Category: Social Engineering


My How To Get Free Starbucks post has been the most popular thing I’ve ever written, with over 5,000 views in two weeks. I thought it was kinda funny because the idea for it – which I thought was only mediocre – was sitting in my little memo book for a couple months. There has been a lot of comments about it here and on Starbucks Gossip, and I just came across my favorite one:

Jeez, DC Bachelor, when do we get the primer on how to shoplift and do a dine-and-dash at a restaurant? Oh, and I’ve been thinking about knocking over a liquor store; any pointers?

What an ass.


The irony of all this is that I don’t order coffee from Starbucks anymore; I only get their muffin’s and dessert bars.


During my years frequenting Starbucks, I’ve observed ways to beat the system and get free drinks. This is dedicated to your poor schmos who cant afford an affordable luxury. I pay for my drinks but have “accidentally” stumbled on these field-tested rules.

Rule number 1: Go the busiest store near you to capitalize on worker confusion.

The key is to find a *$ that is busy, where confusion makes it easy to get away with things. If you go to an empty store where the person who rings you up is the same person who makes your drink, you aren’t getting away with anything.

Rule number 2: Make it seem like your order was incorrect.

If a barista screws up your order, they correct it and give you a coupon for a free drink the next time you come. Technically this isn’t completely free since you have to make that first purchase, but you can keep the chain alive and get free drinks forever.

Example: “Yeah, um, this is a caramel latte but I actually ordered a vanilla latte.” Of course you really did order a caramel latte but the person who took your order is busy (you’re at a busy *$ remember?) and forgot what you really ordered.

Rule number 3: Purchase something small and then act like a patient, confused customer waiting for his coffee beverage.

A bolder extension of rule number two is the real/fake purchase scam. You first need to order a baked good from the cash register person. After she gives it to you in a bag, mill around for about five minutes and then go to the barista and say, “Have you made a grande white mocha?” Look confused but gentle, like a puppy dog. They will look at their cups and see it was missing, and then promptly add yours to the queue.

Rule number 4: Wait by the bar like a snake and grab a drink that has been sitting there for more than 3 minutes.

At busy stores the inefficiencies in the system cause a lot of duplicate drinks to be made. The drinks sit on the bar for a while until the barista’s throw them away. All you gotta do is go up there and grab a drink. This scam has a couple downsides: the drinks will probably be lukewarm by the time you get it and like a person shopping for a home in a hot real estate market, you will never get your first choice. Most of the drinks are lattes with some wussy modification like a splash of soy milk.

Rule number 5: Greet barista’s by their name.

If you are a regular at a specific store, simply ask for the first names of the people that work there and introduce yourself. They will promptly forget your name but it doesn’t matter, for each time you go there and greet them by name you create a friendly vibe that encourages them to hook you up. It’s acceptable to be a little funny. To milk your connection indefinitely, it may be a good idea to tip them every now and then so they don’t think you are cheap. Little do they know that you are just broke because you have no skills that companies would pay for.

There are holes in every system and if you patient enough its easy to pick them apart with simple observation. I conclude with a disclaimer: don’t blame me if your stupid ass gets caught.


Everyone involved in the nightlife scene have ego’s that love to be stroked. This includes promoters, owners, DJ’s, bouncers and bartenders. They pick these jobs because it gives them power and attention. People come up to you and request songs. People beg to get in the club. People want to throw a party at your club. People want free drinks. You have the power to grant or deny their wishes.

Bouncers are the first group that you need to ball stroke. You crack a joke here or there and get their name in the hope they recognize you. If they like you then you never need to worry about a guestlist again. Bouncers have big balls so it takes time to build a relationship with them.

Promoters influence the bouncers, so it’s a good idea to stroke their balls too. There are a lot of different kinds of promoters out there but generally you just need to ask for their card and stay in touch. They are in the business of bringing crowds so there is no reason why you shouldn’t get hook-ups from them.

Stroking bartender’s balls offers inconsistent rewards. To get free drinks you could either be a big tipper or be a familiar face, but it’s never a guarantee. And you can’t ask for a free drink because that would be in poor taste. Some bartenders will hook you up all the time and others never will. In the end if you are a poor bastard then it’s worth the try to get that hand cupped and ready to stroke.

Owners need the most ball stroking because they are so used to getting their balls stroked that they are desensitized to it, like a heroin addict who needs to inject more to keep getting that high. Their language is money so if you can bring value to them then they will listen to you. If you drop hundreds for Grey Goose on that corner table then he may come over and shake your hand. Big fucking deal, I know. Owners are usually not worth your stroking efforts, leave that to the promoters.

I used to stroke balls for access and free drinks. I thought it was a fair trade but lately I cut down on ball stroking because I think it makes you a sell out. At least I was never like other A-crowd wannabes who consider people in the scene to be my friend. Nightlife scenes are faker than Coach bags they sell on the street; see if your “friend” helps you when you need a place to take this hairy woman that has been dying to leave with you all night.