A lot of times Club Owners I’m working with will ask me or call me up and ask me if I know of where they can find a suitable Manager candidate, a DJ, a kitchen staffer, an Adult Attorney, a Liquor License Lawyer, etc., etc., etc. Over the years I’ve wound up accruing a kind of running list of suggestions. In no way should you consider this list exhaustive, totally accurate, or even unbiased. I will tell you that in every instance I give you, I’ve personally seen it work…with varying degrees of success. Opinions are mine alone, and if I hurt your feelings, well too bad.
Management: We all know that in this industry right now the economy has exacerbated the difficulties of finding decent management material. A lot of times it can be hit or miss, a lot of churning, a lot of headaches. Some Owners wind up going through Managers like water and others I know hang onto Managers they should have fired on a freaking catapult out the front door a long time ago…whatever. About 18 or so years ago, I wound up meeting purely accidentally three GM’s over the course of a few months all over the US at different Clubs, and all had one common trait that kind of stuck in my head: They had all come from the Full-Service Hotels, either Marriott or Hilton, as Assistant Food and Beverage Managers or full Food and Beverage Managers. I was impressed by their employer trained skill sets: They were all fully computer literate, very knowledgeable about POS systems, had extensive training in HR and personnel requirements, Do’s and for god’s sake Don’ts relating to staff, great training in inventory control, their offices were organized…Just about the only aspect they had to learn was in dealing with Entertainers (hah, how about that learning curve!). Since then, I have suggested to a number of Owners that they go head- hunting for F&B Managers or assistant F&B Managers, with mixed results, but for the most part pretty darn good results. Again, not set in stone, but for you Owners/or GMs, just a suggestion you might want to try. Now watch, Marriott or Hilton Hotels will start bitchin at me for suggesting poaching their F&Bs…LOL!
DJs: A Club without Entertainers is…just not a Strip Club, and a Strip Club without an experienced, current music trending and knowing, personable, crowd focused professional is just meh, just so-so at best, and even more so, just a waste. Over the years I personally have had the opportunity and enjoyment to just sit back and watch and listen to guys for example like Dane Hansen and Danny Meyers, and how they managed Entertainers, interacted with the crowd whether big or small, and even Features or special events. Listening to some fucker with a mike an inch from his mouth monotoning, “And that was mumble, mumble, next up Violet, mumble mumble….” drives me up to wall: He’s not helping the Entertainers, the Club feel, the staff: He is what Cover Jock fixes! On the other hand, that focused, inventive, articulate, intelligible DJ is a major asset to that Club’s rep and cash flow, for both Entertainers and patrons to enjoy. Gee, if only there was some sort of professional organization of DJ’s that fostered and mentored ADULT CLUB DJs, that an Owner or GM could reach out to locate available professional Adult Club DJs, wouldn’t that be just peachy!..Oh hold on, there IS an already in place such an organization: IT IS CALLED PANDA, Professional Adult NightClub DJ Association. Go to pandmembers.org, go to their Facebook page, PANDA. For any of you Owners or GMs looking for DJs who take their work seriously, go to PANDA, and if your own DJs are not following Panda music lists and trends, they need to. PERIOD. You can post notices there, and there are easy ways to contact some of the luminaries in this organization for consult. PANDA is a great organization, and fills a very necessary need in our industry. Gee, I sound kinda biased… If you need a DJ, please start with PANDA.
Kitchen Staff, Cooks, Chefs: Like my DIY approach to Managers, this suggestion came partially out of a conversation I had in Dallas last year with a GM who was lamenting his inability to recruit and keep decent kitchen staff, and partially from my own experience in finding kitchen help over the years. In just about every major city and even moderately sized cities, there is at least either one stand-alone Culinary School or a VoTech school that has a culinary program. Bulletin boards, placement offices, even ads in a school newspaper. All these schools have one factor in common: They are turning out cooking skilled folks who not only know how to do a steak, but also most of the time how to manage inventory, control shrinkage and waste, AND WHO WANT TO WORK! This is an easy-peasy, low-tech avenue to find professional, focused kitchen staff who just might bring a stepped-up level of quality to your kitchen. Sure beats getting the castoffs from McDonalds or walk-ins who say they think they want or know how to cook or run a kitchen. Enough said.
Adult Industry-friendly Attorneys. FALA. First Amendment Lawyers Association: I have had the real privilege of getting to know a number of members of the First Amendment Lawyers Association. You have either read their articles or their court pleadings or their judgements reported here in ED Magazine or in ACE. They are the legal back bone of our industry’s survival against shitheads who have some hardon for the industry. Or sometimes it is purely a zoning issue, a permitting issue, an administrative agency hearing that you need more than a local attorney to represent your interest….and make no mistake, all you Owners out there, a lot of times these members of FALA wind up “fixing” what a local lawyer might have fucked up due to inexperience, or a FALA member’s experience manages to win over some local DA or city council. FALA members have been critical/instrumental in fighting the so called “fair labor” class actions suits, the identity faces cases, and pivotal zoning cases. I cannot over emphasize enough to you Owners (big and small and solo) that at any time you wind up head-to-head with any governmental entity, to reach out to a FALA member in addition to your local attorney. Go to www.firstamendmentlawyers.org. There you will find a list of attorneys by state. Or there is also all the contact information to reach out to some of the national heavy hitters in the industry if you choose to go that way. Honest to goodness, if you have your livelihood, your business hanging in the balance due to a legal conflict of any kind, that is not the time to cheap out, and make no mistake, the powers that be have absolutely no interest in keeping your legally established business going, only your First Amendment Lawyer! FALA is an internally curated, managed association. In other words, Members are there because they have been accepted by the association, not because they just signed up.
Liquor Lawyers by State: NAABLA. National Association of Alcohol Beverage Licensing Attorneys. www.naabla.com. Like FALA above, NAABLA is an internally managed, curated list and association of attorneys who specialize in alcohol license issues and problems in every state, and also on the federal level, too. Ken Allen, a founding member, from Columbia, SC first turned me onto this organization several years back, and as a business broker, I have found it an invaluable resource in just about every state. Finding a knowledgeable, experienced, state ABC-conversant attorney is critical for the progress of a sale of a Club a lot of times if the Buyer is new or out of state and unfamiliar with all the ins-and-outs of state ABC rules and requirements. I have utilized the NAABA website for all over the US, and have yet to be disappointed in the level of experience and connections these lawyers have possessed. It is one of my first go-to steps when working on a deal. And of course, if a Club runs afoul of state ABC rules, these just might be the folks you need in your corner to keep that license.
Finally, this article from me would not be complete with me writing a few words about the small group of us in the US who specialize in the Purchase and/or Sale of Adult Clubs as Licensed Brokers. ALL OF YOU OWNERS OUT THERE WHO READ THIS, IF YOU HAVE DECIDED TO SELL YOUR CLUB OR YOUR BUSINESS AND REAL ESTATE: PLEASE, PLEASE FIRST CONTACT ONE OF THE LICENSED PROFESSIONALS LISTED BELOW. You stand a good chance of doing yourself a real disservice at least Sale Price wise to yourself if you place your Club Business or Real Estate and Business in the hands of just some jackoff local real estate broker or business broker who is not familiar and not conversant with our industry! Just for one example: there are some business brokerage groups and real estate groups that will not identify a strip Club as an “Adult Club” but only as a “bar” or “nightclub”, because they don’t want to be associated with the Adult Club industry-but they will be happy to tie you to a long listing agreement and take your money. There are more stupid horror stories I can hit you with but suffice it to say there are many other reasons to start with us specialists first, and then if you don’t get any traction go from there. The is list of licensed professional Brokers below I have worked with and recommend in no particular order.
Richard Bantock, (813) 758-8801, firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Schauseil, (727) 510-1637, email@example.com
Tina DeSanctis, (561) 351-9196, firstname.lastname@example.org,
I hope to meet all you out at the Expo this year, I‘ll be in BOOTH 63 towards the front.
There are some other suggestions I have for you as either the Owner or the GM to consider on other aspects of the industry in a later issue. Thank you for your attention and I welcome your email.