Few things are as infuriating and detrimental to your bartender/customer relationship as when you and your friends hand the bartender/waitress 3 credit cards and 2 stacks of cash, whilst taking 10 minutes to explain how much you want charged on each for your massive $47.35 bar tab. People are busy and that poses a major, major inconvenience to your server.
Firstly, if you want separate tabs, tell your bartender before you place an order and cough up your credit cards to keep the tabs open simultaneously. In some bars, the bartender can’t split checks without the manager and you’ve just delayed him/her and a half-dozen other waiting customers by 5 -10 minutes and caused anger levels to rise substantially whether you realize it or not.
The best thing you can do for yourself is again gain that trust and liking from your local bartender. Paying a tab in full with one card or cash is one of your best options to do that. It saves the bartender time and therefore money. Money makes the bartender happy and you therefore get treated a whole lot better, get it?
For some reason, many, many, many young (early twenties) women in particular like to break these unwritten rules and drive the bartender up the wall. Why on Earth would you hassle someone and split a check of $18 for two drinks by using two cards? Do yourself a big favor for future visits – pay the check with cash or 1 card and tip exorbitantly. Smile, say “thank you. I’m [name]” and walk away.
If your tab is $867.88 I can see sometimes why you might want to split your check. Try not to split it more than two ways. Again, 3 or more cards will drive people nuts. Put yourself in their shoes. Everything is about marketing yourself, and yes your marketing/pimping yourself at the bar, as a problem-free customer that the bartender wants to see come back. I cannot stress enough how far this will get you in having things go your way when you revisit the place. This includes free drinks, the bartender moving people aside so you can have a seat, you getting served first regardless of other orders, free shots, advice, romantic hookups, etc. The less you annoy your bartender, the better treated you will be – significantly.