Between coaching guys in my Leverage Program and going out with my non-client friends, I’m out at bars/clubs at night a LOT. And if you’re in a big city like Los Angeles, New York, or Miami, a lot of the better more exclusive bars/clubs will have door guys and a long line to get in. If you hate standing in that line, then continue reading this for my tips on how to bypass that line and get hooked up when you go out at night.
First time you go somewhere, get names. When you walk in, ask the bouncer’s name and shake his hand. When a bartender serves you a drink, say “thanks, what was your name again?” Shake hands and introduce yourself. Treat service industry people with respect and connect with them.
If they are busy, don’t waste their time, but if it’s a slow night or later on the evening, chat them up. I showed up to a popular bar in West Hollywood on a slow night with one of my clients 45 minutes before closing time. The usual dude with the mustache was working the door. We walked in, looked around, no chicks, walked outside. I remember from a couple nights before that a friend of mine hooked the bouncer up with a gift and I knew his name was Charles only because I wrote that down in my phone!
Side note – I take notes in my phone because I know I’m not gonna remember the bouncers, bartenders, host/hostess and servers’ names the first couple times I meet them. The result of all this is no/minimal waiting time, free drinks from the bartenders and massive social proof and love from women when they see that everyone who works there treats you like a king.
So I sarcastically said, “Hey Charles, how bad was that gift my friend gave you? :)” He laughed and we started chit chatting. I asked him where he was from and he said Canada, so I asked him if he was a hockey fan. Turns out he also plays competitively and naturally we connected over hockey for the next 15 minutes or so. Now every time I go there, he gets me right in no matter how long the line is. The other night I went out with two buddies and there was a stupidly long line (hour plus) but Charles got us right in.
One of the first times I went to a popular bar in New York, my friend and I were chatting with some girls outside smoking, playing the “Cock-Block Game.” This is a game in which you intentionally try to cock block your buddy by saying ridiculous things to the girls he is talking to. It makes for ridiculous stories.
The bouncer overheard and was really confused about what we were doing until we told him how the game worked. He started calling us the cock-block guys and from there on out, he was always happy to see us and we never waited. We also found out what he liked to drink and would buy him a drink every time he was working.
A couple years ago I challenged myself to go on 50 first dates in 30 days. There was a bar adjacent to my apartment and I would go on multiple dates per day there. The bartenders started giving me funny looks when I had a different girl show up literally every day if not twice a day. I got to know all of them and they started hooking me up with free drinks. Frequency is your friend.
Bouncers and bartenders at nice places are social beasts. They get this stuff on a really deep level and if you don’t, you’ll make a fool of yourself and risk losing out on their good graces. When I walk up to a bar where I’m buddies with the bouncer and he doesn’t greet me with a big hello, I know why. He doesn’t want to look like he’s playing favorites and letting his friends cut the line. He will get backlash, unfavorable Yelp reviews and other customers waiting in line will get pissed. So he’ll pretend like he doesn’t really know me and I’ll do the same. I’ll hang out to the side and then he’ll signal me when he wants me to walk in.
Idiots I’ve rolled with don’t get this and think we have magical powers to get into popular venues. We connect with people, take care of them and they hook us up. When you have cool friends who are socially savvy and you know how to befriend people in the service industry, you don’t have to wait in line like most amateurs. If you show up with 10 dudes, you can’t expect royal treatment from people you know because it jeopardizes their job to hook you up. The one rule that trumps all is bring a lot of attractive women and you’ll never wait.
So in a nutshell, if there was just one tip I could give you after reading all this, it’s to learn how to connect with people.
When you’re able to relate and connect to others, you’ll open the doors to a lot of opportunities in life, and not just socially.