While the bartender is mixing your drinks, they just might be charging you more to pocket the extra cash and you can avoid that by staying alert.
It doesn't matter if you are hanging out at a bar all by yourself or with a bunch of friends to chat over a sip or two. It never hurts to be a tad bit more alert while ordering your drinks. If you are lost in your conversations and not paying attention to your bartender mixing up your drink, then there is a chance you are getting ripped off by them in some way. Michelle Raleigh, a bartender and content creator on TikTok who goes on the platform by @michellebellexo, is sharing some ways to catch bartenders stealing from customers and bar owners.
In her viral video that has gained over 2M views, Raleigh revealed that she might not be a bar owner, but if she was one, she would have already known ways to make their customers flush out more money than they had originally planned to spend at a bar. "These are the ways that I know of that bartenders can steal from the bar or their customers," revealed Raleigh. Then she provided a scenario as an example where a customer could order a Tito's and soda, which usually costs $8.
"The bartender goes over and this is why you should watch your bartender make your drinks. They pour house vodka and soda, they give it to you, they say it's gonna be $8 when house vodka is $5," Raleigh pointed out. She added that when the customers hand them $10 for the drink, the bartender would say they've used house vodka and can keep $5 instead of $2. There is another way in which a bartender could cheat a customer by "not ringing up when a customer orders a draft beer."
Raleigh claimed that "they take the money for the beer from the customer but pocket it themselves instead of putting it in the register." "What is technically illegal to make your bartender pay for a walkout, but say you had a tab as a customer, you paid me $50 cash for your $50 tab. Then I pocket the cash and tell the manager that they just walked out. That's why we have to pay for walkouts because you know how many people would be doing that?" she added.
"They could also say that a drink was returned after they rang it in and they got paid in cash for that drink and they just don't cash it out, they pocket the money and then they go tell the manager that something was wrong with the drink when there wasn't anything wrong with it," she continued. Raleigh provided a third example where a bar owner "weighed the bottles to see how much liquor was poured out of there, what the bartender could do is just short-pour everybody." They could save an extra bit of that liquor and wait for someone to pay by cash for a vodka soda.
"The bartender doesn't have to ring in the drink and can just say that it'll be $5 and can pocket the cash," Raleigh remarked about this practice, which passes off as stealing from the bar instead of the customer. Raleigh's attempt to make customers aware of some of the malpractices in the bartending industry was lauded by many.
@juliopaz commented, "I, as a bartender, had never thought of this because it's not like I'm gonna do it, but damn people really go out of their way for some extra cash." @rebajo84 added, "I know of a bartender that used to bring in her own bottles and use them and then just pocket the money."
Although it's crucial to stay vigilant, most bartenders are aware of the potential legal repercussions if they engage in any of the activities Raleigh mentioned in her video. In a follow-up video, she discussed some more ways to spot a bartender stealing and report them.