After a 17 year career working, running and managing Pubs and Bars in Cambridgeshire, Essex and London, self-teaching myself cocktails along the way, I decided that I wanted something different. I’d spent a few years during this time in Cambridge University, where out of term, we were running big outside Bars for Weddings, Conferences and Balls. Turns out, I enjoyed this waaaay more than actually working in the same environment and same customer’s week in, week out. I won’t lie, the manual labour involved is a lot more and "Event Bartending" is a whole different ball game to working behind the same bar day in, day out…but I fell in love. After a few years of thinking and saving, I quit the “real Job” and Thirst First was launched.
The first 2.5 years were spent building up my reputation and a little bit of looking over my shoulder at the other Mobile Bar companies out there. However half way through year 3, someone said something to me. “You really don’t have any competition…you are your own USP. No one can provide the service you provide”. That had a resounding effect on me. My true passion was born and suddenly I felt comfortable with NOT trying to grow the business.
Instead of chasing bigger and bigger events, competing with the big players, I spent 2016 purposely niching down into the smaller events. The Pay Bars for 100+ went, now 95% of my bookings are for 12-50 people, whether they be house parties or the smaller corporate events. Why?! Well because with larger events I didn't get a chance to chat to guests, to know their names and make friends. I didn't get to find out what they like, or to recommend drinks...and to go off menu which I tend to do a fair bit, just to please people! Everything was just head down and serve.
What I now deliver is a truly personal Mobile Cocktail Bar and Bartender Hire service. Full of fun, colour and lively banter. I love making you feel special. I love the looks on guests faces when they see whats in store. That look of WOW and excitement. If you want the black shirt and bow tie brigade, then honestly, that’s really cool. But if you want someone with personality and a truly unique USP, drop me or the team a line. I’ll do my very best to help you out. And if I can’t, I’ll quite happily recommend one of my friends at the big companies that can. After all, you don’t survive 22 years in the hospitality industry without being awesome at Customer Service!
That's not the end of the story though. The start of 2017 has taken another exciting turn for a couple of reasons...
I have a Dream. I want to make the UK Pub Trade great again. It's lost it's way in the last few years. Price increases. Rent Increases. Tie Agreements. But it WILL be back!
So, firstly I'm getting more and more involved in Pub & Bar Consultancy. I've now launched the Pub Marketing Company. Working with Owners, Managers and Staff to educate and Train in Customer Service AND Drinks Education. As well as Social Media and Online Training. I've always loved this side of things, but never quite unleashed my potential as far as business goes.
Secondly, I'm a massive Podcast fan, subscribing and listening to approx 30 different shows a week. I'm a completely Audio kind of guy. I don't have the attention span for Video. I listen...I don't watch. And I realised, a lot of the Pub Trade are exactly the same. Working 10-15 hours a day, you don't have time to watch Video. So....here it comes...The Pub Marketing PODCAST has been launched. A Podcast for the Pub and Bar trade to help them build their Pubs. To learn new Skills. To pour new Drinks and wow Customers. This is now my destiny. It feels completely right. So stay tuned.
Thanks for reading this far. Hopefully you've learned a little bit more about me and my story. If you have any questions, just shout! I'll be happy to answer them.
About Thirst First
Who are "we"??
Thirst First was launched by Steve the Barman...ME...in October 2012
Thirst First Stats...
(as of 31/12/2016)
548 Events catered for since Launch in 2012.
80,000+ Cocktails served, including 25,000+ Porn Star Martini’s. That’s 6250+ Passion Fruits and nearly 1000 bottles of Absolut Vanilia!
110kg of Mint and 2000 Bottles of Havana 3yo Rum used for Mojitos.
Well over 35,000kg of Ice used to shake and serve Cocktails! That's 35+ Tonnes!
Cocktail Shakers dropped…1.
Weirdest Event Location…right next to a Gorilla in the Natural History Museum!
Largest Event...640 guests
Smallest Event...8 guests
Royalty served...2...as in PROPER Royalty!
Late Night McDonalds, Burger Kings or KFCs…1 (this week)