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ED November 2016

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24 November 2016 Club Bulletin www.EDpublications.com N ew-school versus old-school? The best ways to build clientele? The best music format? Who's really in charge—the owner or the general manager? What would it be like to be in the "war room" with a handful of in-the-trenches club operators, debating the most critical operational topics in the industry today? The EXPO's "From the Trenches Debate" panel session featured three club executives—Dean Reardon, VP with the Christie's Cabaret chain, Frankie Fusco, GM of the Hustler Club in San Francisco and Dave Peacock, GM of Platinum 84 in Denver—who are each "in the trenches" every day in their respective venues. Here, we've printed some of the back-and-forth discussion, as Reardon (acting as moderator) peppered Fusco and Peacock with specific club operations questions. Reardon: In the past two weeks, I've been to some great clubs out there in the U.S. So many great clubs, great people, great managers, great candidates for this year's GM of the Year Award. I enjoy seeing what different clubs do that make them successful. What I've seen is, you have to go out of your comfort zone and see what is happening in the industry today. The GM is so important to the club, but you have to work on your craft. Question from Reardon: Do you have an "open floor" or do you have sections for your servers? Fusco: We have sections. We find that open floors can get confusing, or you'll have waitresses going from one end of the floor to the other. In that case, the quality of service starts to go down. Peacock: We do both: We have open floor Sunday through Thrusday, sections on Friday and Saturday. We also have two roamers on the weekend; these are our best servers, that are able to roam throughout the club. Some servers are also requested by customers. Reardon: My opinion is, why pigeon-hole your best sales people? We're in the sales business, selling drinks, bottles, merchandise. Yes, you have sections for accountability and cleanliness, floaters work as well, but open floor for me is better from a sales perspective. I think open floor makes you more money. Audience member comment: Open floor lets the cream rise to the top. Winners drive the numbers, almost have to have open floor. Audience question: What if you have sections, and a waitress has a full section, yet a customer/group comes in and requests her? Fusco: Of course they get her as their waitress, we'll have to pass off one of that waitresses table to another server. Question from Reardon: How do you motivate your staff? Fusco: There are different ways to do it. Showing leadership, showing how involved you are in the club, makes them want to be a better employee. Example: When I started at the club, no one was setting goals for the staff or telling them what we were all striving for. I'm very goal-driven. So I did set those goals for the staff. At the end of the week they'd say, hey, did we hit our goal? They didn't get any bonus out of hitting the goal, but they did want to be a better employee, wanted to know if they did the job right. Maybe that person who hits those goals gets a better schedule, for example. Motivate by rewards (schedules), take them out for day trips, paintballing, sometimes reward with tickets to shows. If you build a "family" instead of a staff, they'll work harder and do better. Peacock: We have small incentives and large incentives; sometimes we'll randomly buy dinner for everyone in the club. If I see door guys who are staying late, doing work that 2016 Convention Seminar Coverage Club Operations Seminar The "In the Trenches" Debate Three adult nightclub operators who are "in the trenches every day at their respective clubs— Dean Reardon, Frankie Fusco and Dave Peacock—debate the issues that GMs face every day. Reardon Fusco

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