The Great Parts about Life as a Bar Manager in Pattaya
Why if you have the people skills and ability you should give it a try
By: Adam Judd
The author spent five years from 2014-2019 running a popular bar in Pattaya, Thailand for the NightWish Group, the largest local group of bars, in one of the top entertainment and nightlife areas. He has written extensively on the experience and still lives in the Pattaya area. He wrote this piece to show potential candidates the positive side of running a bar and what he learned from the experience. He has written many articles about being a bar manager and how it is not for everyone as well as the difficulties of the position. These can all be found at Pattayaunplugged.com under the Blogs>Adam Judd section. This article, however, assumes that one has the proper qualifications and has read what the job is like and wants to know what are the benefits and good experiences of running a bar.
So, you have read articles about being a bar manager and seen comments on line. You have heard all the potential negatives-extremely long hours, drinking every day (a positive for some), one day off a week, having to always be on stage and entertaining, dealing with highly intoxicated people daily, not having strong opinions or getting offended easily by those who do, managing staff who have significant cultural and language differences, dealing with potential problems with shady vendors and landlords, dealing with jealous nearby owners and nonstop bar owner and manager drama, potential police and immigration issues, being stuck in the same small space and unable to go elsewhere….etc.
1. You get to stay in Pattaya.
2. You can make incredible money if you do well. Really.
Contrary to some belief, the best paid bar managers do very, very well many North of 100,000 baht a month (3000 USD). In Thailand this is more than enough to live very, very comfortably. Of course, keep in mind this is based on performing well and running a profitable bar. Companies like Night Wish offer profit sharing and incentives that allow one to truly get paid based on the results they deliver. It is true that some low paid manager positions that are salary only are available in Pattaya, but just like anywhere, if you are good at the job you can make an incredible income.
3. Health Care is included with Night Wish Group
This surprises a lot of people that don’t know much about Night Wish Group, but they provide free health care for our managers for health issues that arise on or at the job. They have helped a manager with a major leg infection get several days of hospital care, They have paid medical bills for managers who got the flu and needed time at the hospital, etc. There is a myth that you are on your own running a bar…some bars this may be true, but most major bars offer some sort of independent or government health care. I never needed it while I was a manager luckily but I saw them help out and take care of other managers.
4. You are surrounded by beautiful women every day
While it is true that you can’t flirt with your own staff, you are surrounded by some of the most beautiful women in all of Thailand every hour of the day. The vast majority of these girls I built good friendships with and got to know them as people who were just working to support their families and in many cases children. Your morale and positivity is always better when you work with upbeat, happy and beautiful people every day.
5. If you love music like me, it is one of the best jobs to have
Running a bar, especially a Night Wish Bar, means that you listen to upbeat music every hour of the day you are at the bar. You will get to play many of your favourite tunes while mixing up customer favourites and tailoring to the audience as well. I was always aware of what was new and hip in the music world and after a few drinks you always feel like you are at the club and in a party environment. For aspiring DJ’s without quite all the needed talents it is great to watch the crowd react to your music and the staff and customers dance and have a great time. Who knows, maybe you will even join in dancing!
6. Friends that last a lifetime.
I met thousands of people in my five years of running a bar. I am not naturally bothered by many people and always enjoyed meeting folks from different cultures and countries. I have made many, many friends during this time who brought me gifts, keep up with me to this day in chats and in person and always took the time out of their vacations to come in and say hi and have some drinks. It was humbling and a honor to have people take time only to come have a chat with me and it is part of what helped my bar stay successful and profitable. You will meet friends that will be friends for your entire life running a bar.
7. Memories that last a lifetime.
From chili eating contests, to dressing like a ladyboy (several times, haha), Musical chairs with girls, beer pong competitions, Halloween events with storm troopers, Silly string wars at New Years, the insane water fights at Songkran, beer chugging contests, way too many drinks and ending up in the toilet, carrying friends and staff when they had too much to drink, limbo games drunk, performing WWE superstar themes after twenty shots with great friends, pole dancing on the stripper stage at my bar, pig roasts and cookouts, 4th of July BBQ’s, Australia Day music and unique food, taking the staff out to dinner at a Thai BBQ, dancing drunk on the street in front of the bar, going with customers to discos and nightclubs and lunch, to even attending friends weddings I met at the bar I have so many memories I would never have had if I had never run a bar. These are treasured and valued and the positive far, far outweighed any negative. You will have so many big nights and memories that you will never, ever forget which nobody else will get to experience.
8. A unique job that almost nobody gets to do
The role of a bar manager, as briefly mentioned above, is not one that many people have on their resume. It is something that teaches you a lot more than drinking…it teaches you about culture, psychology, and more (see below.) No matter where you go on from Thailand this is one job that will stick with you in your memories and that you can say you did something most people never get to do.
9. Life Skill Development.
Really? Yep. I learned so much about different cultures, psychology, de-escalation, Human resources (And I worked in HR before) and just in general about different types of people and society running a bar. You interact and manage all types and skills you pick up in this job, such as how to calm down a highly intoxicated aggressive drunk or how to handle a dispute between two staff members who don’t speak English are skills you can use in many future careers. If you spend some time at it you can also pick up Thai language skills which if you plan to stay in Thailand can help expand your value and skillset.
10. Meeting and working with like minded people
In this job you will work with people who, just like you, love to party and interact with others. Some of the Night Wish managers have become lifelong friends and just like customers when you enjoy the people you work with you enjoy your job.
There are many more things I could name in depth but this is a good overall look and why, if you wanted to give it a try and fit the requirements you would have a good time doing so. Also, as mentioned above, if you simply like the idea of one part of your job being getting paid to be DRUNK at work…and it being OK to be drunk at work…you will love being a bar manager. Want to try to apply to be a manager? Message the Night Wish Group on their Facebook page or email them at [email protected]
Read more here https://nightwish-group.com/jobs/