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Famous Aussie bar’s awkward mistake on menu lands backpacker freebie - but is it legal?

A 'technical glitch' at Opera Bar allowed a tourist to score a bottle of wine for nothing

Enjoying a glass of wine while overlooking Sydney Harbour is currently out of reach for many Aussies battling the cost of living, but not for one lucky backpacker.

Lauren managed to take advantage of what appears to be a technical glitch at one of the city’s most iconic bars. She sat down at Opera Bar to knock back a rosé and was surprised that she didn’t have to pay a cent.

She scanned the QR code with her phone, which brought up the food and drink menu. When she tapped on the rosé section, it displayed a range of wines and showed the Opera Bar Rosé 2023 was bizarrely $0, while the two other bottles on display were $58 and $75.

Have you seen a similar type of glitch and copped a freebie? Email me at

Lauren believes it’s a technical glitch and has urged people to head down to the bar to enjoy it while it lasts.


“Thank you for the best night Opera Bar,” she wrote on TikTok.

People in the comments were thrilled to see the hack, with one user saying: “Well guess I know what I’m spending today doing before they fix it!”


Is it illegal to take advantage of a glitch for a freebie?

Another user added that the glitch wouldn’t be around for long, while a different person suggested that exploiting this hack would be “illegal”.

A spokesperson for NSW Police told Yahoo Finance the hack wasn’t against the law because it was an issue with Opera Bar’s app and would more likely be a civil issue.

A team member from Opera Bar, who was not authorised to speak on behalf of the establishment, revealed to Yahoo Finance it was an error they were working to fix. Yahoo Finance reached out to official channels but was yet to receive a response.

Opera Bar's QR code app showing bottle of wine for $0
The bar is reportedly looking into the glitch and trying to correct it. (Source: TikTok)

Freebie not always free of risk: KFC fans land in jail

Exploiting a glitch in a system for financial gain can be against the law, depending on where you do it. A group of students in China found a flaw in KFC’s app in 2018, which allowed them to order $40,000 worth of food for free.

They were jailed in 2021 for fraud after their activities were discovered by authorities. One of the students realised he could create free food coupons by switching between the fast food company’s app as well as its WeChat account.

Chinese outlet The Paper reported he then started a side hustle where he would sell KFC food at low prices after getting it free. He also taught several classmates how to exploit the app so they could get in on the loophole.

A court declared his actions were deceptive because there wasn’t a mechanical failure with KFC’s system.

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Yahoo Australia