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Bar Buttons

A button that lets bar staff know who has been waiting longest to be served
  [vote for,

I come from Ireland where the national pasttime is drinking alcohol in crowded bars (or pubs, as we call them). They can be very full at the weekend and sometimes getting served is a problem. On a typical night, you could be at the bar five or six times, each time for at least fiveminutes. That's at least half an hour waiting at the bar!

It's Friday night, you're out with friends having a laugh and meeting nice young ladies (the kind who like fat, bald men in their thirties...). But the whole mood is destroyed when you got to the bar to get a round in and find yourself standing there for ten minutes without service.

Bar staff are undertrained and overworked and can't always tell who has been waiting longest to be served. So what can you do? Get angry and irritable? Huff and puff? Shout "Oi!" at the staff? None of these tactics seem to work, and climbing over the bar to get your own often results in the night ending sooner than you had planned.

No-one likes to be kept waiting at the bar while their friends hit on the little redhead, and no-one likes to "line-up" for drinks at a bar. Ticketing won't really work in a bar, either.

The solution: bar buttons. Get to the bar, and push a button. A series of small lights on the inside of the bar let the next free staff member know exactly who should be served next - only one light is lit at a time. As the barman serves you, he pushes the button again which deactivates your light and causes the next light in line to come on.

Easy to use, and relatively cheap to install. No more frustration as the young spotty guy who has scored with the little redhead gets served before you - you know for a fact he was in before you (in both senses of the word).

kevincherubini, Apr 28 2004

We have that in the US, [calum]. It's called Bar-Fu... http://www.geocitie...k_srasra/barfu.html
[k_sra, Oct 04 2004]


       ' Tumblebun rolls through the draughty empty closed public bar '   

       Anno,purely to break the silence.
skinflaps, Apr 29 2004

       would the take a number system work in a pub?
dentworth, Apr 29 2004

       If you're taking ages to get served at a bar then it is because of one of three reasons:
(a) This is a regulars type bar and you're not a regular
(b) You've annoyed the bar staff and consequently don't deserve to get served
(c) Your Pub-fu is weak.

       Buttons are not the solution to any, either or all of these problems. Buttons will serve only to break, to collect grime (next time you are in a bar, look at the junction of the fonts and the bartop) and will present another space where drinks cannot be set down.   

       Incidentally, shouting "Oi!" is the second best way to get served last. The best way to get served last is to wave your money about in the air while saying "Oi!" or similar.
calum, Apr 29 2004

       Whilst I sympathise with your predicament, this an effecive mechanisation of one of the supposed skills that decent bar staff have. I was a barmaid for a years in various pubs (and a pretty good one, too). Noticing in what order the punters came to the bar was an essential skill for keeping them happy and the pub running smoothly. The most polite customers would also often sort it out amongst themselves.   

       As for the idea, I don't get how the barstaff make the connection between one of a set of frantically blinking lights and one of a set of frantically gasping punters. Do you have to stand in front of your button? If so, it's just an elaborated queue. Hardly different to the ticket and number method used in supermarkets all over the place.
squeak, Apr 29 2004

       Pub-Fu is a venerated art, [calum]. See link.
k_sra, Apr 29 2004

       Wow, [k_sra]! What a find!
I see your paparazzo has snapped me while performing my "Returning Pint With Unacceptably Large Head For Top Up Without Endangering Your Relations With The Staff" kata. This kata is required to be performed to gain one's Periwinkle Blue Belt.
calum, Apr 29 2004

       I think shouting 'Oi might work in the U.S.
yabba do yabba dabba, Apr 29 2004

       I'll sell you my website if you buy my domain name.
yabba do yabba dabba, Apr 29 2004

       Huh? Is k_sra talking on the phone?

Anyway, bars are obsolete. They were designed for serving a limited number of slow drinking drunks. The wide layout does not naturally suggest a queue, thus a social breakdown occurs when the bar is crowded. Fast food restaurants have the answer—ropes.
ldischler, Apr 29 2004

       "Hello, [ldischler], you there? Hello. Hello?"
<hangs up>
k_sra, Apr 29 2004


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