Bartenders/Servers Struggling Through Recession

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

During these economic times, people are coming up with some basic ways to save money.

That's bad news for area servers and bartenders who depend mostly on tips to make a living.

One bartender news 4 spoke with today described his experience with the recession as a ‘cycle.’

He says if people don't come in and tip, he doesn't have money to spend to put back into the economy.

It's a problem many area business owners hope to find a solution to, soon.

Some businesses in the service industry have fallen on tough times.

“Since the middle of September things have been on the decline,”

Alan Carlton is the owner of club imagination on Ross Clark circle.

He believes for a while, the wiregrass was immune to the effects recession; but not anymore

“We held strong for a while and now where the parts of the country to begin with are making the turnaround I feel now we're catching the tail end of the bad side,”

“For the last couple of months I’ve noticed a decline in customers that come in and even some of the regulars I haven't really seen too much lately,”

Brandon Bushaw works as a bartender at the club.

He says, less tips means less spending money.

“It affects me, I make less money, it's kind of a cycle that feeds off of itself,”

Carlton says other businesses are hurting too.

“Other friends of mine that own and run restaurants and bars around town, there's weeks that are down 30 to 40 percent right now,” said Carlton.

“I go out to other bars and clubs and I’ve noticed a decline at every single place I’ve been at,” added Bushaw.”

Carlton says on a busy Saturday this time last year, he'd see anywhere between 600 and 700 people come through the club’s doors. Now, that number has dropped to around 300 to 400 people.
“Going out to have a beer is not as much as a priority as putting food on the table,” said Carlton.

And that's something Bushaw can respect.

“I enjoy bartending I enjoy my job. Whether I do good or bad I enjoy being there and i enjoy meeting and talking to new people. I just wish people were better off financially than they are right now,” said Bushaw.

Carlton says since his business started seeing a decline, he's decided to stop filling positions once they become open.

He’s down from 30 members on his staff to just 22.

Those working in bars and restaurants say they see a turnaround in the New Year when people start receiving early tax refunds.

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  • by Ben Location: Dothan on Dec 22, 2009 at 02:51 PM
    This bar would do better if it was ran right! The decline in their business rest on the shoulder of the owner and his bar manager ask anyone around town this use to be the hot spot of Dothan now it is a place people are hoping will go out of business
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