Makes sense to me and I’ve never bartended (in public) in my life.
The New Yorker‘s Sasha Frere-Jones discusses bartending, tipping and rock shows in ‘The Point of Tipping’. Here’s the starting point:
My friend Amy Korb tends bar at the Bowery Ballroom. On Saturday, she was working at the smallest of the venue’s three bars—the one against the back wall on the main floor, facing the stage. She wore a black half-length sweater, for comfort and warmth; there was a draft from a nearby exit. Over the noise, she mimed her reaction to the evening’s bands (a shrug, no smile).
A muscular woman and her older date bought several mixed drinks. A twenty-something bought several Heinekens. Each left exactly one dollar bill as a tip. Several others came and went, taking their drinks and leaving nothing. Korb sat on top of a freezer with her legs folded, ate part of a Clif Bar, and frowned.
“If you can’t afford to tip, don’t buy a drink,” she said to me, and to no one. She elaborated: “In a music venue, like-minded people get together. They like the same music, they like the same liquor. They also seem to have been socialized together, and they usually tip the same.”
The Heineken youngster came back for more drinks. And left without tipping.
“Whenever the night starts out with people asking for Long Island Iced Teas, you are in trouble. Vodka, gin, tequila, rum, Triple Sec, sour mix and Coca-Cola blended together in one drink? Fortunately, we don’t serve those at the Bowery. It’s house policy, and it helps weed the population.”
People still willfully drink Long Island Ice Teas? Ugh!
Why don’t people give a $5 or $10 tip at the beginning of the night so the bartender doesn’t end up spitting in their drinks for the rest of the night? (Disclaimer: I’m sure Ms. Korb doesn’t do that.) Please read the rest of the post for what live shows attract people who embrace tipping as a part of nightlife and not a rash.