You have probably been thinking to yourself lately: "What are the best practices for selling Jell-O shots to drunk young men at bars?" What a coincidence! Because The Wall Street Journal can tell you exactly that.
Today's edition of my favorite newspaper topic, "Stuff That Makes Me Depressed," covers the delightful phenomenon of "shot girls," who—in the words of esteemed banking pamphlet Ye Olde Wall Ftreet Journale—"peddle novelty drinks in Manhattan bars like Turtle Bay." (Fun Friday Brain Teaser: Which phrase from that quote made you throw up the hardest: "Novelty drinks" or "Turtle Bay"?)
Like any group of good salespeople, the young women—most of whom have advanced degrees and hold day jobs—have a list of best practices, distributed by their employer, including such gems as:
- Personality is key.
- Physical looks alone will only get someone so far.
- Be as friendly, personable, upbeat as possible.
- Customers will feed off your energy.
- Do not spend too much time with a patron or group of patrons.
- Never give up.
- Always be the friendliest girl in the room.
Just like blogging! That list comes from Bryan Auld, who, with Dominic D'Aleo, founded Auld D'Leo Inc., the city's finest outsourcer of shot girls. (They are "former J.P. Morgan and Bear Stearns analysts," because, of course they would be.) Auld and D'Aleo, pioneers in the field, created their company in 2007 after "observing the disorganization and mistreatment of the women."
Auld D'Leo's waitresses sell their "Jell-O shots and watered-down tequila in a plastic test tube," which cost around 15 cents apiece, for $3 or $4 each. (Though, as we are reminded, they are actually "selling flirtation.") The women take home 25 cents per shot sold, plus their tips (the total is usually between $300-$600 a night); the remainder is split evenly between whichever bar they work and Auld D'Leo Inc.
The real question is "What kind of client base can a shot girl hope to work with?" The answer, of course, is guys like this:
"We'll hit an ATM later," a 23-year-old guy wearing a button-down and a backpack told her, curiously free of the requisite sheepishness that tipping an attractive woman with a [fruit roll-up] should conjure....
In her wake, Backpack slurred to his buddy: "I'm gonna marry that girl." The buddy nodded; it was $1 beer night at Turtle Bay, a bar on East 52nd Street....
Backpack later bought four rounds of shots from Ms. Coluccio. He tipped her $30 in cash....
"For a lot of guys this could be the only time all night a girl comes up and talks to them," Ms. Coluccio said.
(Or you could look at photo number three in the accompanying slideshow, and then maybe turn your computer off and think quietly for a while.)