Going Out

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Hi friends!

It's Friday, so I figured a good topic to discuss would be going out to a bar or club. Many of my international friends ask me what they should say when they go to a bar, so I'm going to try to help answer the question.

The most important thing to do when you're at at restaurant, bar or club is to relax. Remember, the people who work there are there to serve you. You shouldn't feel nervous about talking to them.

Check out the dialogue below for an example of how to speak to someone who's serving you.


Bartender: Hey how you doing tonight?
Tanis: Oh, I'm pretty good. How are you?
Bartender: Not bad. What can I get ya?
Customer: Can I have a Vodka Tonic on the rocks?
Bartender: What kind of vodka do you want? Skyy? Stoli? You have a preference?
Customer: Oh, just, uh, from the well is fine.
Bartender: All right, that will be just a second. Here you go.
Customer: Oh, hey I have a question, when those tables over there open up, can uh, do I just snag 'em or do I have to be on a list?
Bartender: Well in the restaurant, you need reservations tonight 'cause it's Friday and we're really busy, but in the bar there just, you know first come first serve.
Customer: All right. I better go stake my claim at a nearby table.


In this case, the bartender was very polite. Sometimes people who are serving you won't seem very nice. The most important thing for you to remember is that you are the customer, so the server should give you whatever you want.

If you're not getting good service from your server, there are three things you can do:

1. Leave! Go somewhere else.
2. Move to a different area and hope that a different person serves you.
3. Accept the poor service, and leave a poor tip. (It is customary to leave a 15% tip for a server, but if you receive poor service you can reduce the tip to 0-10%)

Do you have any stories to share about service at a bar or restaurant? Any questions about what to say? Come to the Life Goes On message board and let us know!

Have a wonderful week,



What kind of vodka does the customer want?

vodka from the well

Can the customer take the tables when they open up?

if he/she pays him $5

What night is it?


Why does the customer need reservations for the restaurant?

because it's busy
because it's a formal place
because the bartender is angry

BONUS QUESTION - How old must you be to drink alcohol in America?