Many bars, GoGo's and similar venues employ
staff that may leave the venue with exchange
for paying a "fine" or barfine. In other
parts or Asia it is referred to as EWR (Early Work
Herein staff will be referred to as "girl" as
the majority are females and ladyboys prefer
to be called girls.
The barfine in its strictest sense is to
compensate the bar for the "loss"
of labor in a
loser sense it may be viewed as labor for
hire as most bars retain girls with the
specific intent to collect a barfine and as
such create another source of revenue along
with other hospitality services offered.
That bears the question "what can one expect
from the venue after paying the barfine?"
The answer is quite simple, it relieves that
girl of further duty in the venue for a
The bar fine does not include any more than
a girl be relieved from duty. It does not
include any specific services for which the
customer may have expectations. Any services
or favors expected should be negotiated with
the girl and any compensation is a separate
agreement that does not involve the venue
negotiations). In a few venues a manager
may try to intervene, but is best avoided.
In some bars known as Short Time Bars, the
barfine may include the use of a room for a
set period of time.
When does the relief of duty begin and how
long does it last?
In almost all cases the it starts the very
moment that the barfine is paid. Exception
may be when it is prepaid for another time
or in rare cases after a said hour when
barfines are allowed. The latter may be a
case if the venue is hosting a major
party and limits early barfines.
The duration of the relief of duty is
generally for the remainder of the shift,
however, the girl may set a duration shorter
either because she wants to "go home"
after that time or
return to the bar to make more money.
In Short Time Bars where a room is being
used the duration is usually defined and
typically one hour.
The cost of a barfine differs greatly from
venue to venue with beer bars usually
starting at a few hundred baht and the most
expensive GoGo's can be as high as 2,000.
For higher end bars 600-1,000 baht is quite
Why is it called barfine?
Often when a fine is paid most think of a
penalty like a speeding ticket or a fine for
As with many words used in Thailand deriving from English
something is lost in translation, this could be just that
or it may have derived from an obsolete
definition of "fine" meaning and "end" or
"terminate"; which certainly fits the