Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Veteran Chicago Bar Owner's Rant On 'Fake' Chicago Bar Owners


I've read a lot of rants, but nothing quite like this one I received from a local bar owner. He's pretty much fed up with other bar owners who he thinks are not in the business for the right reasons:

"Let me first start by saying I'm blessed for having seen several revered industry operators practice their craft and owners/entrepreneurs that I look up to who continue to amaze me with their innovative ideas alongside of their perfectionist approach to growing their venues.

"This rant is for the opposite end of that spectrum and the people who abuse their positions. Let's be honest, shall we?? Some people in our business are out to get things the easy way. Some say they own or manage places without actually doing it or going through the REAL hardcore journey respected operators have traveled to make that claim.

"Showing up to work in a fancy suit without the bags under your eyes from a 100-hour work week holds no value to those of us that see right through it. Wielding a 24-karat business card that dons a title you neither earned nor worked for is a slap in the face to those of us that can't remember the last holiday we've woken up in time for or last vacation we've taken.

"Giving away free shots to hot girls in hopes of working your 'title' into a fake conversation about 'Who do you know?' or comping bottles so 'Johnny I still live at home' brags about knowing you to his friends is hardly managing.

"What's worse you ask?? Among your undeserved entitlement you couldn't even partially substantiate it by giving your current liquor percentage, or the cost of goods sold, or even simply naming the distributor of that comped bottle. Have pride in the craft of operating in this industry.

"You are among a tradition cultivated by very talented people who paved the way for people like us to even get an opportunity to work in the best industry in the world. Pay homage by managing with principles, ethics and the initiative to seek out the knowledge that doesn't make your claim disingenuous.

"Does your barback admire you because he's watched you wash dishes in the trenches with him during a slammed night? Does your bar staff work 'with' you because they know you don't advertise the fact they work 'for' you? Does your server respect you enough to take extra time doing her side work to perfection because you've noticed and complimented her on how hard she's worked?

"I'm far from being close to great, perfect or anywhere near the top of this profession, but I do pay it the respect it deserves by working hard, taking it serious and seeking out the information and experiences that allow me the privilege to proudly say I'm an industry professional (despite my love of taking shots, sorry I digressed)!

"In short, don't simply say you are 'in the business' to say it. Prove it. Live it. Respect it. You'll go farther and I trust the journey will be that much more worthwhile!"

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