Andrew approached my car looking like Vin Deisel with his bald head, sleeveless black t-shirt, and jeans. As we drove, I asked what he did for a living, and he said, “Hospitality consultant.”
“What is that?”
“Our company turns around failing businesses: restaurants, bars… that sort of thing.” He gets embedded for 3-6 months at a given location, spots what the problem is, and fixes it… typically by firing people and replacing them. “Most of the time,” he confided “a bar can grit their teeth and bear it if they’re losing 8% of their revenue to theft (employees stealing). Any more than that and you’ll need to make changes. That’s where I come in.”
When he infiltrates an establishment, he comes in as a new hire. If an existing bartender shows him the ropes of setting aside a little extra per order, that person is canned. Sometimes he’ll have a bartender friend on the inside who also gets hired as a mole.
His work bears fruit. He said on a recent job he fired 11 people… bartenders/cooks who were stealing or not doing their job well. Every month he was there, the restaurant profited an additional $15k over the previous month.
One time he walked into a bar at night, surprising the bartenders working there. All three were caught with an extra $300 in their registers. They had been ringing up customers with the “no sale” button, planning to pocket the difference at the end of the night.
I found this line of work fascinating. As we arrived at his destination, he departed. While I was adjusting my GPS to figure out where to go next, he came back out with an attractive female friend in tow. “Let’s go, my man!” as he re-requested me, and we were off to Jumbo’s Clown Room on a Friday night.
If you’ve never been, I recommend going to Jumbo’s at least once in your life. The pole dancers can do some amazing tricks, and you’ll have a good time with friends and alcohol. I put my foot in my mouth by asking his friend, “You work at Jumbo’s right?” and they both started laughing.
We were actually going to pick up a female friend of hers who worked at Jumbo’s instead. When we got to her friend’s house, she wasn’t there. We called… and waited… and called again. Finally, the first lady says, “There she is! Look at that hooker…” The one who works at Jumbo’s gets in the car, explaining, “Sorry I’m late. I didn’t know what to wear, so I decided to hooker it up…” Good times.