Ever find yourself at a bar like Turtle Bay in midtown, buying brightly colored shots that essentially have no alcohol in them and that most people past (the first semester of) their freshman year in college wouldn't be caught dead drinking, and stop to ask your buddies a serious question which is, "You think our waitress wants a piece of this? She's been throwing me vibes alllll night."? You have Bryan Auld and Dominic D'Aleo to thank. The former JPM and Bear analysts co-founded Auld D'Leo in 2007, which "outsources the services of shot girls to bars in Manhattan" and that shot girl really does like you! Well, she's actually taking pity on you/wants your money, but same diff/no diff. "For a lot of guys this could be the only time all night a girl comes up and talks to them," said Giovanna Coluccio, one of 25 shot girls. In exchange for speaking with you, the ladies take home $300-$600 a night in tips (in addition to 25 cents per drink, which cost 15 cents to make and sell for $3 or $4). According to the co-founders, profit has increased 16% since 2007 and the ladies take business very seriously, following a list of "best practices" given to them on their first day of work.
"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." These are the first rules in a list of best practices, or the shot-girl bible each girl memorizes before she picks up her tray. The list of 10 best practices of the trade was created by Mr. Auld. The entire stable of ladies meets weekly to discuss and tweak the curriculum of selling practices.Their product is recession proof. It's all about micro-sales, selling something extremely cheap in mass volume. This is best practice number six: "Do not spend too much time with a patron or group of patrons. The foundation of our strategy relies on high-volume sale propositions. We must walk the fine line of being quantity salesman, while giving respect to those who purchase our items." Among the other rules in the shot-girl bible: Never give up and always be the friendliest girl in the room. You're not selling cheap liquor, you're selling flirtation.
Let's take a look at the practices in action.
Giovanna Coluccio was none too happy to be tipped with a fruit roll-up. "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 snack should conjure. Ms. Coluccio, also 23, stayed cool. She smiled, flipped her layered brown hair and walked away, a tray of candy-colored drinks balanced in her arms, a roll of cash tucked in her apron and the roll-up stashed in her pocket. In her wake, Backpack slurred to his buddy: "I'm gonna marry that girl." Backpack later bought four rounds of shots from Ms. Coluccio. He tipped her $30 in cash.