How Should You Tip at an Open Bar?

December 11, 2018
Holiday Office Party

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Open bars mean free drinks, right? Well, not exactly.

You should probably tip if you want to receive decent service, and as The Takeout points out, there are basically three options: Tip big at the beginning, tip as you go or tip at the end. The Takeout's Salty Waitress columnist doesn't see the point in tipping at the end, writing, "If you’re going to tip, why not do it by the drink or in the beginning, so you can reap all the sweet attention and slightly-more-generous wine pours?" Instead, she advocates for a combination of tipping big at the beginning and tipping as you go, writing, "I’d suggest a more generous tip in the beginning, followed by maybe a buck or two on each round going forward. For maximum impact, make sure that initial tip comes in the form of a round bill—a $5, $10 or $20—rather than a collection of singles so the bartender can fully see your generosity."

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