Bartenders share ‘code words’ they use to sneakily talk about customers while working


If you’ve ever been on a night out in a pub or bar and wondered if the bartender was flirting with you, it turns out there’s a sneaky way to find out.

According to a Reddit user, some bartenders have a ‘secret code’ which they use to talk about customers without them knowing.

The code also allowed them to communicate quickly if something was wrong, for instance, if they had run out of a product and needed more stock.

In a post on the r/bartenders forum, a user explained how they’d been told about the code previously and wanted to find out more about it.

The anonymous post read: “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.

“Things like ’86’, meaning ran out of product, ‘200’ meaning a customer waiting, ’50’ meaning to catch, and ‘700’ to refer to an attractive customer.

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

A number of people responded to share other code words and numbers they’ve used in the industry.

One person clarified that the use of ‘700’ meant they thought you were the “hottest” person in the building, while ‘699’ meant you were a “hottie”.

While another said that when they fancied a female punter they would sneakily refer to them using the word ‘shoes’.

They commented: “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’.”

A number of other codes were shared for bartending tasks, with someone else claiming they used the number ’85’ if something was almost out of stock, ’86’ for completely out of stock and ’68’ once it was restocked.

They went on to say that ‘601’ and ‘602’ were used to tell their colleagues they were going to the bathroom, while ‘603’ meant they needed a smoke break and ‘608’ was for when they were hungry and going to eat.

And according to another bartender, if you hear them say ‘100’ it means that the bar needs a “wipe down” or empty glasses/trash needs to be taken care of.

How interesting! We’ll definitely be listening out for these in the future…