Bartenders share code words they use to talk about customers in secret

Sinead Butler
Friday 28 May 2021 13:39
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Did you know that bartenders have a secret code? Who knew

(Getty Images)

Have you ever wondered whether a bartender is flirting with you on a night out?

Well, turns out you just need to crack the code.

Someone on Reddit has spilled the ‘secret code’ that bartenders use to be able to talk about customers without them having a clue - and now we’re feeling slightly paranoid.

But it’s not just a tool for gossip, the code is also used to make their job easier because using it allows co-workers to communicate quicker - for example in order to replenish stock if they run out of something.

It was revealed thanks to the r/bartenders forum, where one non-bartender said they had been tipped off about the secret code and were intrigued to learn more.

They wrote: “A while ago I was told of a 'bartenders code' which consisted of various numbers that were used to represent things on the bar either secretly or quickly between staff.

“It seems like a pretty fun and useful thing to get my staff doing, and I was wondering if anyone knew ... a comprehensive list of expressions?”

Bartenders were happy to oblige, and shared the codes that they used on the job over the years.

One person said “50” meant “I’m throwing something at you/catch it”, number “699” meant you were a “hottie,” and “700” meant “probably [the] hottest girl in the building is at the bar.”

Though some bartenders didn’t just use numbers as code, they also used keywords too, with someone saying that they would use the word “shoes” to describe “attractive ladies.”

Another agreed saying: “Glasgow bartender here. When I saw the title I thought of all the codes you mentioned. Plus, we use "shoes" to mean an attractive woman. The bar I used to work in was frequented by bartenders a lot, so we changed that to "garnishes".

Others also said that they had codes referring to the upkeep of the bar such as number “85' if something was nearly out of stock, “86” for when something was completely out of stock, and then the reverse “68” when stock has been replenished.

While bathroom breaks were “601” or “602”, a smoke break was “603,” and “608” was for when they were going to eat.

OK, we’re slowly seeing a pattern here - our ears will definitely prick up next time we’re at the bar.

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