8 lessons the bartenders of ‘big tips texas’ can learn from ‘cheers’ ball-buster carla tortelli

A long, long time ago in a Boston bar where everybody knew your name, a middle-aged mother who popped out a child each time she sneezed kept the most loyal “Cheers” patrons glued to their bar stools by insulting them, hanging them out to dry and never quite giving them the drink they ordered. Server Carla Tortelli was insensitive, rigid and — if you talked back — likely to throw the nearest bit of glassware at your head. But she got s**t done, and when owner Sam Malone had her on the schedule, he knew the place would be kept in line.

Queen Bee Amber and her fellow “Big Tips Texas” vets have been taking care of their Redneck Heaven regulars since day one, but even they could use some advice from the feisty Italian who wrote the book on bartending. Below are eight bits of wisdom the girls could learn from Carla — read up and tune in for the premiere of “Big Tips Texas” October 9 at 10/9c!


Look out for your fellow staffers: If you can’t count on your co-workers, then you’re nothing short of doomed. Carla was Cheers’ lead cocktail waitress, but from bar-backs to bartenders, she made sure never to forget about the little people.

Pull up a chair and listen to your patrons: Ordering a high ball at 6 p.m. is probably a sign that one of your clientele has had a tough day at work, and the girls should remember their patrons deserve nothing but the utmost respect and attention. Bend that ear as far as it’ll go, ladies.

Take pride in your city: Half of a successful bar’s battle is paying homage to its home base without being cheesy, and Cheers could always count on Carla to do Boston proud. So, Redneck Heaven, don’t forget to root on the Mavericks, Cowboys, Astros, Rangers…you get the idea.


Act with conviction: A rubber spine won’t go far in a place as chaotic as Redneck Heaven, and the girls need to remember that if things start spinning out of control, there’s nothing wrong with putting an authoritative foot down.


Operate with professionalism: Cultivating relationships with patrons is a crucial skill for tenders and waitstaff, alike, but the ladies should still always remember there are some lines that should never be crossed.

Find a fool-proof way to get through the tough times: Whether it’s the Friday after a week of straight double-shifts or the morning after an all-nighter, there’s no rest for the wicked, and every good bartender needs to find a way to keep their eyelids open and their smiles wide. Putting “Shout” on the jukebox always seemed to get Carla going, so maybe Miley’s anthem, “We Can’t Stop,” can do the same for the RH ladies when they start to lose steam.


Learn how to keep morale high: Without solid leadership, a business’ staff will be stuck in neutral, so the bar’s vets should make a point to keep the newbies motivated. Opt for team outings and movie nights over hair-pulling and cat fights! Or just threaten their lives.


Humility makes the world go round: Remember, Redneck Heaven, it takes a village. Be proud of your work, but don’t let a 30 percent tip go to your head…

Photos: http://cheerstv.tumblr.com