How To Skip The Queue At Sports Bars Or Pubs


Kirsten Macnab |

Beer! Rugby! Wings! What could possibly go wrong? Use this battle map to navigate the madness of Super Rugby season

WIN FREE BEER
Hold out your hands and ask your buddy how many fingers he sees, including thumbs, says Richard Wiseman, author of 101 Bets That You Will Always Win. He’ll say 10. Then ask how many fingers are on 10 hands. He’ll likely say 100. The correct answer is 50. Proof that booze and maths never, ever mix.

AVOID LONG LINES

There’s a time to be the cool guy who shows up late to the party, but this isn’t it. Do your homework: use the “popular times” feature on Google Maps to see when a place is busiest. “Plan to arrive an hour before the peak period,” says Tad Carducci, of the beverage consulting company Tippling Bros.

DON’T BELLY UP
Your first impulse may be to sit close to the bar. But beware of waistline peril: Cornell researchers found that people who sit within two tables of the bartender have three more alcoholic drinks, on average, than those who sit three tables away.

SCORE FOOD SOONER
What are they doing back there, milking cows for the nacho cheese? Don’t blame the kitchen, says Carducci. Everyone orders during the game, especially between halves. If you want fast service, order drinks first, which opens your ticket. But before the drinks arrive, add an appetiser and entrée to the tab. This should fast-track your food before other orders.

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GET DRINKS QUICK
Busy bartenders make split-second decisions about who to serve next, says Meehan – and it’s not the guy who’s yelling. Use the same techniques you’d use to get a friend’s attention: make eye contact and smile. The guy will see you as accommo­dating, not demanding.

DEFUSE A DRUNK
Handle a boozer with the calm rationality of a bartender. “My first response is to acknowledge the way someone feels,” says Jim Meehan of New York bar PDT. Tell him you’re sorry he’s upset and leave it at that. Don’t engage. If things escalate, the manager can give the belligerent brute the boot.