Reader: Let servers and bartenders get the kitchen crew's booze

Categories: Cafe Society

A couple of restaurants in town are now listing items that diners can order for the back-of-the-house, including a six-pack for the kitchen crew, in order to further enhance their meal.

In a post about these new drink-list requests yesterday, Laura Shunk wondered if this trend was charming -- or irritating.Here's Widow's take:

The servers and bartenders are the only ones that should be sending drinks to the kitchen. They benefit the most from the kitchen's hard work, and the many times I see them doing shots with each other on the house, seems it won't cost 'em a dime either.

How about this?, every free beer you give me for warming a seat at your bar and making the place look more lively, I'll reciprocate by buying a beer for the kitchen. win-win.

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I fully agree that servers and bartender should buy 'thank-you' beers for the kitchen staff. We often did this in many of my bartending jobs. Not only that but if the kitchen was behind, we'd go help, and if we were behind, the kitchen staff would come and help with fetching ice and whatnot. We were a great team in several locations.

Although, I think it should also be an option for customers aswell. If they enjoyed their evening, they have the option of buying the staff some after hours beers. When I worked in Australia, regulars did this often. They would buy us a pitcher during the day that we were allowed to pour once we closed up. It was a kind gesture. Of course, in the UK and OZ, they don't tip often. They look at it as offensive. They prefer to buy the staffs drinks to show that we are all equals and no one is above or below by offering or accepting money. It was fun and interesting.

Bartending all over the world will give you great stories to tell. I have bartended in Canada, Ireland, England, Greece, and Australia. Currently bartending in Taipei, Taiwan.

You can find information on what its like to bartend elsewhere, what to expect in terms of orders, customers, and wages. Cheers!

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this is a ridiculous thing that i hope gets squashed immediately. As a longtime waiter it was my job to take care of the kitchen. There was a reason my oysters got shucked first or my dinners got fired when i needed them and it was because i took care of the ppl who took care of me.

To have this on the menu is tacky. It basically states that the bartenders and servers at said place are too fucking cheap to kick back a little goodwill money.

Now, if a table, unsolicited, wants to send some loving back to the kitchen, awesome, but otherwise an establishment shouldnt push this.

Grand Apple
Grand Apple

How about this: If you don't like something on the menu. Don't order it. No one cares why. Whether it's an entree, dessert or a beverage for yourself or BOH.

Can't believe this warranted not one, but two posts.


Agreed--it should not be expected, but it is always nice when someone buys the kitchen drinks. Especially late diners---you don't mind them so much when they reciprocate.


As long as the beer gratuiity doesn't become a kitchen expectation; otherwise a cook spits in your food. As a line cook years (I mean years) ago, we did have regulars that sent back shots and pints. Sure made for a good shift!

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