Why You Should Close Out Your Bar Tab Before Moving to Your Table

Photo by Life Of Pix

We’ve all had that experience of sitting at the bar at the start of the night and then moving to a table later on. When that happens, there’s always the question of whether you should close your bar tab and open a separate bill at the table, or if you should carry that tab over along with you. Well, we finally have the definitive answer, so you don’t have to guess anymore!

The Preferred Course of Action

Restaurant workers tend to prefer for diners to close out their tabs whenever they leave an area, and open a new tab in their new section. Of course, if it doesn’t make sense to do that, there’s no need. For example, if you sat somewhere, received a glass of water, and then moved tables, no one expects you to bother tipping the server just for bringing a single glass of water. However, if you spent half your night at the bar and then moved to a table, it’s polite to close your tab and open a new one with your new server.

The Reason Why

The reason restaurant workers prefer this course of action is so that they don’t have to divide up their tips. It can become extremely complicated to figure out who did more work and who deserves more of the tip, possibly even leading to heated arguments. If you close out your tab at the bar, and tip the bartender, and then do the same at the table, there won’t be any disagreements between the servers.

Photo by Dmitry Zvolskiy

Of course, it’s not your job as the diner to make the servers’ lives easier, but it’s certainly a nice thing to do as a human being. And, it’ll likely make you that restaurant’s favorite customer.