You, as well as your colleagues and bosses are likely to drop in at a favorite pub like Bar Story for a quick pint on weekdays, perhaps to celebrate a new deal, and on Fridays to de-stress after a hectic week.
Even after years of pub visits, you may still have questions about pub manners including the all-important one to start the ball rolling: “Should I buy the first or second round of drinks?”
The answer isn’t as easy as it first appears. You have to consider many factors in deciding between buying the first and second rounds, such as who you are with, what amount of money you can spend on the drinks, and what your goal is for buying the drinks.
Who You Are With
In a purely social drinking situation, you should ideally buy the first round of drinks especially when you initiated the gathering of family and friends. For example, you may have invited your family and friends from the office to celebrate a momentous occasion, such as your engagement, your first promotion, and your latest large deal. You are playing the gracious host in these cases.
Even when you didn’t initiate the gathering, you may also consider buying the first round of drinks for other reasons. You will be seeing the people in your group again and again, after all, so you expect that your generosity now will be returned in the next gatherings.
But when the pub gathering has a business side to it, you may want to hold back on buying the first round of drinks. You may, for example, be insulting the host by taking the initiative that should have been his for the taking.
With family and friends, you can agree beforehand about the limits of everybody’s wallets. This means that buying the first or second rounds will not matter as much as in professional gatherings. You can agree to buy the first round while your companions shoulder the next rounds of drinks for the group.
But this isn’t a good idea when the gathering includes your bosses, co-workers and business associates for many reasons. You don’t want to appear like a tightwad, a stuck-up, and a freeloader rolled into one, a bad impression when you want to make a good one.
In this case, you should wait to buy the second round. You can then determine the number of people in the group, estimate the bill, and be able to pay for it without cursing your bad luck in your head.
In either case, enjoy your drink and the company because that’s what pubs are for!