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The Essential Guide to Tipping Bartenders on a Bar Crawl

The Essential Guide to Tipping Bartenders on a Bar Crawl

Peter Altholz

Peter Altholz

Mar 21 2024

When embarking on a bar crawl adventure, whether it's exploring the vibrant nightlife of a bustling city or enjoying the cozy ambiance of local pubs, the experience is made memorable not just by the drinks and the company, but also by the service received. Tipping bartenders, servers, and other staff is a crucial aspect of this experience, reflecting appreciation and respect for their service. This guide delves into the why, how, and when of tipping during a bar crawl, extending the courtesy to all dining and drinking establishments.

Why Tip During a Bar Crawl?

  1. Acknowledging Service: Bartenders and staff work hard to provide a great experience, often managing large crowds, especially during events like bar crawls. Tipping is a direct way to acknowledge their effort and professionalism.
  2. Encouraging Positive Interactions: A generous tip can foster goodwill. It can lead to better service, not just for you but for the entire crawl group, enhancing the overall experience.
  3. Supporting Staff: Many service industry workers rely on tips as a significant part of their income. Your tip contributes directly to their livelihood, especially important when you receive a complimentary or included item.

How Much to Tip?

The standard tipping rate in bars and restaurants is between 15% to 20% of the total bill. However, during a bar crawl, the context might change, especially if you're receiving discounted or included items. Here's how to navigate tipping in such scenarios:

  1. Free or Included Drinks: Even if a drink is free or included in your crawl ticket, consider tipping as if you had paid full price. A good rule of thumb is $1 to $2 per drink or 15-20% of the drink's regular price.
  2. Group Orders: If you're ordering for the group, a collective tip can be a practical approach. Ensure it aligns with the overall value of the orders placed.
  3. Exceptional Service: Feel free to tip above the standard rate for exceptional service, particularly if the bartender or staff went above and beyond to enhance your experience.

When to Tip?

  1. After Each Drink: Especially during a crawl, it's practical to tip per drink since you might not return to the same venue. This ensures your appreciation is immediately conveyed.
  2. At The Table: If you're seated and receiving table service, it's customary to leave the tip at the end of your stay at that particular venue.
  3. Digital Tips: Some modern establishments offer digital tipping options. These can be convenient, especially in fast-paced settings or when carrying less cash during a crawl.

Tipping Etiquette in Restaurants and Bars

While the focus here is on bar crawls, these tipping practices apply broadly to any restaurant or bar visit. Tipping is not just a transaction but a gesture of gratitude and recognition of the staff's role in your dining and drinking experience. It's an integral part of the culture in many places, reflecting respect and appreciation for those in the service industry.


Tipping during a bar crawl, and in broader dining and bar experiences, is a testament to your appreciation of the service industry's hard work and dedication. It enhances the social fabric of the nightlife and dining culture, fostering a community of respect and mutual appreciation. So next time you're on a bar crawl or enjoying a night out, remember that your tip can make a big difference in someone's day and contribute positively to the overall vibe of your adventure.



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