Thursday, July 5, 2012

US vs. UK Bar Life

           The activity seen in a UK bar verses a US bar could be compared to watching the super bowl verses a golf match- different noise level, different crowd, and different expectations. A bar in the US is a place one would usually go to pick someone up or get wasted, but a bar in the UK is a social outing filled with numerous people and cultures hanging out with no expectations or approval necessary. Many US bars may only allow certain people to be let in, but in the UK, there are ranges in age, culture, ethnicity, and status. In one bar in the UK, there was a much older gentleman who looked pretty wealthy and a younger looking man who seemed to have just met and were having a beer together. In another corner of the bar there were dogs sitting on their masters’ laps, which would never be allowed in an American bar. There also seems to be a difference in service in the UK. At a bar, one must order from the bar and get his or her drink and inform the bartender of where to drop off food, if ordered, and pay for it all right there. In the US there is a more restaurant type quality in bars like being able to keep a tab open all night until ready to leave, or having a certain waitress available for food orders all night. Which brings up the next difference- tipping. Tipping is definitely not as frequent in the UK as it is in the US and it is not at such a high percent either. In the UK, tips are often not given and if they are it is only about 10% for exceptionally good service or by telling the bartender to have a drink of their own. In the US if a tip is not given on a bill or to a bartender then that person would be seen as rude and the server would probably complain about not being given anything extra. These differences do not sound major, but being the atmosphere of one bar definitely changes the views of the other.

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