Making Tips Without a Job
By Steve Gillman
A friend once told me how she made tips serving drinks even
though she didn't have a job. Babs (not her real name) said she
and her sisters were at a busy tavern and they were almost out
of money. Noticing that there were no servers on the floor and
customers had to go to the bar to get a drink, she hatched a
First she got all the cash that the three of them had, Then
she walked up to a table full of men and, pretending to be their
waitress, asked them what they wanted to drink. She ordered the
drinks at the bar, borrowed a tray and served the men, who paid
her and tipped her several dollars.Within the next thirty minutes
she had made enough cash to keep herself and her sisters drinking
for the rest of the evening.
Now if you want to do this, I should warn you about a few
potential problems. First, if there is wait staff on duty and
you try this, you're going to get some waitresses very angry.
Second, Babs was a pretty woman who smiled easily--don't think
you'll do as well if you are less-than-friendly. And the owners
of most places will not appreciate the help--even if they need
it. Also, most bartenders today can only give you one or two
drinks at a time, making this a slower process, and a soon as
they see you returning so quickly, they'll know something is
up. Finally, the whole scheme might be illegal, since you are
not on payroll and are therefore not serving the alcohol under
the license of the establishment.
So while we cannot recommend this practice, it might work
in some places, especially if you order from several different
bartenders. In fact, if the bartenders and wait staff are overwhelmed
with business, they may even let you volunteer to help out for
How Much Can You Make?
Babs made about $20 in thirty minutes, but making tips is
about your personality, appearance, the nature of the bar and
crowd, how fast you move and how busy the place is. In other
words, there is no way to say what you can make, but it will
be quick cash in any case.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
You could try to apply this idea to other settings. I know
a bartender who offered to serve drinks at a friend's party recently,
and he put out a tip jar. He made $50 while drinking for free.
You might do this at an outdoor concert as well, since these
often have beer for sale but don't have wait staff. Once again,
though, both of these examples are cases where you might be breaking
the law, so we offer them only as interesting reading.
Qualifications / Requirements
The only qualification might be the courage to walk up to
strangers and pretend you are their waiter, but in addition it
is recommended that you check on the legality of doing this and/or
get put on payroll as a temporary employee.
Find a bar and give it a try (but to be safe, ask for permission
- Information on how wait staff can make more tips.
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