What Is an Angel Shot? (2023)

When a patron requests an angel shot, they don’t want a drink; they’re letting you know they are uncomfortable around a fellow guest and need help. Bar owners pride themselves on creating safe environments where customers can cut loose and have fun. While fire safety and sanitation standards are within their control, the attitudes and intentions of their guests are not.

Alarming Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) reports reveal sexual assaults occur every 68 seconds in America. Eight out of ten victims know their assailants. To run a successful bar, you must curate a space where customers are safe to release their inhibitions. You can help reduce sexual assault statistics by implementing the angel shot initiative and training staff members to respond correctly when a customer orders an angel shot.

Click below to learn more about angel shots:

  • What Are Angel Shots?
  • Types of Angel Shots
  • Angel Shot Benefits
  • Angel Shot Bartender Response
  • Angel Shot Signs
  • Angel Shot Awareness
  • Preventing Sexual Assault in Bars

Angel Shot Meaning

When a customer orders an angel shot, it means, “I’m in a concerning situation. Please help me get out of it.” How the customer orders the angel shot (neat, on ice, or with lime) reveals the severity of the situation and the type of intervention required. The angel shot was born from the viral “Ask for Angela” initiative.

What Does Ask For Angela Mean?

Ask for Angela is a sexual assault prevention campaign in Lincolnshire, U.K. It encourages bar patrons who feel unsafe with their date or uncomfortable around a fellow patron to go to the bar and “Ask for Angela.” Asking for Angela alerts staff members that the patron needs to make a discreet exit and needs a cab/Uber/Lyft called for them. The success of “Ask for Angela” in the U.K. sparked the angel shot initiative in the U.S.

(Video) What is an Angel Shot?? Ask a Bartender

Types of Angel Shots

What Is an Angel Shot? (1)

There are different types of angel shots customers can order to reveal how threatened they feel and the type of help they require. An angel shot may spare a patron from a catfish date, or it might save their life. We break down the most common types of angel shots below. You can include other types of angel shots in your offerings, so customers have more options in unsafe situations.

  • Angel Shot Straight Up/Neat is code for, “I need an escort to my car.”
  • Angel Shot on Ice/on the Rocks is code for, “Please call a taxi/Uber/Lyft for me.”
  • Angel Shot with a Twist/Lemon/Lime is code for, “I am in immediate danger. Please call the police.”

Should Your Bar Offer Angel Shots?

As a bar owner, you may wonder if you should offer angel shots. We provide a list of the top benefits of angel shots below:

  • Free - Angel shots are a safety measure that won’t cost anything to implement.
  • Protects patrons - You spend resources to create a safe environment by upholding health codes, so why wouldn’t you take extra measures to protect your customers from violence and harassment?
  • Builds brand loyalty - Even if they don't need them, patrons appreciate it when bars and restaurants offer angel shots because it shows you care about their well-being. Customers frequent establishments where they know they are safe and cared for.

How Bartenders Should Respond to Angel Shots

What Is an Angel Shot? (2)

Having a game plan in place for how your staff should respond if a customer orders an angel shot will empower them to act with confidence. We've provided a few tips for how to handle an angel shot order below:

  • If the customer doesn't clarify which type of angel shot they need, ask.
  • Call over another staff member and tell them that the customer ordered an angel shot. The other staff member can call for the additional help necessary and alert the rest of the team and management.
  • A staff member should stay with the customer until the ride/police etc. arrives.
  • If the patron requested a ride by ordering an angel shot on ice, have the other staff member the bartender notified announce the "angel shot is ready" when the ride arrives. Then, both staff members can walk with the guest to their vehicle.
  • If a patron orders an angel shot neat, alert other staff members. Either have a bouncer or a group of servers escort the guest to their vehicle.
  • If a patron is at their table when they order an angel shot neat, tell them you have a few angel shot specials at the bar and ask them to come look at the menu. At the bar, alert other staff members and together escort them to their car.

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Angel Shot Sign

Advertising that your bar offers angel shot intervention allows customers to get the help they need, but it must be discreet. The power of the angel shot is it removes a patron from a potentially dangerous situation without drawing attention. For subtly, place angel shot signs in the bathrooms of your establishment.

(Video) #POV: A new bartender learns what an angel shot is… #shorts #acting #tiktok #noahjaywood

Angel Shot Signs Should Include:

  1. Explanation of what an angel shot is
  2. Encouragement that it's worth ordering an angel shot for any situation that feels off
  3. What the different types of angel shots are
  4. The phone number of the National Sexual Assault Hotline

Where to Hang Angel Shot Signs

What Is an Angel Shot? (3)

Once you make your angel shot sign, you must decide where to hang it. Some bars only place angel shot signs in women’s bathrooms, so men aren’t aware of them. However, this prevents men from receiving help. One out of every ten rape victims is male, so this is a major oversight.

One workaround is to develop two separate sets of angel shot drink orders for men and women that are exclusive to your bar. Have a different sign for men's/women's bathrooms that explains what the respective set of angel shot drink names mean.

As angel shots grow in popularity, having unique drinks and signs for men and women also helps keep your sexual violence prevention efforts discretionary. If a predator knows what an angel shot is, hearing the person they’re harassing order one could place their target in even greater danger. Train your staff to stay with the person who ordered the angel shot until they exit your business and enter safe transportation away from their harasser.

Having unique angel shots and signs for men and women cannot protect non-binary guests. If your space allows, create nonbinary bathrooms and angel shots for nonbinary customers. Place stickers to let your customers know your business is a safe, supportive place for the LGBTQIA+ community on the entrances. If messaging from the top down encourages nondiscrimination and safety for patrons of every sexual identity, it can help reduce violence and harassment.

Do All Bartenders Know What an Angel Shot Is?

The public awareness of angel shots has grown, and most bartenders know what an angel shot is. However, there are bartenders who aren't familiar with angel shots and won't know how to respond with speed, confidence, and discretion when a customer orders one. You should train your bar staff to understand what angel shots are and how to respond when a patron needs one.

How to Prevent Sexual Assault at Your Bar

What Is an Angel Shot? (4)

(Video) The Angel Shot

Offering angel shots is an added layer of sexual assault risk reduction you can easily implement. We offer a few tips for making the most of your angel shot initiative and other practices you can put into place to prevent sexual assault below.

  • If a customer orders an angel shot, alert all staff members. This removes the burden from a single employee to intervene in the situation and potentially endanger themselves.
  • Encourage staff to ask uneasy customers if they would like an angel shot. A customer in a distressing situation may not be able to come to the bar and order an angel shot for themselves. Train your staff to scan the barroom and ask customers who appear uncomfortable if they would like to try one of your angel shots.
  • Have an angel shot QR code. Employees can show visibly distressed patrons the QR code, which will pull up an explanation of what the different angel shots accomplish.
  • Designate a dining spot for first-time online dates. According to a ProPublica story, 30% of a polled group of 1,200 women who used online dating over the last 15 years experienced a form of sexual assault. Fifty-percent of those sexual assault instances were rape. As online dating has become the cultural norm, having a designated area staff monitor for signs of guest discomfort is an easy way to help ensure the safety of your patrons. If you can’t designate a specific area, encourage guests to notify their bartender, hostess, or server that they’re on a first-time online date when they arrive and/or order.

Back to Top

While no one wants to think about sexual harassment and violence, their realities are unavoidable. By understanding what angel shots are and implementing them as a safety measure in your bar or restaurant, you can turn your business into a safe space for customers to relax and socialize. Hopefully, patrons won't require the angel shot service, but offering them is still a great way to show customers you care and build brand loyalty.

What Is an Angel Shot? (5)Posted in: | |By Corrinn McCauley

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(Video) Bar Staff, Have You Ever Had a Man Use the “Safeword Drink” Escape?

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    (Video) Angel Shot: Parabellum Pt 2 (the Angel John Wick)


    What Is an Angel Shot? ›

    An angel shot is a drink order made by a customer to inform a bartender that they are in an unsafe situation and need assistance. A customer asking for an angel shot indicates that they need help but do not feel comfortable outright asking for it in their present situation.

    Do all bartenders know what an angel shot is? ›

    The public awareness of angel shots has grown, and most bartenders know what an angel shot is. However, there are bartenders who aren't familiar with angel shots and won't know how to respond with speed, confidence, and discretion when a customer orders one.

    What is an angel shot for guys? ›

    The same rules apply for the Angel Shot: When a patron orders an Angel Shot, they're covertly letting their bartender or server know that they're either on a date that's not working out, or they don't feel safe because of another guest's behavior.

    What is the angel shot rule? ›

    Angel Shot Meaning: The Angel Shot isn't actually a shot – or a drink at all. Put simply, the Angel Shot is something that a patron can order to let staff at a bar or restaurant know that they feel unsafe. In this way, employees can intercede and potentially head off a dangerous encounter.

    What is a safeword drink? ›

    Patrons at bars and restaurants who participate in the campaign can go to the bar and 'Ask for Angela'. This signals to the staff that they need assistance. Staff will help extricate the patron from the situation, call a cab or get them out to their car, and help them leave discreetly.

    Why ask for an angel shot? ›

    An angel shot is a drink order made by a customer to inform a bartender that they are in an unsafe situation and need assistance. A customer asking for an angel shot indicates that they need help but do not feel comfortable outright asking for it in their present situation.

    What to do if someone asks for an angel cut? ›

    “When someone says they'd like an 'angel cut' that lets the hairstylist know that you are not there willingly and we should call the police,” she shared in a comment. You can also offer help via the National Domestic Violence Hotline that's available 24/7 via phone call or a live chat.

    Why can't bartenders call 911? ›

    The bartender is (was) under no legal obligation to call the police, unless he or she believed someone was going to be placed in imminent fear of bodily injury or death as a result of a felonious assault.

    What does 900 mean in a bar? ›

    The code "900" meant there was a couple on a date where the man was likely to tip well because "he's showing off." The numbers "601" and "602" were used to describe needing to go to the bathroom, while "608" meant it was time for a meal break.

    What is the code word for help in a bar? ›

    If you ask for an Angel Shot make sure you say how you want it.
    • Neat – means you just want an escort until your are out of the situation.
    • With Ice – means for them to call you a taxi or Uber.
    • With Lime – means call the police.

    Who started Angel Shot? ›

    The idea quickly gained popularity on social media. A bartender named Benjamin Smith, who lives in Los Angeles, recorded a video on TikTok. He posted it under his username @benjispears and explained the three types of angel shots. Bars and restaurants worldwide have since implemented this policy or something similar.

    What is an angel shot Tik Tok? ›

    The campaign was designed to prevent sexual assault by urging people who felt unsafe in bars or clubs to “Ask for Angela.” When staff got the request, they would call a cab, and help the patron leave the situation discreetly, and safely.

    What's an angel shot Tik Tok? ›

    It isn't even a drink at all. The Angel Shot is being used as a signal for help to alert bartenders of an unsafe situation. The secret drink order, known as the “Angel Shot,” has recently become a viral trend on TikTok as people raise awareness towards the potentially life-saving codeword.

    What is a dirty alcoholic drink? ›

    The term 'dirty' means that olive brine, usually from a jar of cocktail olives, has been added to the drink. An olive garnish is typically assumed, too. Most bars add equal parts vermouth and brine, though you can specify 'extra dirty' or 'filthy' if you prefer more brine.

    How do you tell a bartender you need help? ›

    An angel shot on the rocks or on ice indicates that they need help calling an Uber, Lyft, or taxi. And the third order, with lime or a twist, lets the staff know that they should call the police.

    What is a well alcoholic? ›

    A well drink or rail drink is an alcoholic beverage served using the lower-cost liquors stored within easy reach of the bartender in the counter "speed rail", "speed rack", or "well".

    Is Angel cut a real thing? ›

    While the Angel Cut may sound like another internet-famous look, it's actually a code word clients can use to ask for help. Influenced by bars and restaurants using the term 'Angel Shot' to help patrons that don't feel safe, Leda explained that she wanted something like this to help clients in the beauty industry.

    Why do I get called an angel? ›

    Angels are associated with kindness, generosity, and goodwill. When someone calls you an angel, it's usually because you display these qualities. You might receive a compliment like this if you've helped someone out or given them a generous gift.

    Why do people order a shot with a beer? ›

    There are many reasons to go for a beer and a shot. For one, it's a great way to order two drinks for yourself without getting strange looks. Also, it's a pretty easy order for a weary bartender, as it only requires a shot pour and a beer pour.

    What is a jellyfish haircut? ›

    The jellyfish haircut sports disconnected layers that resemble a short bob with longer layers underneath. If the name is any giveaway, it truly resembles the round body and longer, billowy tentacles of a jellyfish.

    What is a wolf cut haircut? ›

    Wolf cut hairstyles are a mix of two popular current haircut trends, aka the shag haircut and the mullet. Both these trending hairstyles feature a mix of layers and bangs. While the mullet is a short haircut, the shag haircut can be short, long, or mid length.

    How do you tell angels are around you? ›

    When angels are near, some experts say you may notice a cool breeze, a dip in temperature in the room or feel a warm, loving presence close by. Some have experienced ringing in the ears or tingling on the crown of their head, which they believe are signs that the angels are trying to communicate.

    Why do bartenders open your cans? ›

    This is for health and safety reasons. If a bottle is thrown on the ground with the lid still on and someone steps on it, they could cause injury to themselves, but if the lid is removed and a person stands on it the bottle will crush under the weight."

    Should you just hang up if you accidentally call 911? ›

    What should I do if I accidentally dial 911? If you dial 911 by mistake, or if a child in your home dials 911 when no emergency exists, do not hang up – that could make 911 officials think that an emergency exists, and possibly send responders to your location. Instead, simply explain to the call-taker what happened.

    Will 911 come to your house if you accidentally call and hang up? ›

    Don't hang up...stay on the line! Everyone makes mistakes, and there is no penalty to accidentally calling 911. The Communications Dispatcher will want to verify your name and address, and ensure that there is not a real emergency. If you do hang up, they will call you back to confirm that you are safe.

    What is the code 50 for a bartender? ›

    Bartenders were happy to oblige, and shared the codes that they used on the job over the years. One person said “50” meant “I'm throwing something at you/catch it”, number “699” meant you were a “hottie,” and “700” meant “probably [the] hottest girl in the building is at the bar.”

    What is the code 86 for bartenders? ›

    Eighty-six or 86 is American English slang used to indicate that an item is no longer available, traditionally from a food or drinks establishment, or referring to a person or people who are not welcome in the premises.

    What does 85 mean in a bar? ›

    85% cacao does mean that ground cocoa nibs and/or extra cocoa butter makes up 85% of the mass of the bar. Unless a manufacturer indicates it there is no way of knowing the ratio.

    What is the word for a secret bar? ›

    speakeasy, also called blind pig or gin joint, place where alcoholic beverages are illegally sold, especially such establishments in the United States during Prohibition (1920–33). In more recent years the term has also applied to legal bars that are modeled on historical speakeasies.

    How do you tell a bartender you're in trouble? ›

    Here are some ways to make that happen.
    1. Pregame With A Call To The Bar Beforehand. Giphy. ...
    2. Pick A Location Where You Already Know The Code. Giphy. ...
    3. Check The Restroom For Instructions. Giphy. ...
    4. Install Personal Safety Apps On Your Phone. Giphy. ...
    5. When In Doubt, Just Go Ahead And Ask The Bartender For Help. Giphy.
    Jun 13, 2018

    What is a slang word for bar? ›

    juke joint (US, slang) liquor lounge. lounge. managed house. micropub.

    What does it mean if someone asks for an angel cut? ›

    What does an "angel cut with layers" mean? According to this viral TikTok, which has nearly surpassed two million views, requesting an angel cut with layers at the hair salon is one way to let your hairdresser know that you are in an abusive relationship or experiencing domestic violence.

    What does it mean when a girl asks for an angel cut? ›

    A hairstylist named Leda Fazal explained that if one of her clients comes in and asks for an "angel cut with layers," it means they are a victim of domestic abuse and are seeking help. The phrase is meant to be a safe way for domestic abuse victims to reach out for help without tipping off their abusers.

    Who was the TikTok girl that got shot? ›

    MONTE VISTA, Colo. (KUSA) - A 14-year-old Colorado girl was making a TikTok video when she was shot and killed earlier this month. Authorities say Aaliyah Salazar was killed on Aug. 7 when juveniles were handling a gun while making videos on TikTok.

    What are angel shots one punch? ›

    Angel Shots: Puri-Puri Prisoner carries syringes with him with an unidentified liquid in them, which he calls "Angel Shots." According to him, the shots are "medicine."

    What's a dirty Caesar? ›

    Make it a muddy caesar/dirty caesar

    When I'm at a restaurant, I always order a spicy dirty Caesar. This means it comes with extra hot sauce (spicy) and extra Worcestershire sauce (dirty). The great thing about a Bloody Caesar is that they're super easy to customize to your taste.

    What are 3 types of drinkers? ›

    There are four types of drinker – which one are you?
    • Social drinking. To date, nearly all the research on drinking motives has been done on teens and young adults. ...
    • Drinking to conform. ...
    • Drinking for enhancement. ...
    • Drinking to cope.

    What is the most gangster drink? ›

    Among gangsters, scotch and whiskey were always popular choices, particularly the whiskey brand Cutty Sark. And they had their own way of ordering, as recounted by undercover FBI agent Jack Garcia: “Mobsters always order drinks by a brand. Never just a scotch and water, it would be a Cutty and water.

    What is the code word Angela? ›

    People who feel unsafe, vulnerable or threatened can discreetly seek help by approaching venue staff and asking them for 'Angela'. This code-phrase will indicate to staff that they require help with their situation and a trained member of staff will then look to support and assist them.

    What not to ask a bartender? ›

    5 Questions to Never Ask a Bartender
    • "I'm not sure what I want. Can you make me something good?"
    • "How much is this?"
    • "It's my birthday, can I have a free shot?"
    • "What are you doing when you get off work?" (For women bartenders only.)
    • "Did you go to bartending school?" Tags.

    What is coke and vodka called? ›

    The Vodka and Coke is a variation on the Rum and Coke, which itself is essentially a Cuba Libre.

    What are heavy drinkers called? ›

    On this page you'll find 11 synonyms, antonyms, and words related to heavy drinker, such as: barfly, chronic alcoholic, chronic drunk, dipsomaniac, drunkard, and hard drinker.

    Do alcoholics get sick a lot? ›

    It can affect your immune system.

    If you drink every day, or almost every day, you might notice that you catch colds, flu or other illnesses more frequently than people who don't drink. This is because alcohol can weaken the immune system and make the body more susceptible to infections.

    Does every bartender know every drink? ›

    The ingredients are an essential part of every cocktail, drink or mix, and as mentioned before, there is a standard of drinks that every bartender should know, but it is not enough to know them, it is also important to know their ingredients and what utensils they are going to use to prepare it.

    What not to say to your bartender? ›

    Hold your tongue if you even think of muttering one of these forever prohibited phrases.
    • “How about a drink on the house?”
    • “Hey! ...
    • “Can you make my drink extra strong?”
    • “Can you make this drink again? ...
    • “So, what's your real job?”
    • “One Mojito, please.”
    • “Can you make me something I'll love without any guidance whatsoever?”
    May 19, 2017

    What is the angel cut secret code? ›

    If you've scrolled through TikTok, you may have come across the "angel cut with layers" trend. The phrase is a secret code used by women and girls worldwide to notify their hairdressers that they are a victim of domestic abuse or in an abusive relationship.

    Do bartenders judge you by your drink? ›

    They got the drink slingers' opinions on everything from customers' orders to bar manners, and while some results aren't surprising, others might have you rethinking your cocktail of choice. Lest you think you were just being paranoid, 81 percent of bartenders will change their opinion of you based on your drink order.

    Is dating a bartender hard? ›

    Because we expend most of our social energy at work, bartenders often need quiet time on our days off. This can be hard when you're dating a new person. They often expect you to be the fun-loving, energetic bartender personality that they first met, and it can be disappointing when your off-duty vibe is much different.

    Can you ask a bartender to surprise you? ›

    If the bar is not busy, requesting that the bartender surprise you with a cocktail can often add a bit of creativity to an otherwise slow shift. But if the bar is jammed, people are clamoring for drinks, and the menu does not ask you to call out a “dealer's choice,” do not do this.

    Is it rude to wave down a bartender? ›

    Among the many faux pas, don't ever yell, click your fingers — or even wave them. Bartenders hate that.

    What is Rule Number 1 the bartender? ›

    Bar Rules Rule 1 Bartender is Always Right If Bartender is Wrong See Rule 1 9" x 6" Wood Sign.

    What is the golden rule of bartending? ›

    You have to not only be courteous to customers; you also have to offer them some courtesy from time to time. Especially to those who are regulars at the bar. This is an important part of the golden rule.

    What does 2 mean in secret code? ›

    This is a very easy code to solve! Each number stands for a letter. 1 stands for A. 2 stands for B.

    What is the secret code if I love you? ›

    143: I Love You

    This one is easy. I (1) Love (4) You (3).

    What is the most popular secret code? ›

    1. The Caesar shift. Named after Julius Caesar, who used it to encode his military messages, the Caesar shift is as simple as a cipher gets. All you have to do is substitute each letter in the alphabet by shifting it right or left by a specific number of letters.


    1. Bartender Has to Give His First Angel Shot
    (Scumbag Dad)
    2. How To Ask For Help at a Bar
    (Ian Boggs)
    3. Angel shot in South Korea
    4. #tiktok Did you know the Angel Shot code#Shorts
    5. #POV: A new bartender learns what an “angel shot” is.. #shorts #tiktok
    6. #pov you ask for an angel shot but the bartender doesn’t know what it is #shorts #tiktok #acting
    (Valerie Lepelch)


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