Friday, February 4, 2011
Things I've Learned Bartending in a Strip Club #2
#2: Two lime garnishes = no alcohol
This rule isn't so much for the customers. It's more like an unspoken rule between the staff such as the dancer, the cocktail waitress and the bartender. It's the easiest way for a dancer to communicate to the bar that she doesn't want alcohol in her drink without letting her paying customer know.
Why would a dancer not want her paying customer to know that she doesn't want to drink alcohol? Its the same idea as when a customer wants to buy the bartender a shot. If a bartender accepted shots from every customer who offered, it's highly unlikely that the bartender would be able to finish out their shift on their own two feet. Trust me, I've tried. Even in my prime time of drinking behind the bar while bartending, I was always more careless and sloppy when I drank with my customers than if I was sober. So could you imagine if a dancer drank with every customer she sat with in a given night? The poor girl would be stumbling around the club and crawling onstage, slurring her speech in her underwear and plastic high heels.
Now that I bartend in a restaurant, I just tell my customers that it is against company policy for me to drink on the clock. I thank them profusely for the offer and then blame the no-drinking policy on the bosses. If the customer pushes back, I say something along the lines of "Hey, you don't want me to lose my job, do you?" while flashing them a big, fat smile. That usually does the trick and they stop trying to make me feel guilty for not accepting their drink offer.
Working in a strip club or any kind of nightclub environment for that matter, it's not as easy to turn down a customer who REALLY wants their dancer, cocktail waitress or bartender to drink with them. It's a loud, party environment. If a customer wants to buy a staff member a drink and the staff member turns them down, they will take it personal. Money talks in a strip club. The customer will take their money to someone who WILL drink with them. Trust me, I've seen it a million times. Drunk people are not rational, remember?
So here come in the two limes...
If a dancer doesn't feel like drinking or if she legally can't drink (she's not quite 21), the easiest way to not turn off her drinking customer is to order a drink and request it with two limes, along with a little wink. That way the customer THINKS she's really drinking with him and she doesn't have to worry about getting wasted or breaking any rules.
For us bartenders, it's easy for us to get out of a drinking situation in a dark environment like a strip club or nightclub. A splash of Sprite, Coke or a mixture of juice make for great, fake cocktails. Customers never know unless they reach for the glass and take a sip. ;)