Expert Advice on Hospitality Topics

Managing a Bar: Drinking On The Job: Dont Do It!!!

Posted by Nick Kaoukis on Thu, Jun, 02, 2011 @ 16:06 PM

by Bob Johnson

Part 3NoDrinking andDriving

Charley is on my mind everyday.  He was a bartender who worked at a place where I was a regular customer. Charley was allowed, and encouraged, to drink with the customers.  He was my friend and I did everything I could to get him to stop drinking at work.  “It doesn’t matter what they allow you to do, Charley, stop the drinking!” I would say.   “You shouldn’t have to be told.  Professional bartenders don’t drink while working—ever!”  

Professional managers don’t drink while working either.  But if the managers are drinking, don’t you think every staff member is drinking?  Of course they are. 

Managers set the tone.  Managers lead by example. Charley had quite a bit of Patron one night, and then mixed it with a few Jagerbombs.  He didn’t make it home that night—nor did the family of four he crashed into on their way to early morning mass.  He fell asleep at the wheel from the drinking and crossed over the center line.  The case is pending, but a massive lawsuit has been brought against the owner, investors and managers of the club where Charley worked.  You see, the owner and managers encouraged their people to drink while working.  It’s good for business, they rationalized. 

And Charley?  He survived the crash (the drinker usually does).  But his life is over.  Charley has to be sedated everyday to stop the crying.  He can’t eat.  He can’t do anything.  He was once a really good guy, but today he can’t live with himself for what he did to those innocent people on their way to church. They’re gone.So go ahead bartenders, managers, servers, security persons,  keep drinking at your place of work.  It’s not your investment or your liability.  Somebody else owns the club, so what do you care?!  

Yeah!  Party down!  Continue to show the ultimate disrespect to your owner.  Do something for him that could possibly bankrupt his entire investment and land him in jail. Go get yourself another shot of Patron, Mr. Manager!  Do a shot with your bartender!  Yeah!  Follow it up with a Jagerbomb or two!  Yeah!  You’re the life of the part now, aren’t you? 

I wish you knew my friend Charley. 

Topics: Bar staff, Bar Management, hospitality jobs, bar control