Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bar/Club Owners - It's Time For A Reset
Wipe The Slate Clean And Start All Over

   During my recent trip to Dallas I had a budget of $300 for tipping the boys. To some that may seem like a lot. To others, that is pocket change compared to what they spend on male strippers in a weekend. However, the important thing here is that I came home with $250 still in my pocket. Why? I was ignored.
   Now before you go accusing me of having a big ego or being a tightwad, let me explain. My partner and I play a game each time we visit a club or event with male dancers. We set a budget amount for what we're going to tip the boyz. If we are acknowledged and given a little attention from a male dancer, the money starts coming out of our pocket and into their waistband. If we are ignored, the tip money stays in our pocket.
   It's a matter of perspective. Here's the reality. I am a customer who enters a bar or club. I am the source of revenue for the club, the bartenders, the dancers, etc. I have money that I can spend as I wish. And for me specifically, I am a gay male who enjoys the attention of hot young men in their underwear (or sometimes less). Now, just because someone is good looking and has a nice body and stands on a platform or swings from a pole is not a sufficient reason for me to just hand over my hard earned money to them. Think of it this way, I don't walk down the street and hand out money to good looking guys who pass me. I don't tip a waiter simply because he is cute. Even a bartender doesn't get a tip from me just because he looks good behind the bar. He has to sell and serve me a beer or cocktail. I expect something in exchange.
   Male dancers make nice eye candy but if all I want is eye candy, I can go to a beach, a swimming pool or a gym. I can go online and see gorgeous men from around the world. I don't tip the sexy men in all these locations, just because they are there. So, why should I tip a male dancer just because he wears a pretty pair of underwear and stands on a box? The answer is...I don't.
   I tip as a show of appreciation for a service rendered. The service in this case is contributing to the enjoyment of my night. If a male dancer shows me some attention in a positive way, then I loosen the tight grip on my money and start to show my gratitude in a financial way. I'm not expecting them to camp out at my table or focus exclusively on me during the night. I just want a little acknowledgement. I want to hear that sexy voice and see that smile up close. I want a connection. Nothing big, just one that says, I hope you're having a good time tonight.
   I watched at several clubs in Dallas as the dancers stood on the platforms, bounced, danced a little and looked bored. I watched as some of them looked in mirrors at one club directly in my direction only casting their gaze above me, so they could see their own reflection. And I watched as gaps of 15-20 minutes would go by where they received no tips. So, here's the situation. I have $300 in my pocket waiting to go into their waistband or jockstrap. But not one of them even stepped to my table to say hello. Not one of them dropped the gaze on their reflection above my head and made eye contact and smiled. If they had, I would have started dropping the dollars in their direction. As a customer I felt I was no more important than the chair I was sitting in.
   I could have brought in a neon sign that says "Free dollars here. Come and get it!" Or, I could have had it announced over the sound system that the man sitting by the mirrors has $300 in his pocket that he wants to give to a dancer. Then, some of them might have attempted to move in my direction, but we know it doesn't work that way, nor would we want it to. And yes, I could have gone up to them while they were dancing and started putting dollars in their briefs in an attempt to get a little attention. Yea, right. That's not going to happen. However, I do know that I will respond when given a smile, a hello, a thank you, or another form of positive acknowledgement.
   What I wonder is...do these guys not have bills to pay? And if bills are paid, is there not a new vehicle, new clothes, or electronics that they would like to buy? And if they aren't in it for the money, then what is their motivation to be almost naked and dance several nights a week?
   I'm calling for a reset. I encourage all bar/club owners and managers to reassess. Wipe the slate clean and start all over with a focus on the individual customer. Train your staff, doormen, bartenders, barbacks, djs, dancers, etc. to focus on the money source..the customer. I guarantee you, tips and profits will rise.
   I do want to end this blog by saying. There are some male dancers getting it right. Do you know where they are? Until next time, tip the boys but expect something in exchange.

NOTE: All pics are of the $250 for tips that I brought back home with me.
ABOUT COMMENTS: If you do not see your comment following this blog it is most likely because you posted as ANONYMOUS. I rarely allow an anonymous post. My feeling is that if you can't own up to it with a name, then it's not worth posting. Thanks to all others who have posted.

18 comments:

  1. (slow clap)
    I agree. There is nothing worse than an entitled go-go boy. If you want my money, put some effort forth.

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    1. True George. And there are those who do. I'll be focusing on them as well in the near future. Thanks for your comment.

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  2. I am currently a male dancer at a bar in the boston area amd i can hoestly say that rhis statement is 100% dead on i dont expect people too just throw money my way cause im a pretty face or sonething nice too look at engaging in conversation is half the battle at making money however some people in this area could care less im even there or any of our fellow dancers or that im bisting my ass sweating to death doing arial tricks on stage wial keeping eye contact and intamacy with gazing customers i do agree thou you have to be good at conversing with your income sitting in the room there not going to just throw it at you. So if you wanna travel out to the boston area amd share the wealth with a dancer busting his ass to make it in the business cone see me i will make sure to pay attention to you and anyone else you bring with you especially if i know im going to be making money for it

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    1. Thanks Shawn. I hope I can make it back up to the Northeast soon. It has been a while.

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  3. Completely agree! I keep a money bag of 150 singles that I carry with me when I go out, I always fill up 50 bucks in each pocket usually- and dont care if I spend it all. In the past 2 months of going out I still have probably 70 bucks in there! I have spend $100 in a night before tipping gogo's. But it seems like the guys in LA have stopped working for the tips. They arent allowed to have any touching since there is a big crackdown in West Hollywood on gogo boys. But they can still flirt and smile, and thank me for coming up. If they do, I give them money all night. Otherwise I just spend it on a couple drinks and head home. The few guys who I've become friendly with over the years of course always make me feel great when they see me, but there are many more who I think are super hot, but I'm not coming back with another tip if you don't even talk to me or flirt trying to get me up there again.

    It seems like it should be basic customer service in a tipping industry. Most of thse guys are just idiots trying to make a quick buck off their bods. They could make ALOT more if they were smart with the way they treat customers. You're always right on Michael!

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    1. There are a lot of clubs where touching is not allowed and strictly enforced. I can appreciate that. I can also appreciate a dancer who doesn't want to be mauled by the customers. A smile and eye contact usually melts all my resistances. It's so simple.

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  4. i know where some of them are. swinging richards, atlanta- i live nearby and in several years, i've only been disappointed on a rare occasion

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    1. I agree. I have been to Swinging Richard's in Atlanta several times. I have never been disappointed. There are always hot guys. They know how to work the customers the way I like it.

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  5. As a dancer myself, I can say some people don't want to talk to me or even a hello but I'll always say thank you because you have contributed to my fund. I make sure everyone leaves with a smile while not being too vulgar. It's a job I do for fun and extra cash, I get out of my normal 9-5 box to get up on that box and have a blast. Also, that's a really long 2 sentences Shawn, but I am glad to see you are as enthusiastic as I am.

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    1. The "Thank You" goes a long way Michael. And yes, there are guest who are shy or just want to be left alone and look. I'm definitely not one of those. Thanks for the feedback.

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  6. Very well stated. We've noticed this at the Corner Pocket in New Orleans many times. There are a few of them that act like they are doing you a favor being there. Most of them are great! A few seconds of conversation, a smile, eye contact, etc all go a very long way. The ones that act like they can't be bothered or just stare at the ceiling get nothing.
    Most of the guys there a great and know how to treat the customer. The ones that don't usually will get a little something to see if that will break the ice, but if it doesn't there won't be another chance.

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    1. I like your approach coach dog. You give them a chance and if they deliver, you tip. I lived in Metairie for a while a few years ago. I'm ready for some more Crawfish Etouffe and a trip to Cafe Du Monde.

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  7. I am a gogo dancer in los Angeles.....and I could not agree more. I can't stand lazy dancers! I am an entertainer cannot! And I believe in customer service!

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    1. Works for me! Customer Service is what it's all about. Give me attention and I'm putty. I'm easy when it comes to male dancers. If you're dancing to make money, it's easy to make a little more by being friendly and smiling to the customers.

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  8. Hey Mike,

    Thank you for posting such a must needed post. I agree with you 100%. I am not a dancer (even though I do want to be), but I have worked as a waiter in restaurants. I live in So Cal and worked in one of the best casual dining restaurants around. The reason we were considered one of the best wasn't because of the beer. It wasn’t because of the food either. Customers can get beer and food anywhere else, and most likely, for a cheaper price. What we did excel at was customer service. Waiters and waitresses all focused on customer service when doing our job. We didn’t just take orders and hand them food because we knew they could go to a fast food restaurant down the block for if that’s what they wanted. We smiled. We engaged in conversation. We made sure the customer had everything they needed and always made sure the customer was enjoying the restaurant experience. That’s what got us bigger tips. Our hosts were never to let a customer enter without greeting them with some variation of "Hello. How are you doing today?" When a customer left, our hosts were to thank them for coming in and express some variation of "We hope to see you again." We never let a customer leave without a smile on their face because when a customer who leaves happy is more likely to be a repeat customer. Bar/Club owners really need to learn a lesson from this. Not only because customer service is such a basic component of any business, but because a common complaint about male dancers is the lack of customer service they provide. Should Bar/Club owners begin hiring barely clothed hosts? I certainly wouldn’t oppose. They could always just extend the responsibilities of customer greeting to other Bar/Club employees. Personally, I would like to see more friendly go-go boys. Boys who give a hug with their “Thank you.” Boys who ask for a customers name and attempts to remember it, or at least the customers face. Boys who, whether gay or straight, don’t let their sexual orientation limit their interaction with a customer.

    I would also like to comment on something interesting another commenter mentioned. I live relatively close to Los Angeles and the crackdown on West Hollywood go-go boys is indeed problematic. However, I recall an article about ABC (the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control) holding a meeting to discuss changing city regulations on lewd conduct laws to reflect the moral standards of the community. Hopefully this will allow West Hollywood to operate the way it desires. +

    - Jaylin Hayas

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  9. Jaylin, thanks for the comment. I can tell this is a subject you've thought about many times. I appreciate the real life example coming from your restaurant experience. Small changes in words and actions from the male dancers could make a large difference in their tips, business receipts, and most importantly customer experiences. And I'm all in support of the "barely clothed hosts". Well, male hosts that is. :D

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  10. This is SO true! I've noticed over the years how dancers have changed in their work ethic. There was a time when you could tip a dancer as he was performing on stage and when he finished he would walk around the bar, find you, and thank you for the tip. You could tell his appreciation was genuine. Not any more. Now I, too, go home with money still in my pocket because I was never acknowledged by a dancer. And the problem is not just in Dallas; I've experienced this in Houston as well. I did notice more attention in New Orleans and Ft. Lauderdale but maybe its because I was visiting and not a regular customer?? -T

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  11. I want to add a positive note here. I have noticed a huge improvement over the past year in customer service. There are a lot more male dancers in many areas also. This causes a little competition for customer dollars. That's always a good thing for us fans!

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