Earn more Money as a Bartender - Pt2; Extra Shifts

Picking up Extra Shifts

In the first part of this series, I covered Tips. Tips are a great starting point of course, but there are many other ways.


In this Blog, I’m going to quickly talk about something actually pretty obvious! Picking up extra shifts.


In this day and age, picking up extra shifts doesn’t actually have to mean working 7 days a week. A typical bar these days will have 3 shifts over the day. Early, Afternoon, Late…especially if its open till 2am or so. It’s the Midnight closes that may be 2 shifts a day.


But if you get on well with management, and are considered pretty good at what you do, then it might be possible to pick up the holy grail of the AFD. (All Flippin Day 😉) which can be a good 10-14 hour shift. 4 of those over a busy week and you’ve pulled in 40+ hours and still leaves you 3 days to recover. I’ve done many of those in my time. In fact, I grabbed the AFDs when I could because I new it meant an extra day off a week! In my early days, when I was still paid by the hour, an AFD was 9am to 1am. 16 hours! I got Lunch and Dinner. But more importantly I got 64 hours in 4 Days! It was tiring, but I loved having 3 day weekends. And I had the mentality of, if it’s a work day, that’s cool, I’m not doing anything else anyway, so may as well work all day.


But how do you go about getting the extra shifts?!


Well the obvious answer, is just ask. This might give you the ability to pick up an extra night, or cover a shift if someone is ill etc. If your manager knows that you’re up for an extra shift, no doubt they’ll have you on speed dial, simply because over the average work, there’s probably a good 2-3 shifts that will need covering at the last minute.

However, to get those AFDs, there’s often more responsibility on some of the early shifts. For example, at the first Pub I started at, an AFD actually started at 7:30am 2 days a week. On a Tuesday, I was in to help take in the delivery. And on a Thursday, I was in to help clean the Lines before the Pub opened at 10am.


Now you have to realise, you’re not just going to get these shifts. And in some cases, it’s the management responsibility to clean lines and do deliveries. But normally Management has so much else on, they love to delegate. Not only that, when I was Management, I had the view that if I had someone that was really interested in the industry, then these extra jobs gave them a real insight to the day to day workings or a Pub or Bar.


In other cases, you have to build up trust with your management. You have to show the initiative. You have to ask for more responsibility. You basically have to show an interest. And trust me, as a manager, when a member of your team shows an interest in something, that is like gold dust. They’ll do anything to keep hold of you. More often than not, give you extra responsibilities…or just simply be the first port of call for extra shifts.

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