TikToker @haleydito went viral with his relatable video on want to take home a beautiful rose-shaped cocktail glass from a bar. But while the urge to at least ‘borrow’ something so pretty is understandable, people who follow that urge are a real problem for bartenders as well, as @ the.badass.bartender discussed in their posted video. on the app last week.
A veteran bartender who has worked in multiple industry venues for years, @ the.badass.bartender initially responded with a short point, explaining that instead of stealing, you can find almost any glass of specialty for sale on Amazon. She also called the people who steal glasses assholes.
However, responses to his initial video were mixed. While some understood what she was doing – that it was specialty glassware in particular and that the theft of those glasses makes life for bar staff more difficult – others did not. Even other bartenders called her a Karen and encouraged people to keep stealing drinks.
So she made another video explaining why stealing special and fancy cocktail glasses from a bar is a crappy thing to do.
The specialty cocktails that are served in these unique and whimsical glasses are usually designed according to their specifications, and therefore for various reasons – ice cream, measurements, etc. – often cannot be served in other glasses, @ the.badass.bartender explained. And these specialty cocktails are often the most popular drinks available, and if people can’t buy them because they run out of glasses, then they go. No customers = no tip. And in the service sector, where it is both legal and practical to pay people below the minimum wage on the pretext that it is compensated by tips, this is a real problem for the staff.
Basically, stealing the fancy glasses leads to angry customers lashing out at staff, stressed bar staff trying to keep the handful of glasses clean and spinning, and fewer tips. If you really want a drink and don’t want to support Amazon as some of the commentators on its videos have said, try asking at the bar, @ the.badass.bartender said. They might be willing to sell you one if they have enough left over or the drink is cut off. That way you can still walk out with the cute drink at the end of the night without rushing the staff in the process.
* First published: October 11, 2021, 1:28 p.m. CDT
Siobhan Ball is a historian, archivist and journalist. She also writes for Autostraddle and bi.org