The hospitality industry is riddled with stories that often go untold—tales of impetuous customers, bizarre encounters, and the fracas behind the bar. “Do You Want to Start a Tab?” is a podcast that serves as a confessional booth for those wearing the aprons and popping the beer caps.

In this space, Carl and Riley, veterans of the bar scene, dissect stories sourced from the depths of the service sector, offering banter laced with insights and rating them for their uniqueness.

These stories not only entertain but serve as a mirror reflecting the nuanced dynamics of customer service.

Key Takeaways:

  • Service industry workers experience a range of challenging customer behaviors, and their stories illuminate the complexity of their roles.
  • There’s a subtle yet profound connection between the workers behind the bar and their dedicated patrons.
  • The interactions between customers and staff can reveal societal attitudes and entitlement, leading to broader reflections and necessary conversations.

The Dichotomy of Customer Interactions

In bartending and serving, the engagement between the staff and customers can range from pleasant camaraderie to outright confrontation. Carl and Riley shared a story from Reddit reflecting the latter, where a belligerent “Buddy” demanded a bartender’s involvement in an altercation.

“It is so fun to watch back of the house bring something out to a guest and like, here you go. That’s fun to talk to your expo like that or whatever,” Carl muses. This underscores the intricate layers of service dynamics often overlooked by patrons.

The progression from a seemingly ordinary patron to a staggering “circus bear” demanding a bartender to step outside for a fight illustrates an extreme but vital aspect of their professional reality.

The fact that a regular customer stepped in to thwart Buddy’s belligerence with a sandwich board highlights the unique bond between bartenders and their regulars.

It also showcases the unpredictable nature of human behavior in public spaces and the unforeseen heroism that can emerge.

The Regulars: Between Patrons and Protectors

Regular customers inhabit a special place in the hospitality industry, whose roles can fluctuate between valued patrons and unsolicited protectors.

Carl and Riley’s discussion brought this to light, with a reg stepping up in defense of the bartender against an unruly patron. This solidarity accentuates the symbiosis between staff and regulars:

“It’s always fun to have those moments with customers, like, okay, you saw what the fuck just happened, right?”

Carl observes, stressing the communal aspect of regulars’ engagement with the workspace. These moments serve as a testament to the shared experiences shaping the culture of a bar or a restaurant.

Riley reflects on the backstories that might lead to a customer’s disruptive behavior, “Maybe he found out his girlfriend or partner was cheating on him, and he just wanted to find a fight.”

This comment hints at the untold personal struggles that can influence customer interactions and begs for a compassionate understanding of the human condition.

The Entitlement Epidemic and Its Effects on Service

The sense of entitlement among some patrons frequently creates friction in hospitality settings, as illustrated by another story where a man named Brandon infringed upon a private wedding event.

Accosting the bartender for a growler fill, Brandon’s blatant disregard for posted notices and social decorum was met with denial and ultimately led to his prohibition from the establishment:/

“Turns out Brandon lives down the street from the brewery. He told us all that he would call the police and start having cars towed because we didn’t have permits for valet, but we did,” Carl reads from the submitted story.

The narrative serves as a microcosm of societal issues, portraying the all-too-common scenario of individuals asserting misguided privilege in shared spaces.

Riley vigorously argues against such demeanor, “People who choose not to observe signs are idiots… [It’s] completely backtracking here. Buddy got what was coming for him.”

The broader implications point to a need for a more precise understanding and respect for community rules and towards those serving the public.

The discussion rouses a greater conversation about empathy and the limits of mandated courtesy that service industry workers usually operate within.

Recap of Episode 55

The key points of the engaging podcast episode underline the nuanced world behind the bartending counter. From the algoresque customer behavior to the unwavering solidarity offered by regulars and the effects of an entitlement culture, the tales weave a compelling narrative of the night-to-night experiences of those in the service industry.

These revelations are emblematic, prompting both empathy and accountability. They remind us of the humanity inherent to service work and the respect these professionals deserve.

The discussion is not merely stories over a shared drink; it demonstrates the socio-cultural landscapes they occur within, shaping a collective reminder: behind every bar, there’s a story worth listening to.

Tune in to hear the details and find out if the customer got what he deserved. Plus, they rate the story on a scale of one to five. Don’t miss this entertaining and relatable episode!

Drop Your Story on Our Sub Reddit –

Give Us a Call and Leave a Story – ‪(563) 277-0072‬

Support the Show –

Alchemix Bar Diaries on Spotify –
Alchemix Bar Diaries on Apple –

Bartender’s Alphabet –

Website –

Follow Us
Instagram –
Facebook –
TikTok –
YouTube –

Our Cocktail YouTube Channel –

#bartenderlife #bartender #startatabpodcast #podcast #bartenderpodcast

Thanks to our monthly supporters

  • Léo Vignol Lelarge
  • Sean Prior
  • Katie Beeks
  • Matt Straff
  • Chandler Tomayko

★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *