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Bar body language: The best way to get served

A bartender prepares drinks at the L*Space by Monica 2010 fashion show after party during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim at Louis at the Gansevoort South Hotel on July 17, 2009 in Miami Beach, Fla. Image by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz

Bar body language: The best way to get served

By Erin Duvall. CREATED Sep 18, 2013

Have you ever been at a bar and thought there must be a science to getting served? You may not have been wrong. Researchers at Bielefeld University in Germany have found the most successful way to get a bartender's attention through your body language, The Telegraph reports.

Patrons who stand squarely at the bar are successful in getting a drink 95-percent of the time, while looking directly at the bartender works on 86-percent of orders. However, combining the two actions proved best.

"If one of these signals was absent, the participants judged the customers as not bidding for attention," said Dr. Sebastian Loth, the lead author of the study. "This provided a clear indication that both signals are necessary for bidding for attention."

Out of the 105 attempts to get a drink that were studied, squeezing between customers to get the counter proved to leave the customer with a longer wait. The study, which was conducted at nightclubs in Bielefeld and Herford, Germany, and Edinburgh, Scotland, also found that talking to friends, looking at menus and gesturing to the bartender were also unsuccessful. However, those holding money or a wallet fared better.

While their findings may prove helpful to thirsty partiers, the reason for the research is also interesting. The study was conducted in order to program a robotic bartender named James that is being built thanks to a grant from the European Union. The findings will help the automaton in discerning when it is appropriate to ask customers if they'd like a drink.