Like any business, bars are in the game to
make money. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the unfortunate
truth is that some bars will pull some pretty shady schemes to make a few extra bucks. Some of them you can spot from a mile away,
but others are so devious that even a well-trained eye might miss them. Liquor fake outs It may be hard to imagine that an establishment
would encourage their staff to be this unscrupulous, but unfortunately, it does happen. This scam is particularly easy to pull off
if you’re sitting at a table and can’t watch your drink being prepared. The bartender simply prepares your drink with
a lower priced alcohol than what you ordered. Tequila. Pour it in front of me…” Even if you’re seated at the bar, they may
look as if they’re pouring you the top shelf stuff, but have actually refilled the bottle
with lower end booze. In 2013, New Jersey authorities discovered
29 bars and restaurants doing exactly that. What can you do to make sure it isn’t happening
to you? Unless your tastebuds can really tell the
difference, not much. “To Haley’s first drink.” “Oh, it burns.” Short pours You don’t really need to worry about this
in a chain restaurant, where every pour is measured and controlled by a computer. “Android, technically.” Short pours do happen in many bars, however,
when the owner is trying to save money per drink, as well as sell you more drinks in
your quest for a buzz. The only way you can know if this is happening
is to really watch your drink being made. Even then, bartenders can tilt the bottle
and control the pour in a way that it only looks like you’re getting a strong pour of
hooch. “What am I, 12?” Even a seemingly strong tasting drink may
have been poured short, all a bartender needs to do is place a dab of alcohol in your straw,
and that first sip will convince you they’ve fixed you a stiff drink, when it’s basically
just a glass of cola and ice. “A slight tingle in my fingers. I think it’s affecting me.” Foamy beers When you order a pint, you’re paying for an
actual measurable amount of beer. When it is served to you with a solid inch
of foamy head on top, you are being cheated by either a lazy bartender, or an owner who
told him to pour beers that way to try and stretch 20 more beers out of that keg before
the night is through. “It’s also for profit as well, because that
foam is approximately 25 percent beer.” Plus, most establishments count on you not
wanting to “be that guy” who’s going to ask the bartender to fill your glass up more. If you notice that most beers being delivered
to patrons in a bar all have that large layer of head on top, you can be sure it’s been
done on purpose. Dirty workspaces It may sound pretty gross, but not all watering
holes are exactly “health inspector ready.” It may be that staff is anxious to get out
of there after a long, late-night shift. It may be that the owner doesn’t want to pay
the barbacks and busboys the extra hourly moola that properly cleaning the place would
entail. Areas that should be completely cleared out
and washed, like the speed rail, the refrigerators, the garnish caddies, and the ice bin might
only get the weekly treatment, instead of the daily treatment really needed when you’re
dealing with things like spilled orange juice and warm beer. That dimly lit bar with particularly sticky
floors? Hey, at least you’re drinking for cheap. Pouring old wine More and more places are offering a bazillion
choices of wines by the glass these days, and what that means for you is that some of
those wines sit around for awhile after they’re opened. In fact, you may just be getting a pour of
wine from a bottle that was opened last week, or even last month. “Bring us some fresh wine, the freshest you’ve
got. This year’s, no more of this old stuff.” To top it all off, staff doesn’t even know
if they are pouring from a freshly opened bottle or not, which was likely opened on
another bartender’s shift. When in doubt, ask. Most reputable places will start the night
with newly opened bottles, but that doesn’t always happen. Short staffed Does the bartender seem like she has way too
many customers still waiting for drinks as she changes kegs herself and fetches buckets
of ice from the kitchen? Either the barback called out sick, or the
owner doesn’t want to pay for one. Sure, it’s nice as a server to not have yet
another person to give a cut of your tips to at the end of the night, but if drinks
aren’t getting made quickly enough because the lone bartender is stuck wrapping up someone’s
leftover cheeseburger, that’s money out of pocket for everyone working that shift. Not offering water There are two parts to the devious plan to
hold back on your very important hydration. First, if a bartender doesn’t automatically
give you a glass of water, you’re more likely to try to quench your thirst with booze. “We’ll have five of those, please.” “No, sorry. Can we have four of those and a tap water,
please.” “Whaaat?” Second, someone has to clean all that glassware,
and many a restaurant owner or manager has instructed staff to only bring water if asked
in order to save on both the water, and the dishwashing bill. Sound like a ridiculous way to save a few
cents? Maybe, but those cents can add up to measurable
bucks by evening’s end.