Restaurant Research Shows That Men Get Nervous Ordering Cocktails If They Don’t Know What Glass It Will Come In

Is there something inherently “girly” about a martini glass? What about a long-stem wine glass? A flute?

man and woman holding fruity cocktails Pressmaster / Shutterstock

Most people don't want to drink a beer every single time they go to a bar or fancy restaurant. Sometimes, you prefer something fresh like a mojito, a glass of red wine, or maybe even a fruity mocktail to end the night. However, while it might seem simple enough to talk yourself into ordering a luxurious drink like a cosmopolitan, many men struggle to lean in.

According to a New York Times report on cocktails, there’s an intense gendered culture surrounding glassware for alcoholic drinks — including a tendency for men to steer clear of ordering them out of fear that they might get “the wrong one.” 


Research shows that men get nervous about ordering cocktails if they don’t know what the glass will look like when it arrives.

Brand director and content creator Camille Moore uses her platform to share exploratory, innovative, and outrageous business tactics — including a bar that recently took an interesting approach to selling cocktails.

“They’re redoing their cocktail menu and they’ve hired an illustrator to come in and create illustrations next to the drink,” she explained. The reasoning behind this change is that research shows "there’s a sense of insecurity that incurs within the buying transaction when there isn't a picture that shows what glass the cocktail drink comes in.”


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Interestingly (and unsurprisingly) the restaurant found that when men, specifically, didn’t know what kind of cocktail glass they would receive when ordering a drink, they’d often opt for a different — and of course, less expensive — drink. 

"Instead of ordering a cocktail, which could be $21, $22, $23 … they’d default to something safer,” she explained.


In an effort to solve this problem, which was inextricably linked to their profit, they added illustrations next to the menu items.

Many men want to order fun cocktails but fear appearing 'feminine' in public.

While almost three-quarters of men admit they like the taste of many flavored cocktails, only just over a quarter are confident enough to actually order one in a bar, typically because of glassware, decorations, or color. When did colors, flowers, and stemware become inherently “girly?”

Fancy and colorful cocktails. NadyaEugene /


Despite the misguided view of “femininity” that many men maintain — and which leads to a fear of colorful drinks and fun glassware — a truly secure and confident man is able to embrace both masculinity and femininity

No one should feel ashamed for adopting and embracing more so-called "feminine" traits, and the fact that many men do points to the damaging effects of our patriarchal society

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While it’s an internal struggle for men to address, making tweaks to the cocktail strategy, image, and marketing can boost sales.

Fear of femininity from cis-gender men is often a sign of insecurity, but ultimately, that’s a realization and internal battle they have to deal with on their own. After all, we’re just talking about cocktails here.


This restaurant can certainly benefit by knowing exactly what steers many men away from ordering drinks, whether it be the fruit or flowers on top and the actual glass that it comes in.

By using pictures of glassware next to the items, they don’t have to address the issue of insecurity from men at large — they just get to experiment with boosting their sales.

“Their sales increased drastically,” Moore admitted. “Even the cost per bill went up as much as 25% to 50% because of how much more money a cocktail is when you can see a photo."


Whether it was men being able to choose a drink specifically for its more rigid, short, and “masculine” glass or others excited that their margarita would be arriving in a large glass, rather than a tiny shooter, their sales increased. It’s a reminder that while these stereotypes are misguided and often outright ridiculous, finding ways to navigate them is often the key to success — and apparently, money.

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.