Let me start by saying this, this article is based on my opinion and my experience only. Please do not take this as an attack or as me “hating” on someone for the way they look. It’s a misconception sometimes that bar owners feel that only attractive people can be energetic, cordial, flirty or even good for business. This is why many dive bars, sports bars, local bars, whatever you want to call them only employ cute girls to work the bar. It’s why many of the trendy bars, popular nightclubs and bars only employ the most handsome of men. In some cases, this may be true, but there is an extent to this. The downside or the extent is this, that attractive, flirty, energetic bartender could possibly drive away more business than they draw, or piss off other co-workers through ignorance, or willful malevolence.
In my experience in this industry, I’ve seen this happen many times. An owner or bar manager will hire based on looks. There is nothing wrong with that because they have the best interest of the business in mind. Their thought is a “hot piece of ass” will bring in more foot traffic. I’ve witnessed (more times than once) super hot bartenders and bartending most of the time don’t go hand in hand. Why? Because they suck at bartending and making drinks, they know that their looks will get them through probably much like they have since high school. On the other hand I’ve worked with and witnessed some very attractive bartenders who are able to mix with the best of them.
My problem is this, most bar owners and bar managers are detached from the business or the operations side of the business. They are often blinded by beauty and do not see the loss of profitability due to over/under pouring, sloppy mixing etc. They’ve increased the amount of patrons that come in, but it’s been at a cost. I’ve witnessed Hennessey Privilege being sold as a well brandy, I’ve witnessed Ciroc being sold as well vodka, I could go on and on. All of these things were being done by a fit, attractive dude. Sure, selling $10 and $20 shots for $6 isn’t a catastrophic loss. What’s harmful to the business is when you trust this person to train your next bartender and so on. You’ve just created incompetency, and you will be spoiling your profits for weeks and months.
When your attractive bar staff spends more time flirting for tips when there is a bar full of begging guests your profits begin to spiral downwards. This type of lack of respect from the bartender or lack of knowledge on the owner/manager could easily cost upwards of $100,000 a year for the bar, it’s very commonly lost sight of.
Here’s a basic fix to your problems, hire someone that is both attractive and business smart, hire someone that fits your demographic, and hire someone who can feed into the identity of your business and cater to the demographic. You should know your demographic going into the business to begin with. It’s true we do live in a time where sex sells, but it also comes at a cost.