It’s been a great year for well-made drinks.
As 2011 is coming to a close, 2012 is starting to take shape, and it’s looking good. So many new programs have been popping up all over the country, to name a few: Bar Congress in Austin, Green Russell in Denver, Maison Premiere in Brooklyn, Mother’s Ruin in Manhattan, Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. in Philadelphia, Kask in Portland, Bathtub Gin & Co. in Seattle…the list goes on.
Drinkers in need deserve good drinks indeed, and with all the love being spread around the U.S., it got me thinking…who is going to work at all these places?
In Los Angeles, we are currently experiencing a bartender shortage. The rate of new businesses opening with a full craft bar program attached outnumbers the ratio of qualified cocktail bartenders. This phenomenon has led to poaching, which is the hunting and taking of bartenders who belong to a neighboring establishment.
No Yoda wants to see their Padawan, who they have given all their Jedi secrets to, prematurely snatched up by another teacher or lured away by a carrot on a string with promises of money and fame.
Poaching is just one byproduct of the bartender shortage. In L.A. we are also seeing novice hires, (who have less than a year’s training under their belt, yet want the lifestyle and laureates of their mentors), tank programs on account of bad hiring, or proprietors being forced to hire from a pool not large enough to begin with. We also have some Sneaky Pete’s, who take advantage of the shortage and the recession by offering their services as consultant and/or operator for next to nothing. By learning how much their competition charges, they undercut the consultants who are actually qualified and fool the business into hiring them instead with promises of a kick ass program, when they themselves are grossly under qualified…read more after the JUMP