First Round, First Impressions


For most bold endeavors, the glory usually resides with the trend setter, the novel thinker, the pathfinder - put simply, the first person to do something. The same can be said about the guy who buys the first round of drinks. It may seem menial, but buying the first round of drinks makes a powerful statement. Whether you are out with friends, family, or work colleagues, buying the first round projects confidence in the given situation. It conveys a sense of selflessness and shows you are doing well enough to afford to treat everyone present, which some (perhaps a lady) may find admirable. These, of course, are just the immediate benefits.

What is less noticed, or thought of, is most people who buy the first round also receive subsequent rounds fully paid for by the others in the group. Often, in the end, the first person to buy doesn’t spend more than anyone else (depending on the group size) and is most likely only spending a little more than they would normally if not partaking in the round scheme. This equality of spend is also true for most people involved (again, depending on group size) who buy other rounds. However, the first-round-buyer gets all of the recognition and is the subject of the salutary thoughts running through everyone’s head. The one rule is to ensure everyone present is accounted for, those who weren’t gifted a beverage feel singled out, and it makes you look forgetful and demeaning. So, the next time you find yourself grabbing drinks with a group, make it a point to go first. Like my good friend once told me, “Everyone remembers who buys the first round. No one remembers who buys the others.”