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passing the band drink costs on to the customers

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Milothicus, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. after playing a show last night (3rd of 5: each tuesday this month), i heard that the bar had charged a friend $7 for a shot of peach schnapps, before tax/tip. when asked why the price was so high, she was told it was to cover the cost of the band's drinks...

    we probably only had 4 beers among us, and weren't paid anything by the bar... unless you count using their hydro.

    seems like a lose-lose to me. the bar looks stupid and cheap, we look like we expect our fans to cover our drinks (even though we didn't know about the policy), and our fans get screwed.

    is this normal practice?
  2. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    normal practice is for a bar to try to make every cent it can. That the bartender said the high cost something as awful as peach schnapps was to cover the band's drinks is silly. He would have been smarter to say it was to pay for 'entertainment'. He might have been joking or he might have been used to bands who really whoop it up. Who knows.

    The better question is why were you playing in a bar without pay? Was it a showcase gig?
  3. No, just taking the night that was available. we don't have a lot of references for drawing crowds so we're starting out a bit humbled. i think this guy will learn quickly that bands don't appreciate things like this...

    it is a fairly new place, maybe he's new to the game, too.
  4. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    That's totally lame. Either the drinks should be comped to the band (doesn't have to be unlimited -- 1 drink per set is totally fair), or the band should negotiate the cost of drinks into a higher guaranteed rate. For the bar to subsidize the band's drinks via their fans is ridiculous.

    Tough times bring out the b**tards, I guess.
  5. mothmonsterman


    Feb 8, 2006
    Just have everyone of your friends say to the bartender.

    "I'll have the cheapest crappiest can of beer you got"
    most likely they will bust out the $2.00 PBR
  6. PBR <3
  7. nebzero


    Nov 24, 2008
    Lafayette, IN

    To the OP, I say that bar doesn't deserve your fans' patronage.
  8. WalWarrior

    WalWarrior Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2006
    MD suburbs
    Smuggle in a 5th in a girlfriends large purse and order a large soda. Or better yet fill a few lipton ice tea bottles with Jack, fake like you sipping off the tea from time to time as you refill your cocktails. That'll learn 'em. Works well, and beats paying 8 bucks for a watered down BS Snowcone.
  9. Bars usually charge more when there's entertainment to cover the bands PAY....

    Not their drinks...

  10. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    It was probably just a wisecrack the bartender made.

    And, yes, the venue needs to make more profit on a night with a band. Otherwise, they would never bother.

    Live entertainment is just like advertising. Either it improves the bottom line or it gets cut.
  11. Without jumping to conclusions....

    1)Have you been to this bar before?
    2)Are the prices always high? Only high when bands play? Only high when you guys played?
    3)What's the common thought on this bar?
    4)Maybe it was just a more expensive shot or something even though it was only shnapps and the bartender was trying to make a joke.
    5)Talk to the manager, find out what his stance is and maybe he will consider having "drink specials" when you guys play IF you play again.

    Jumping to conclusions....

    Straight up, the bar is tainted and will get a bad rep, tell your fans what you told us, that you had no idea about it and that your band didn't really drink much anyway. Put the blame where it belongs and say you will never play there again. Make it a point to play bars where your fans/friends will be able to have a good time and get drunk and not associate your shows with going broke.

    Also, Mothmonsterman....

    It's Canada, PBR is like 5 bucks a bottle, you don't really get $2 beer anywhere. :atoz:
  12. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Played a Pub gig on saturday night. Bought a pint (read: 12oz. plastic cup) of Guiness for my girlfriend and I. $11.50 before tax. Walked down the street and bought a 12pack of Dos Equios Amber Lager for $11.99 and drank it in the parking lot, carried a few beers in with me to drink on stage.
  13. yeah, i'm not jumping to conclusions immediately. that's why i haven't mentioned the place.

    i don't know its reputation, because i think it's only been open for a few months, and the only time i've been there is to play a show. our singer was there for another night, but another band was on, and a pint of beer was 6.50.

    on the bar's side, they do serve Sapporo and Wellington on tap, so somewhat higher prices can be expected for those.

    i'll see what other feedback we get in the next couple of weeks...
  14. Also, what kind of music do you play? If the atmosphere is that of say.....something classy, drinks will be too. I know places in montreal where the cheapest drink/shot/beer is closing in on 10 bucks and they have decent DJ's or whatever. If you're playing a crust punk bar it's cheaper drinks.
  15. CerealKiller


    Jul 29, 2008
    Norfolk, VA
    I'm at a complete loss for words....
  16. jtrow


    Mar 1, 2009
    Mid America
    What's the normal cost for that shot? If it's a lot higher than normal, and you guys are planning on playing there again, I would say something to the bar owner. Just tell him to at least not say anything to the customers if that is the reason the prices are so high. It would be a good reason for your fans to either not buy any drinks there or stop coming to your shows because they can't buy a drink at a fair price.

    Our singers' parents ran a bar for a while and they told us that after they sold 4 beers at $2.75 they had already made up for what they spent on the entire case of beer. So this claim that the prices are to cover you is complete B.S., as far as I'm concerned.
  17. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Yeah, bars get a good hookup on their beer/liquor from vendors. Like a $45 bottle of patron probably runs them about $10. After selling two shots they've already made back their cost...
  18. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Yeah, I was shocked. I mean, I understand beer at a Pub is going to run a little higher, but when I can get a 12 pack at $1 per beer things are getting a little ridiculous!
  19. sedan_dad

    sedan_dad Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    What a bar does and charges is their own business.
    If you don't like it don't play there.
    If you feel you need to play there, then just play and worry about that. Would you want a bar to write your set list or tell you what to wear?

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