it’s something worth doing if you want to create a memorable experience for your guests.

Some bar managers may even require their bartenders to open cans for patrons as it can reduce the amount of litter and empty cans being left in the bar when it’s time to close.

why do bartenders open cans
Image by Marco Verch Professional Photographer

It also creates a sense of excitement and anticipation for the customer as they watch their drink being opened and poured into the glass.

I know personally, I much prefer my cans being opened and poured for me. It gives a more professional experience and feels like I’m being looked after.

Opening a can also allows for better control of the amount of liquid being poured as cans of beer have a tendency to foam up when opened, which can lead to spillage and waste.

By opening the can myself, I can control the flow of the liquid and ensure that the drink is poured perfectly every time.

Fewer spillages, happy customers. Woohoo!

>> Read more: Why do bartenders wear armbands?

How Can Opening Enhances the Drinking Experience

Over the years of working in different bars, I’ve noticed that opening a can of beer or soda can actually enhance the drinking experience for customers.

Here are a few reasons why.


Firstly, let’s talk about hygiene. By opening a can, the bartender can ensure that the customer’s drink is clean and free from any contaminants.

The top of a can is often exposed to the air and can collect dust and other particles over time. By opening the can, the bartender can wipe the top clean and ensure that the customer is getting a fresh and hygienic drink.


Another reason why bartenders open cans for customers is to check for any defects or issues with the product.

Sometimes, cans can be damaged during shipping or storage, which can affect the taste or quality of the drink inside.

By opening the can, the bartender can inspect the contents and ensure that everything is up to standard before serving it to the customer.

>> Read more: Why do bartenders scratch empty bottles?

Sound and sight

Is there anything better than the satisfying sound of a can being cracked open while you eagerly wait for it to be poured into a glass and served? Don’t judge, it makes all the difference to me!

why do bartenders open cans
Image by Ian Abbott

The sound of a can being opened and the sight of the drink being poured into a glass can create a sensory experience that adds to the enjoyment of the drink.

It’s a small but satisfying moment that signals the start of a relaxing and refreshing break.

Fresher taste

Canned drinks are often sealed tightly, which helps to preserve their freshness. When a can is opened, the drink is exposed to air, which can actually enhance the taste.

This is especially true for carbonated drinks, which can lose their fizz over time.

Opening a can ensures that the drink is at its peak freshness and the customer may catch a delightful whiff while it’s being served.

Convenience and professionalism

Let’s face it, opening a can takes a matter of a second or two for a bartender that is used to opening them on auto-pilot while serving customers.

For the added customer satisfaction and professionalism, it’s absolutely worth it for bartenders to open a customers can for them.

>> Read more: Why do bartenders drink Fernet?

Tradition, Showmanship, and Customer Satisfaction

Opening cans has become a tradition in the bartending world. It’s a way to showcase our skills and add a touch of entertainment to the experience.

Customers appreciate the effort and enjoy the showmanship that comes with a well-executed can opening.

It may seem like a small detail, but it’s these little touches that can make a big difference in the overall experience for the customer.

In addition to tradition and showmanship, opening cans can also contribute to customer satisfaction. By using a can opener or other tool, bartenders can ensure that the can is opened cleanly and without any sharp edges.

why do bartenders open cans
Image by ChrisGoldNY

This not only makes for a more pleasant drinking experience but also helps to prevent any potential injuries.

Let’s not forget that bartenders often rely heavily on tips, and opening cans for customers can be the difference between receiving a handsome tip and going without.

Therefore, it only makes sense for bartenders to go the extra mile to look after their customers and increase their chances of being tipped.

Every dollar counts!

>> Read more: Pros and cons of bartending

How Do Bartenders Open Beer Cans?

When it comes to opening beer cans, bartenders have a few different methods that they use based on their personal preferences.

But the pop and twist method is the most popular and is the most common method used by bartenders. To open a can using this method, I hold the can firmly with one hand and use the other hand to pop the tab open.

Easy as that.

Simply hold the can with one hand and use your thumb and index finger to pop the cap with the other.

Some bartenders may prefer to slide a knife under the cap to open the can, which can work well if your hands are a little dirty or you’ve got a germaphobe customer.

There are more advanced techniques for opening beer cans that add a little flair, but we’ll love them for another post as the most common method is the pop and twist which works like a charm.

>> Read more: How many drinks can a bartender serve to one person?

Final Thoughts

To sum up, the reason why bartenders open cans is to enhance the customer’s drinking experience and make the experience more enjoyable and professional.

It takes all of a couple of seconds to crack open a customer’s can and that can be the difference between a positive customer experience and a negative one.

Hopefully, this post has been insightful and you now understand the reasons why bartenders open customers’ cans.

So the next time a bartender opens a can for you, show a little appreciation and acknowledge their commitment to being a professional and providing exceptional customer service.

See you in the next one.