The study found that the overwhelming majority of people (91%) would speak up if a bartender served them ahead of someone else who had been queuing for longer.
However, should the situation be reversed, and a bartender served someone else who had been at the bar for less time, only only 44% of Brits say they would speak up, while half (51%) would just keep quiet and wait for the staff to get round to them.
Unwritten bar etiquette
There is also a marked divide by age – younger Brits are far less likely to speak up for themselves than their elders. While just 11% of 18-24 year olds would tell the bar staff that they had been there longer, this rises to 61% among those aged 65 or older.
Speaking about the study, YouGov head of data services Ben Glanville said: “Getting served at a busy boozer can be a protracted and infuriating affair. Thirsty drinkers jockey for position, and once at the bar itself there is the danger that the overworked bar staff won’t have kept track of who should be served next.
“Our research indicates that while an average customer will be tend to be deferential to their fellow drinker-in-waiting, they are less keen to insist others adhere to the unwritten bar etiquette rules.”
Buying rounds: a generational split?
Previous YouGov research also revealed another generational split in drinking-related behaviour. When it comes to buying rounds, the public as a whole is split, with 44% preferring to buy drinks for themselves and 41% favouring taking it in turns buying rounds.
However, among 18-24 year olds, 67% of people prefer to buy just their own drink, whilst 50% of over 65s prefer buying rounds.