Before we get to know each other, I must warn you that I can be offensive to some, or so it has been explained to me.
How exactly? Mainly because I’m real. Not like “poke me” real, but more like, “Look out! He’s going to say something honest that I might not agree with! Arrrrrgghhh!!!”
In other words, I state things the way I see them, without apology, which I guess gets some people's panties all inside-out.
I have found that the ones who get offended the most are the people who have decided that since I’m a business owner that I should behave in a more uniform and sterile manner, like an accountant I suppose, or a real estate agent, but I’m simply not wired like that. I come from the bar industry for Christ’s sake. I don’t dummy things down and I don’t make promises I can’t keep. I’m sure at some point I’ll say something to really offend someone and end up at the bottom of lake with a bunch of rocks tied to my ankles.
The point is, if you don’t like real, then I am most likely not for you and we probably shouldn’t work together. That might sound rude, but I call it "authentic". Why should we waste each other’s time if we aren’t aligned in our thinking. What is the point if we don’t cut through the bullshit and find out if we like each other?
Where am I going with all this? I’ll sum it up: If I had one message to share with those of you seeking my counsel, I don’t screw around! I believe in order to be successful in the bar and restaurant business that we need to make things happen and move the needle. That’s the only way to get where we’re going in life and business.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I swear sometimes. Maybe it’s not the “real” part that offends people. Maybe people are offended that I swear, which would be really sad because some of the greatest humans who ever lived cursed like a drunken carnies working the ferris wheel at the county fair. Like Scarface. How awesome was he?
Ok, now I’m just getting off course. Back to my story…
Like all good stories mine starts in a bar, or more accurately a greasy Chinese restaurant that had a bar, where at the age of 16 I bussed tables for a bitter Chinese lady who scolded me in words I couldn’t understand while pointing out my mistakes by rat-tail snapping me in the leg with a wet twirled-up bar towel every chance she got.
This was back before corporal punishment was really frowned upon, and in management this is what we call “Enforcing the standards set by ownership”, but I encourage less lacerations in my bar.
Yep, that's the fam. I have a drop-dead gorgeous, infinitely patient wife who I've been with for 24 years, and two remarkably kind and talented kids, a girl and a boy.
My wife wanted more, but anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a true man-to-man defense guy, and if you have more than two kids, you have to go zone and everyone knows that zones never win championships.
So instead we got a cat who runs away every time I try to pet it.
My wife and I met at Chico State and within 3 months we had adopted a 100 pound rottweiler, moved in together and purchased a $3,000 stereo system, so needless to say, we far exceeded the required agreement necessary to stay together forever.
Some braggy stuff: My son is GATE (which I don’t really understand but they tell me it’s good), my daughter is a basketball phenom, and there is not much my wife can’t do. She actually runs our house like a successful business and even tells me how I should run mine better.
I would be super annoyed, except she’s usually right, which is the annoying part, so I’ve simply surrendered. I just nod my head like Tim Robbins in Bull Durham after Kevin Costner makes him look stupid by telling the batter what pitch he’s throwing and so the guy blasts a home run that hits the bull in the ass. That’s me now, because I don’t want to get blasted doing something stupid.
I just nod and smile. Nod and smile
2. I was a starting shooting guard at Chico State University where I launched a horrendous amount of 3-pointers at the basket, and even made a few.
3. I was once on the front page of a Hawaiian newspaper for saving a lady’s life by ripping a decorative surfboard off a resident wrought-iron fence, and then swimming out 300 yards to grab her just before she went under after she had been treading water in a rip-tide for 45 minutes. Yep, me and David Hasselhoff, we save lives.
4. I can be a bit sarcastic (apparently), so I have to constantly alert people not be offended by my razor-sharp wit, which my wife has informed me that if I have to alert people to my razor-sharp wit that it might not be as razor-sharp as I believe it to be, but she’s just jealous because she doesn’t have a blog.
5. Before we had kids, my wife and I parented three Rottweilers. At the same time. In one tiny house. Which is to say every day my wife vacuumed up garbage bags full of dog hair while I picked up 15 piles of crap. I miss my dogs.
6. My dirty little secret is that I love Jason Bourne and often fantasize about being him because of his ability to escape CIA agents by walk-running from place to place, and because of his ability to beat up and kill other top assassins with a rolled-up magazine.
My real fantasy is to take down evil oil companies and bankers, but fantasizing makes me sleepy, so I usually take a nap.
I've spent 2 1/2 decades in this industry, not because I chose it, but because offices and cubicles make me grumpy.
I have been a busser at a (previously mentioned) Chinese restaurant and later at a popular Mexican Cantina in Chico, CA where I went to college.
After moving to the Bay Area I secured a job as a server at a Claim Jumper where I had to wear a ridiculous bolo tie and a badge with my name on it like I was a character working in Frontierland at Disneyland. After three embarrassing years of wearing that getup, I moved up to the big time by landing my first bartending job at P.F. Chang’s (before it went corporate and sterile).
From there, I started bartending at multiple bars at the same time, like a prostitute with multiple Johns. I’ve spent time at fine dining places, high-volume clubs and classic mixology bars. In other words for 12 years I was IMMERSED in bartending, until I finally moved on to management.
As anyone who has been in this industry a long time knows, it's easy to get stuck because the money is good behind the bar, but it's tough to do forever. And so is managing.
In 2010 I started hiring and training bartenders and helping people with no experience become bartenders and land their first job. I did this via my first book, "How to Be a Bartender" which has since become the #1 book on becoming a bartender on Amazon.
By 2011 I was going out of my mind working late nights and weekends, and on the verge of divorce, I started my own company, Bar Patrol, and inventory management company which helps bar owners & managers run a more profitable bar.
In 2014 - 2016 I developed two online training programs: TheRealBarCourse, which is my bartending book on steroids with videos and a 21-day action plan that helps aspiring bartenders land their first job...
...and the Bar Auditor Master Course which trains bar/restaurant industry people to do what I did, which is to abandon the late nights and long hours and start their own bar inventory auditor business where they can earn $100 – $150 per hour.