I work in the SU nightclub – here are seven things every bartender wants you to know

Having worked in the Warwick SU nightclub since September, it’s definitely been an eye-opening experience

On the whole, I love my job. From being my flat’s resident cocktail maker to working with such a nice bunch of people – there are lots of perks. That doesn’t mean, however, that working in the Copper Rooms doesn’t feel like a strange fever dream. From VK bottles being thrown at our heads to people puking over the tills, there are certainly a few “challenging” moments every shift too.

Using my little bit of experience behind the bar, I have complied a list of seven things every bartender wishes other people knew in order to make those eight hour shifts on a POP Wednesday a little bit more bearable.

1. That bad pint probably isn’t our fault 

Nobody wants a pint that is mostly foam, but on a student club night sometimes pint pouring doesn’t always go to plan. Usually, this is not our fault (unless we really have a personal grudge against you) but instead because of issues with the beer barrels themselves. So, if you are someone who asks a stressed bartender to re-pour the pint you paid £2.50 for… please get a life. 

2. We love nice customers

When it’s been a really chaotic evening, nothing restores your faith in humanity like a nice customer. Basic manners cost nothing but have the power to remind us we are humans rather than shot-pouring robots. A special shoutout to all those people who always go to the effort of returning their used glasses – big love to you all!

3. Relocate your make out session. 

I cannot stress this one enough. 

Full credit to you if you manage to pull someone vaguely decent in a Student Union venue – however, please do not start snogging them on top of the bar. Us sad, sober bar staff do not want to watch you sharing saliva. And on behalf of the nightclub stewards, please do not relocate your fumbling to the toilets either. Please just get a room!

4. We probably can’t hear you 

It is notoriously hard to hear what anyone is saying in a club, and that is only made worse if you are stuck behind the bar. Not only this, but quite a few of the bar staff will also have earplugs in to try and save what is left of their eardrums. So please feel free to shout your order at us or even better just type it up in the notes app on your phone and show us that. It will save an awful lot of awkward repetition, or you receiving a glass of water when you really wanted a shot of vodka!

6. Be patient and no… you don’t get ‘mates rates’.

There is nothing more annoying than someone who cannot wait their turn. The more you tap the bar, wave in my face or try to grab me, the more likely I am to ignore you. Drinks cannot be made instantly and the tills will inevitably break at some point in the evening too.

Beyond this, I would also like to clarify that in most Student Union bars there is no such thing as ‘mates rates’. Considering us bartenders do not get a staff discount, we certainly do not have the power to offer you a bargain pint. So no matter how much you flutter your eyelashes, sadly those 10 jaegerbombs are still £22.50.

6. We psychoanalyse you based on your drink order.

After working in a bar for a while you soon realise that only a certain type of person orders a certain type of drink. A vodka cranberry? You are a bisexual woman and/or an avid Taylor Swift fan. An Easy Coast IPA? Definitely a balding middle-aged man. A blue VK? You are either underage or a desperate fresher who circles with a sports society every week. Either way, just be assured that there is nothing more revealing about a person than what they order from the bar at 1am on an SU club night.

7. When it’s closing time, GO HOME!  

If the bouncers are telling you to go home, please just go home. Yes, we probably have to stay on for an extra 30 minutes to clean anyway, but cleaning is so much easier without random drunk people lying about the place. We fully understand you are enjoying your night but we probably just want to go to bed.

Or if it’s been a real car crash of a shift… we probably need a drink too.

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