Have You Tried 'The Birthday Trick' For Getting In To Bars Without A Wait?

September 6, 2016 by Justine Schwartz
shefinds | Style

Unless you’re Rihanna, you probably have to wait in line to get in to good bars and clubs. If you show up at a prime hour on a good night (which is when you want to be there), there’s a good chance a lot of people will be outside waiting to get in. This can slow your roll–even if you’re all dolled up and have been pre-gaming for hours and are more than ready to start partayyying, now you’re at the mercy of the bouncer and his stupid clipboard. This is no bueno.

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I spent my twenties trying to game this system. I’m impatient, I just hate waiting in line. I’d rather go to a hole-in-the-wall with no line, than wait outside in the cold without drinks or music–so for the few nights when I was planning to go to a really popular place, I always made a point of using the birthday trick. What’s the birthday trick? It’s when you use your own birthday or a friend’s birthday (or more often than not, a friend of a friend’s) to get past the line. It doesn’t work every time–but I’ve used it *countless* times, so it’s worth a shot.

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Here’s how to do it: look up the phone number of the general manager of the club, and call them a day or two before you plan to come in. Let them know that it’s your birthday and that you plan to celebrate with friends (i.e., rack up a big bar tab). Usually, the GM’s response will be that if you use your name at the door, you’ll have no problem getting in. You may need to show ID to prove that it’s your birthday, so it’s not as easy as pretending it’s your birthday to get a free dessert at a restaurant.

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Do the same when it’s your friends’ birthdays–and extend your network out to a larger group of people who can rotate using each others name. The trick works for your friends, too, so usually anyone that knows the birthday boy or girl’s name at the door can get in. I’ve skipped the line using the name of people I’ve literally never met–the trick is to be generous with giving your name out, and the good bar karma will come back around.

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So, there you have it–it’s a little silly, but it’s simple enough and actually works, so it’s worth a shot.


Editorial Director

Justine Schwartz is a veteran women's lifestyle editor; she's written extensively about style & beauty tips, health advice and wedding planning for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine, Huffington Post and New York Weddings. Justine has been with SheFinds since 2010; you can reach her via email at [email protected]

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