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How would you view this request from your employee's?

posted 8/20/2007 10:07:00 PM |
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I hold regular meetings with my bartenders. One evening, after the bar closed, the staff and I discussed the drop in weekend bussiness. I explained to them that I may have to make cut backs in staffing untill it picks back up. Right off the bat I started to get some serious attitudes from them. I explained to them, when overall sales are down I have to make adjustments to keep the place open. I ensured them that no one was getting terminated.I was just cutting back on their hours, and increasing mine untill things picked up. ( I am on salery verses their hourly rate) The attitudes got worse. So I gave them the details of how the hotel and bars overal profits were down. Asking them "how am I suppose to pay wages, when I'm not making any money?" I finnally got tired of the F*** you attitude and ask the what they had to add to this conversation. The first comment was "You think your cutting back on my hours you got another thing comming." The next was added by all of them. They wanted me to lower my prices to increase customers. They claimed that other bars were much cheeper then we were. ( I chose to investigated this and found it to be untrue.) Then again another great response. I was requested to get live bands for entertianment rather than Dj's. ( this come from an employee that wanted to start an open mic nght. I bought all of the equiptment microphones, guitars, basses, drum set, amps, and a full pa system with effects. Nothing ever came of it. So $7,000 of my money now colects dust on a stage.) By this time I had had enough of their idea's and shot them {email address removed} first was telling the employee don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. When your attitude changes mine won't. Too the pricing of products I broke it all down. I used my lap top to show them the expenses vs the profits. What we paid for things and what we sold them for. I showed the the inventory differences. that started to put them in their corner. Then my friend with the band issues. I ripped into his ass pretty hard. Ending the conversation with, when you want to risk $1000 of you money on a band. You let me know. Untill then, I own a 10,000 dollar digital dj's system that dosen't cost me anything to operate.
I left them all with these thoughts to ponder. 1. Did you ever think to kick some of your tips back there to the cooks that are busting their ass, helping you to make tips. You don't forget to bitch when their having off days and it cost you tips. 2. You always want to have these theme nights, and give prizesout. Each of these little theme parties cost me no less than $1,000. Did you ever concider kicking me back some of the profits it generated for you.3. I dj every weekend,have the top new music, maintain all of the effect lights and keep the sound system in top shape. You people reep the benifits of the customers it generates. Never once have you offered to anything. 4. I put in free pool tables and dartboards to generate customers that tip you. You were asked to monitor poolballs,chalk and darts. How many times have you replaced them when they are stolen. How about never. 5. You complain that you aren't making enough money. I pay you $5.50 an hour and all of your tips are under the table. Your tip base at the lowest in 12 months was 25% within a 7 hour shift. That means you made no less than $20 an hour, and you still steal from me! All of you need to go beat the pavement and find out what these factories are paying and what is involved in the daily routine. You need to learn respect for all of those who help you in a process. I stand on this ,,,,You are all fired. If you wish to keep you job you may reapply. The application will consist of an essay on how you can positively benifit this establishment and increase business.The application process will also be open to the public. Only the best will be selected for interviews.
Tell me if you were in my shoes how would you have handled this issue. I have spoken to bar owners from all over the united states. and they would love to hear your answers .

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Aug 20 @ 10:15PM  
I definitely would not have felt the need to go into such detail for what sounds like a group of ungratefull people.

Aug 20 @ 10:31PM  
I didn't read the whole thing. don't have to. Many bartenders relate to the neighborhood bar or trendy night club and do not comprehend the economics of a hotel. Particularly if it is a hotel catering to convention/trade show biz, you have a captive audience. They don't have cars, so they don't have options unless there is competition accross the street that is not a hotel, and we all know hotels are herd animals. You rarely see one, but rather several.
A price cut will not produce the volume to offset it by the nature of the beast. You must sell quality, because any business traveller knows that you will pay through the nose. Where they can make money, depending upon you property, is at the cash bars at the hospitality functions.
The nature of your clientel drives you business. It is very straight away and you have very little latitude in the decision making process as it is guided by not only your manager, but corporate branding, assuming you are Hyatt, Marriot, Double Tree, Hilton, etc. That tends to be very cut and dry.

Aug 20 @ 10:35PM  
Yeah, needless to say I shot from the hip but do understand hotels very well professionally, but that blog was just too damned long to read through. So I hope that my preempting you gave some useful insight because, man, repectfully, the blog was TMI.

Aug 20 @ 10:37PM  
Dear DJ:
When I was about your age I managed a bar, dancehall, and resturant for three years. On a busy night we would have 5 barternders, 8-9 waitress, 2 cooks, one busboy, 2 doormen, a DJ and me (or the owner) I even helped build the place with my unskilled labor. We had about a million to a million and a quarter invested in it. (Every day we would start with $ 1,000 in cash) Very, very few people had any idea how much profit we made. They would see money going into the cash box and think it was all profit. They didn't know about the stack of bills going to the accountant every week. All they saw was money coming in. One guy asked me is we had invested $ 10,000 - $ 15,000. I had to point out that cars cost more then that.
I just think people are not knowledgeable about money and money issues. Look how many people are in debt. People just don't know. They also don't know how much the Government takes from us.

Aug 20 @ 10:48PM  
I worked as a server for many years. Never in a bar. I know how hard the rest of the staff works to make sure we get our food was cooked right and out on time, the bus boys made sure they were quick at cleaning our tables so they could be sat again. I never took my job for granted. I was making a lot less than what you pay your employee's + tips. I prebussed my tables to help out the bus boys.

I just wish I had a job again. I lost that job and was with them for 6 years.

I had days where my tips were down but the other days made up for it. I report my tips at the end of my shift.

Now I am looking for a job. And can't find one.



Aug 21 @ 12:26AM  
sorry things are going badly, hun....

Aug 21 @ 9:02AM  
I work in a hotel I wait tables 4 nights then bartend 1 night. I'm sorry to say the sales are down but the banquet area is up I've also worked in the little neighborhood bar. Big difference yet the same. And I agree YOU shouldn't have to explain the expenses common sense is amazing sorry your employees didn't have any. Hey i'm lookin for p/t job

Aug 21 @ 6:53PM  
Did you ever think to kick some of your tips back there to the cooks that are busting their ass, helping you to make tips.

You don't require that? *boggle*

Here's a big tip for your bartenders, if they're willing to listen:

Tip your kitchen boys well, and they'll take really good care of you. If you don't, they won't bust their ass for you.

I patronize a local joint, bar & grill, and I make sure I tip my server/bartender well. I know who tips the kitchen well, 'cause when I sit in there section, my food comes quickly, properly made, and to order. This makes me happy, which encourages me to be generous at tip time.

Since I also drink beer with the kitchen boys, I some times get hooked up.

Aug 22 @ 10:57AM  
Being in the service industry for 32 years from a 15 year old dishwasher busboy to executvie chef in 4 star hotels restaurants in manhattan.I have to say you made several critical mangement errors. If you run this bar for a major chain then the bottom line is is what is of the upmost importance all the way up the food chain. Your weekly bartender meetings should not be informing them of possible cuts and asking for input as this will generate bad feelings first and then give the employees a feeling of empowerment secondly. You are mangement you do the numbers you decide when cuts need to be made. You do not need input or approval from your emloyees, post your schedule and that is that.Then hold your meeting informing them of the cutbacks and the fact that you are sorry but had no choice. Then invite them to discuss problems later with you one on one so you are not ganged up on.(Also insure things will go back to normal when bussiness picks up)Then go up the food chain for ideas to stimulate bussiness.

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How would you view this request from your employee's?