When you’re a new bartender and have no experience, its very easy to get sucked in by the birthday shot scumbag. I know the term sounds harsh but let me explain.
The birthday shot scumbag is the person (no offense, but a lot of the time its females) who comes up to the bar and repeatedly points out its her birthday or her friends birthday. This person expects a free shot. They are not telling you because they just want the world of bartenders to know it’s their birthday. They are telling you because they expect you to buy them a free drink. Now most people will think it’s a real nice gesture to give a complimentary shot for someone’s birthday, but trust me, it’s a bad idea. Here’s why:
A lot of people who do this will go to multiple bartenders throughout the bar to try to get a lot of free shots. In one of the clubs I worked at, I saw 2 females go to four different bartenders and try to get a “free” birthday shot. Many people who ask for a free birthday shot are outright lying that it’s their birthday. They are just trying to scam free drinks. Another thing I noticed is when you actually give this birthday shot (alright fine, I have done it) the girl who you give the “free” shot too never tips you. Just to clear this up, if a bartender gives you a buyback (the free birthday shot) you should always leave a tip.
The biggest reason why you should never give a “free” birthday shot away is because its most likely not part of your bars policy. Most bars that do have a buyback policy use a 1 in 4 policy. This means when someone is about to pay for their 4th drink you have the option of giving it to them on the house. If someone orders 2 shots and you give one away for free, you are in violation of that policy and could get fired. I have worked at many bars and have never seen one have a birthday shot buyback policy. It simply doesn’t exist. Don’t work your ass off to get a job behind the bar and then get fired because of the birthday shot scumbag.
This video pretty much sums it all up.