Bartender Reveals How Customers Are Getting Ripped Off — 'This Is Why You Should Watch Your Bartender Make Your Drinks'

Her revelation caused mixed reactions from viewers, who claimed that not all bartenders are like this.

Group of young people toasting drinks at nightclub. Jacob Lund / Shutterstock

In a viral TikTok video, a content creator and bartender named Michelle Raleigh shared the secrets about bartenders that customers may not know about. In Raleigh's video, she revealed that while she isn't a bar owner, if she was, there are a lot of ways that she and other bartenders would be able to pull one over on the customers that come into their establishment.

She explained all of the ways that bartenders could be stealing from customers.

"These are the ways that I know of that bartenders can steal from the bar or their customers," revealed Raleigh. She explained that there are certain things customers should be on the lookout for whenever going to bars.


For example, she provided a scenario in which a customer could order a Tito's and soda, which would usually be $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 continued, saying that when a customer gives them $10 for the drink, the bartender can ring it up as having used house vodka and can keep $5 instead of $2.

Another way that bartenders could cheat customers and the bar is by not ringing up when a customer orders a draft beer, Raleigh claimed, taking the money for the beer from the customer but pocketing it themselves instead of putting it in the register.




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"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."

Another example Raleigh provided was if 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. So, after pouring a plethora of vodka sodas, house vodka, or vodka cranberry, they would know they had a little bit extra liquor and would wait for somebody who's paying cash for a vodka soda. Since they know they have that extra shot in there, the bartender doesn't have to ring in the drink and can just say that it'll be $5 and can pocket the cash, which Raleigh acknowledged is the bartender stealing from the bar instead of a customer.


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In the comments section, viewers weren't happy with Raleigh's criticism of bartenders.

The reaction to Raleigh's video was mixed, with many viewers, who admitted that they also worked as bartenders, finding an issue with Raleigh's assessment of the different ways that they could be stealing from customers and the bar itself.

"Me as a bartender had never thought of this, it’s not like I’m gonna do it but damn people really go out of their way for some extra cash," one TikTok user pointed out. Another user added, "People already have a jaded opinion about bartenders. Why make them think even more lowly of us? That’s one bartender out of every 100 and most of us have never even thought about it!"

However, other people claimed that a lot of the instances that Raleigh provided actually happened at bars they worked for. "I had a shady owner who would ring in cash to go orders under server numbers and then they would print the checkouts, and not let servers see them," a third TikTok user shared. A fourth user chimed in, "The bartender at my job would underpour everyone because she would take multiple shots throughout her shift."


While Raleigh's video brings attention to potential issues in the bartending industry, it is crucial to approach such revelations with sensitivity.

Stereotyping all bartenders based on the actions of a few can perpetuate negative perceptions. It's important to remain vigilant, of course, but most bartenders are aware of the legal consequences that could happen if they were to partake in any of the examples that Raleigh mentioned in her video.

It's essential to remember that every industry has its challenges, and the bartending profession is no exception. In the end, customers should feel empowered to voice any concerns that may arise, just as bartenders should be supported in maintaining the highest standard of integrity.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.