San Diego’s Ambassador of the Night asks, ‘Who likes bartenders with bad attitudes’Ambassador of the Night, Top Highlights Friday, September 21st, 2012
BY CHRISTINA MACNEAL
‘Baditudes’ behind the bar
Am I the only one that feels that the biggest problems facing LGBT bars, clubs and associated nightlife venues are the gay or lesbian rock star attitudes from some staff who think they are above the customer?
Anyone can sling drinks with a bad attitude. A real bartender knows and understands that exceptional service directly affects income and hinges on customer satisfaction. While bartenders and night staff have to stay upbeat and on their feet for long periods of time, may I respectfully suggest that mood-enhancers are not the answer. The effect only makes a potential rock star mentality worse which in turn brings down the service. Remember, work is work and partying is partying!
Sometimes, Hillcrest LGBT bar service can seem very similar to Comedy Central’s skit of Bon Qui Qui yelling to the kitchen, “I have a complicated order,” or “Secuuurity, security,” every time she does not feel like doing her job. If you haven’t seen it, check it out on YouTube. It’s a scream!
In the past, community bartenders and nightclub staff were given an elevated status in the community, mainly because it was one of the only times we could see people like ourselves. At a time before LGBT’s were visible in the media and in the public eye they were there to fill that void. Today, it is no longer that time and place and the community and world have evolved! So why has this mentality not?
I am not saying that all LGBT nightclub staff are like this or that this is something that has not gone unnoticed by some LGBT nightclub owners but, I would urge some to consider, however, that you are in the customer service industry!
When people are treated rudely and a lot of times overcharged for the pleasure they will search out new venues – gay or not!
More and more straight business people want to serve the gay community, and see the value in the all-mighty gay dollar. They live in a broader community where those who patronize their business are treated in a way that is conducive to good service and where the customer is right. In this economic and socially progressive time, we will lose more and more of our LGBT nightlife without this understanding.
Having said all that, and with an expectation of many readers crying “foul,” I thought it would be only right to give praise to those LGBT nightlife venues who have standards, correctly train staff and set an example for those who fall short.
Chris Shaw: He does an amazing job of training staff, promoting from within and encouraging friendly no-attitude staff. If it was ever a wonder as to Chris’ success it was due partly to these things. All one has to do is look how packed his places are, how happy the customers look and his brand recognition. Another huge bonus is Chris does not just take from the community he gives back! A huge thank you to Chris and his staff for having standards and adding to the San Diego LGBT nightlife scene. Moe GM at Gossip is a long-time staple in the community and has helped turn a void in the community into a place that is what The Abbey in L.A. used to be. Kevin at Mo’s is one of my favorite bartenders. He is funny as hell and always brings high energy and hot underwear!
Baby Cakes: The setup is inviting, the staff almost all the time is friendly and attentive and the manager always greets you with a smile, regardless of who you are. Bo has to be one of my most favorite bartenders.
The Loft: This bar is one-of-kind and one of Hillcrest’s hidden gems. The crowd screws a bit older, however, they are full of excitement and are very friendly. It is one of the last places you can overhear someone using the words, Mary and rough trade. The most awesome addition to The Loft is the siren that goes off every time a hot guy walks by. It is old school camp and comfort. Amazing job and keep up the good work!
Rich’s: Nick Moede gets it! He always has staff that understands what service-with-a-smile is all about. There are a good number of women who work there and hands down Rich’s has the hottest go go’s in all flavors from Bear to circuit boys. They are friendly, even down to the security guards, and if you ever deal with security at many other LGBT venues, you will learn to appreciate Rich’s.
#1 on Fifth: Strong drinks, no cover ever, large pool tables and for smokers – somewhere to sip your drink without foregoing your cigarette or others getting pissed about the smell. The boys who work here are on-point, sweet and understand customer service.
There are many other great LGBT nightlife venues, but these just happen to consistently stand out and hats off to all the hard-working industry staff that keep us coming back for more!
‘Til next time, check your ego at the door, keep us shaking are asses and just say no to drugs! This is your Ambassador of the Night signing off.
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