After 19 years working in bars, TikToker Shelly (@shellycantsitwithus) shared her do’s and don’ts for bar attendees.
The video, which contains five bar-going tips, currently sits at over 1.2 million views. “I like to ruin things for people,” she captioned the video, topping the sentence off with a crying laughing emoji.
@shellycantsitwithus I like to ruin things for people 😂. This one isn’t on purpose. 🤢#bartenderlife #bartendersoftiktok #bartenderstories ♬ original sound – Shells
Her first three tips are about bar cleanliness.
First, if you notice a bar is dirty and under-maintained, there’s a significant chance that they haven’t been maintaining their taps, either, she says. This means that your draft beer could be coming into contact with some pretty unsavory things, like dust and mold.
Her second tip contains a similar warning about “batched” cocktails—cocktails made en masse and then doled out for customers. She says that not only are these machines not cleaned as often as they should be, but they can also be marketed deceptively.
“If they’re advertising that that batch cocktail is a Patron margarita, did you know that all that they had to do was add one bottle of Patron to the entire batch?” Shelly asks.
The third tip involves the cleanliness of the fruit served with drinks. “Don’t put the fruit that’s on the side of your glass into your actual drink,” she warns. Long story short, it’s not very clean at all—and the alcohol level in the average cocktail isn’t enough to sterilize it.
For her fourth tip, she cautions customers to be kind to their servers, as she’s seen servers intentionally mess up orders for rude customers.
“The unhinged shit that I have witnessed or heard about servers, bartenders, doing to your food or drinks because you were a dick,” she recalls.
Finally, her fifth tip is simply to not leave your drink unattended. In this portion, she warns that she’s seen many people spike drinks creatively, and one must be especially cautious with their drink when enjoying it at a busy bar.
“These people are professionals, man,” she says of drink spikers. “Don’t mess around with it.”
In the comments section, some users shared their own tips.
“…one of mine is ‘order according to the bar environment,’” shared a user. “Not gonna order something like a Manhattan at a dive bar.”
Others simply backed up Shelly’s comments.
“As a former bartender, the things that come out of the beer lines are straight from stranger things,” a user claimed.
“Yeeep the beer lines were RARELY cleaned at a place I worked at. We weren’t allowed to do it so we just had to trust it,” another alleged.
Finally, some users said that while Shelly was probably right, they’re not going to let that fact ruin their good time.
“I’m sorry but I’m putting that lime into my tequila. Here for a good time not a long time!” one exclaimed.
The Daily Dot reached out to Shelly via email.
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*First Published: Aug 24, 2022, 1:33 pm CDT
Braden Bjella is a culture writer. His work can be found in Mixmag, Electronic Beats, Schön! magazine, and more.