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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:15 pm 
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Alan B wrote:
Totally disagree. Your role IS to make the bar money. That's why they hired you. Otherwise the jukebox would be good enough.

If you are attracting a crowd that doesn't want to support the bar by spending money, then you're worthless to the bar. Entertainment is not free. Bars have to pay for it. Most bars will hire a band and DJ/KJ based on their following.

Twice I was hired by bar owners who happened to be visiting the venue I was working at. They were impressed with me and the amount of singers I had and felt that I would be an asset to their place. There has never been a place that hired me to replace another KJ where I didn't increase sales. Plus, I've brought in more customers.

Yes my friend, your role is to provide entertainment but at the same time, if nobody is coming to your shows or the ones that are coming aren't spending any money, then you're not needed. Yes, you DO play an important role.

You can disagree all you like, or speak in metaphors all day long, but making money for the bar is a CONSEQUENCE of your role as an entertainer, but it's not your role. Geez Brian this is basic business 101. You don't need an MBA from Harvard (or Babson if you're more inclined to be an entrepreneur) to understand the structure and responsibilities of a business relationship like this. You sir are a hired gun and unless you are a fractional owner or have some other financial interest, you are nothing more than a contractor. Any type of capital formation and/or revenue generation is an internal function of the company itself and not some outside entity who may be here today and gone tomorrow. No entrepreneur of sound mind would ever outsource that responsibility to an outside interest.

When you were hired by the bar owners who saw you in action, they didn't decide to hire you because they thought you were some sort of a financial genius. They hired you because they saw the financial value that you could potentially bring to their venue as a result of your entertainment skills. If when you got to those venues and it instead hadn't worked out as planned, then you probably just weren't a good fit in that situation.

When you take on the role of "making the bar money", you expose yourself to a whole bunch of potential unintended consequences, some of which may be totally unrelated to you as an entertainer. All of a sudden things like not offering the preferred beverages, or scantily clad waitresses, or insufficient or poor advertising, or meal choices, or kitchen hours, inadequate parking etc., etc., etc. all start to come into play. Because the one thing I know for sure about most club owners is that if they screw up any of those things, the entertainment will get the blame, and by your taking on that role, you've just made their job easier at making you the fall guy. If in the case as you've suggested, nobody attends your shows, or those that do attend aren't spending any money, then you should be asking yourself as to why no one attends your shows, or what you can do to attract a better paying clientele. In other words look to within yourself and don't blame the water drinkers who enjoy your services. Don't play the victim.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:28 pm 
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KJKILLER wrote:
I've been to karaoke venues that have a minimum if you want to sing. No freeloaders allowed.

Umm, how does that work if you use remote requests. You can't tell that they didn't meet that minimum.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:52 pm 
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free-loaders are creatures of habit. They may get away with it now and again but it won't take long before the staff or the KJ is told by the "paying" customers who the free-loaders are. If the venue is so crowded that no one is noticing the free-loaders; the owner probably isn't going to be too concerned with someone taking up a spot in the rotation without spending the minimum. If the bar has gone to the effort of creating a minimum; they probably have a problem with free-loaders. If they're making money hand over fist; they probably won't care. Ive been in bars where I've seen people sip a coke for 5 hours but eat as many of the free appetizers that they can get their hands on the whole night. They charged the guy $7 for a coke one night and he never came back. Problem solved.


Last edited by KJKILLER on Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:27 am 
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KJKILLER wrote:
free-loaders are creatures of habit. They may get away with it now and again but it won't take long before the staff or the KJ is told by the "paying" customers who the free-loaders are. If the venue is so crowded that no one is noticing the free-loaders; the owner probably isn't going to be to concerned with someone taking up a spot in the rotation without spending the minimum. If the bar has gone to the effort of creating a minimum; they probably have a problem with free-loaders. If they're making money hand over fist; they probably won't care. Ive been in bars where I've seen people sip a coke for 5 hours but eat as many of the free appetizers that they can get their hands on the whole night. They charged the guy $7 for a coke one night and he never came back. Problem solved.

KJKILLER, right on! Spenders don't like freeloaders either, and the spenders DO let me know if the free loaders get to sing for free. It has been quite simple for me to take care of the problem, so I do.

Bar owners don't like having to address such annoying behavior and would prefer to just drop karaoke all together rather than handle all the petty crap. Every venue I have ever worked at, I have always let the owner know that I am willing to help the bar succeed, by doing as much as I can.

I would bet that Brian knows EXACTLY what I am talking about when it comes to helping his venue succeed. It only takes a little bit more time and effort to make things better for you, the bar and the patrons.

Stop saying "It's not my job". Success and failure falls only on your own shoulders.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:43 am 
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Everything is relevant.

Just to be clear... I have never discriminated against anyone based on their purchases. And I have never told anyone they couldn't sing. However, if a group of big spenders come in late and the owner tells me to cater to them, my obligation is to do what he wants. Meaning, doing whatever it takes to get them up singing as much as possible during the remaining time.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:38 am 
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Alan B wrote:
Everything is relevant.

Just to be clear... I have never discriminated against anyone based on their purchases. And I have never told anyone they couldn't sing. However, if a group of big spenders come in late and the owner tells me to cater to them, my obligation is to do what he wants. Meaning, doing whatever it takes to get them up singing as much as possible during the remaining time.


So bribes are allowed at your venue as long as the people are bribing the owner? The people who have been spending money all night long get screwed because the owner thinks his "friends" are going to spend more money in 30 minutes than the people who have been there all night. I hope the late comers will be showing up every week to make up for the people who stop coming because they got skipped because the owner took over the rotation. Maybe the next week the owner wants his girlfriend to sing the last 6 songs of the night during the last 30 minutes? Slippery slope when you start letting the owner dictate the rotation.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:03 am 
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8) The integrity of any show is how the rotation is administered, I'm not saying it has to be fair, but at least it has to be consistent. If you are doing a strict rotation do it, if you are employing some type of insertion process then do it. Whatever it is be consistent and the singers that like your system will come to your show, karaoke 101. The quickest way to lose a crowd is for the patrons to think you don't have a system, as far as rotation is concerned.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:35 am 
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djdon wrote:
What ever happened to 'majority rules? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:



8) By the majority do you mean the popular vote, Hillary won that by over 3 million votes? I know those were all illegals in California so it doesn't really count. Funny I don't hear Republicans anymore saying the President should be elected by the popular vote. They all like that Electoral College now. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:31 pm 
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As a Karaoke host you must at least have some responsibility in helping the bar receive revenue. I announce food specials and drink specials about every 30 minutes or so and ask folks to patronize the establishment throughout the night.

I'm always checking out the tables at my venues looking for people having food, drinks, etc. I am vested in them spending money and realize my longevity depends on it. I mean, you don't have to brow beat people to spend money. I try to suggestively sell my clientele on the fact that they must patronize in order for the venue to keep me there. I don't use those words exactly but my message is delivered and understood.

The people that don't spend money at my venues are few and far between and like some have said, I too, am in Florida and seasonal folks have pockets full of cash to spend so it's rarely an issue.

I run a business to make money and so do the venues. They kind of go hand in hand. If the venue is making positive cash flow on my karaoke then it's one less thing to worry about.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:39 pm 
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spotlightjr wrote:
As a Karaoke host you must at least have some responsibility in helping the bar receive revenue. I announce food specials and drink specials about every 30 minutes or so and ask folks to patronize the establishment throughout the night.

I'm always checking out the tables at my venues looking for people having food, drinks, etc. I am vested in them spending money and realize my longevity depends on it. I mean, you don't have to brow beat people to spend money. I try to suggestively sell my clientele on the fact that they must patronize in order for the venue to keep me there. I don't use those words exactly but my message is delivered and understood.

The people that don't spend money at my venues are few and far between and like some have said, I too, am in Florida and seasonal folks have pockets full of cash to spend so it's rarely an issue.

I run a business to make money and so do the venues. They kind of go hand in hand. If the venue is making positive cash flow on my karaoke then it's one less thing to worry about.


Part of being a good host is to promote during your show.

I rarely if ever scan the bar to see who's eating/drinking. Es no my yob mon. Not sure if that makes me a mediocre host or not, but I currently have 2 shows, 1 running 15 years (tomorrow) and another 19 years, another in its 2nd year. If that's the result of me being a mediocre host, then so be it :) (not directed at you, spotlightjr. Just a general statement)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:56 pm 
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No, I hear ya. I don't think there is no rating scale. Everyone runs karaoke the way they see fit. It just so happens that I was once the owner of a restaurant back in the day and kinda have the need to help people. The restaurant business is so tough. It's nice to see others succeed!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:13 pm 
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KJKILLER wrote:
So bribes are allowed at your venue as long as the people are bribing the owner? The people who have been spending money all night long get screwed because the owner thinks his "friends" are going to spend more money in 30 minutes than the people who have been there all night..

Bribes? Owners Friends? Obviously you have no clue. Why don't you read what was posted above.

And for the record, since you don't get it... we're talking about the people who've been there all night WITHOUT spending any money. Well, maybe a coke. So yes, if a group of people who are good paying customers comes in late, you can damn well bet I'm going to do my part to keep them happy, even if it means putting them ahead of the ones who have been there all night not spending money.

The cheapskates, freeloaders, or whatever you want to call them, don't deserve to be treated in the same manor as the ones who come out spending a lot of money supporting my show and the bar. As far as I'm concerned they can go freeload someplace else.

And for the record... nobody is bribing anybody. And these are NOT the owners friends and these are NOT people who've been there all night spending money that we're talking about.

You are totally misinformed and need to get your facts straight. You can start by trying to comprehend what your reading... if you even read any of it.

Get it!

Obviously, RLC and LR don't get it either since they agree with your misinformed post filled with untruths.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:19 pm 
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Alan, I don’t disagree with the problem with “water drinkers” and that entertainment does have a cost involved and the whole concept of how karaoke entertainment should make $$ for the bar. Where I part company with you is the line of responsibility for solving this “problem” that you have drawn in the sand. I WILL and have promoted drink specials and food (appetizer) specials through the making of announcements.
I, as have stated before, do not use the next singers screen but rather use that feature as well to promote drink and food (appetizer) specials through text and HD pictures of the actual appetizers on special. This runs before the show starts and in between singers.
Where you and I part is here: I RUN my show, not the bar owner or the bar staff. The bar owner hired me to run a karaoke show…not his bar. Neither the bar owner or the bar staff have ever asked or demanded that I cater to anybody just because they were spending money…quite the contrary as a matter of fact. When a “so called money spending late comer (as you described)” approaches the bar owner or bar staff requesting special treatment they were told that I ran the show and the rotation. It worked very well for the 10+ years I ran karaoke there.
Consistency, consistency consistency!!!
I have never taken a “bribe” to move someone up in the rotation, never.
Although you aren’t taking a bribe when the bar owner tells you to cater to special people…how do you think that looks to the rest of your singers…I know, I know…you don’t care.
Well Alan it looks like you are showing favoritism to those people…because you ARE! That is the quickest way to kill your show my friend.
You need to ask yourself who’s show is it, who is running the karaoke show…the answer should be you, but apparently it isn’t.
Now you are neither a KJ nor a bar employee, so what are you?
My advice to you is for you to run your karaoke show, and let the bar owner run the bar.
Go ahead make announcements about food and drink specials, show pictures of appetizers or enticing drinks.
But keep your show and your rotation consistent…that my friend will take your show a long ways.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:17 am 
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8) I know this is hard Alan but focus on the words integrity and consistency. These are the two principles success in life are based on, without them what ever you are doing is doomed to failure, at least in the service sector of our economy.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:30 am 
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RLC wrote:
I have never taken a “bribe” to move someone up in the rotation, never.

I haven't either. And never will. And like you, the bar owner doesn't run my show, I do. All I'm saying is that on one occasion, he asked me in a round about way, to cater to the latecomers who are spending money. He didn't care if the water and soda drinkers leave since he's not making any money off them and they're just taking up space. But didn't want to see the latecomers leave and go someplace else because they weren't able to sing. And I get that.

I know that I have no control of this situation and that it is up to the bar to deal with it in whatever way they see fit. I know it's not my responsibility. It's just that, this water drinking thing is a personal vendetta of mine. It's caused me to lose a job in the past.

A nice bar that I was doing karaoke at a few years ago... the bar owner loved me and what I do, and yes, people came out to sing but they didn't spend any money. After a couple of months, the owner decided to stop karaoke because they weren't making enough to cover my salary and break even, which I totally understand.

At my show last night, I had 30 singers. And yes, the typical table of water and soda drinkers. Everyone else was buying food and drinks and covered the night. I know that even with the non spenders there, the bar still made money.

So, yes, this has become a personal thing of mine. It just sickens me that some people can show no respect and try to take advantage. I wouldn't even think of going out to a venue to enjoy the entertainment and not order something. What a lowlife. These people have the mentality thinking, it's ok that I'm not spending any money, other people are. Total losers.

I do a good job and put my heart and soul into my work. And it's only one of my venues with this situation. I feel sorry for the waitresses who have to take care of this table. At least I get my pay either way, but whoever is lucky enough to wait on these losers, aren't going to be getting any tips from them.

So, this is why I feel so strongly about this issue. No, they don't deserve the same privileges or service as good paying customers. And while I don't discriminate on who can sing or not sing, I still feel you should take care of the people who take care of you. And I'm not talking about bribes. I'm talking about people who come week after week supporting your show by spending money. The freeloaders don't deserve anything. They don't even deserve to sing. So, who cares if you cater to everyone else or not. Go freeload somewhere else.

Again, not my problem to deal with. It's the bars. But at the same time, these inconsiderate bastards can break a show if there's not enough paying customers to cover it.

The more I write, the more pissed I'm getting. I would love to just let the freeloaders sit there all night and if I keep skipping over them they might leave. If I keep letting people who are spending money on food and drinks sing frequently, maybe they'll get the hint.

But I doubt it since we're dealing with inconsiderate people who want everything for free and don't want to give anything back.

So again, while I understand it's the bars problem to deal with, this has become a personal issue for me. And that's how I feel. It doesn't mean I'm a bad KJ (I'm still number 1 in my area), and I still get calls all the time from people that want to hire me so I'm not worried about my reputation. But I hate freeloaders.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:04 am 
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Here's my theory:

Is that first table the crowd you want? Regardless of the money issue--although that can be a factor of whether you want them in there or not.

It's not too difficult to do moderate social engineering to get the crowd you want, if you are factoring the crowd you specifically do not want as something that turns the crowd you do want away, simply with their presence.

Sticking with the money aspect, I've seen hosts here complain of two types of non-spenders:

* older folks who order one drink, or just water
* young people with nothing to spend

So, for the first: encouraging the singers you do want to stay and sing to focus on your Rage Against the Machine, on your Tenacious D--whatever type of music makes them decide this isn't the spot for them.

For the second: Bobby Darin, Bing Crosby--encourage the type of music that will likely drive them away.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:03 am 
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Alan B wrote:
RLC wrote:
I have never taken a “bribe” to move someone up in the rotation, never.

I haven't either. And never will. And like you, the bar owner doesn't run my show, I do. All I'm saying is that on one occasion, he asked me in a round about way, to cater to the latecomers who are spending money. He didn't care if the water and soda drinkers leave since he's not making any money off them and they're just taking up space. But didn't want to see the latecomers leave and go someplace else because they weren't able to sing. And I get that.

I know that I have no control of this situation and that it is up to the bar to deal with it in whatever way they see fit. I know it's not my responsibility. It's just that, this water drinking thing is a personal vendetta of mine. It's caused me to lose a job in the past.

A nice bar that I was doing karaoke at a few years ago... the bar owner loved me and what I do, and yes, people came out to sing but they didn't spend any money. After a couple of months, the owner decided to stop karaoke because they weren't making enough to cover my salary and break even, which I totally understand.

At my show last night, I had 30 singers. And yes, the typical table of water and soda drinkers. Everyone else was buying food and drinks and covered the night. I know that even with the non spenders there, the bar still made money.

So, yes, this has become a personal thing of mine. It just sickens me that some people can show no respect and try to take advantage. I wouldn't even think of going out to a venue to enjoy the entertainment and not order something. What a lowlife. These people have the mentality thinking, it's ok that I'm not spending any money, other people are. Total losers.

I do a good job and put my heart and soul into my work. And it's only one of my venues with this situation. I feel sorry for the waitresses who have to take care of this table. At least I get my pay either way, but whoever is lucky enough to wait on these losers, aren't going to be getting any tips from them.

So, this is why I feel so strongly about this issue. No, they don't deserve the same privileges or service as good paying customers. And while I don't discriminate on who can sing or not sing, I still feel you should take care of the people who take care of you. And I'm not talking about bribes. I'm talking about people who come week after week supporting your show by spending money. The freeloaders don't deserve anything. They don't even deserve to sing. So, who cares if you cater to everyone else or not. Go freeload somewhere else.

Again, not my problem to deal with. It's the bars. But at the same time, these inconsiderate bastards can break a show if there's not enough paying customers to cover it.

The more I write, the more pissed I'm getting. I would love to just let the freeloaders sit there all night and if I keep skipping over them they might leave. If I keep letting people who are spending money on food and drinks sing frequently, maybe they'll get the hint.

But I doubt it since we're dealing with inconsiderate people who want everything for free and don't want to give anything back.

So again, while I understand it's the bars problem to deal with, this has become a personal issue for me. And that's how I feel. It doesn't mean I'm a bad KJ (I'm still number 1 in my area), and I still get calls all the time from people that want to hire me so I'm not worried about my reputation. But I hate freeloaders.

Now then, Ok Alan. You have now more clearly and concisely stated your position and I am pretty much in agreement with you (never thought you would hear that – did you?)
Well stated.
Your previous posts left the impression that you were placing the responsibility for “freeloaders” on the KJ and that is “the impression” that I disagreed with.
Let’s have a beer sometime…I’m buying.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:44 am 
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RLC wrote:
(Alan) Let’s have a beer sometime…I’m buying.

Hey, I like beer too! :) I might even show up some time.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:57 am 
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Well this thread has sure been interesting if not somewhat enlightening. Would probably make for good discussion in a sociology class, but I will offer a few observations if I can do so without passing judgment. The first thing that has made itself evident is the idea that many KJs seem to be monitoring the buying habits of the clientele. The second thing that is obvious is that based on those buying habits, these KJs then pass moral judgment and categorizes his/her observations as to whom is a "free loader" and who is a "paying" customer, etc.

The "water drinkers" issue is nothing new and certainly nothing unique to karaoke. My first "professional" gig was 6 nights per week at the Pelham in Newport, RI back in the 60s and I still on occasion (albeit rare) will do a gig here and there so while I can't relate to being a KJ I can surely relate to playing for many different types of audiences over the years. It doesn't take long to figure out the economics of this so it sort of makes me cringe when I hear folks state the obvious as to the need for food and drink sales as if it's some sort of marketing revelation. Anyone whose done the club scene understands that if the cash register ain't ringing, the next week you ain't singing. With my bands or solo gigs, if it were a dead night I always gave the club owner the option to call it a night, something they rarely took advantage of but always appreciated.

I suppose what has a tendency to rub me the wrong way is when people start labeling other people as "free loaders". Here again this is not something unique to KJs as many of my musician peers I'm sure used similar terms, but the irony of this is that this is coming from a group of people who like to get paid in cash they don't report on their tax returns, and right up to the establishment itself that hides as much cash from the taxman as it possibly get away with. So tell me ... who is the bigger "free loader" here? There's also the utilitarian aspect which seems to be overlooked which is akin to the "law of attraction". We always had a saying that went ... people bring people, meaning that when people walk into a club and it's empty, they tend to walk out and head elsewhere. Also, it's never a good idea to shoo away a table full of attractive female "water drinkers" that are "big spender" magnets although I guess you could call them the ultimate "free loaders" and even leeches if you so desire.

Lastly, on its face, it just seems to me to be a bit mean spirited. What if that table of water drinkers are living on fixed incomes that precludes them from being big spenders, and what if this is one of the few social outlets available to them? Would you still send them away? For all you know you could be the one bright spot in their entire existence and attending your next show is about the only thing they have to look forward to all week long. Try not to be so quick to judge until you've walked in another person's shoes. You have no ideas as to what goes on in their lives and all of the dynamics that they have to deal with. Don't let things like that make you bitter towards people. Focus on the positive and not the negative, and let the club owner make those calls leaving you to focus on one thing and one thing only, and that is to entertain your audience. Like I said, it didn't take long to discover the economics of the entertainment business, but I never once in all of my years ever thought in terms as to how much a person was eating or drinking at one of my gigs. I'm thinking of playing my music for those in attendance, of connecting with people in the audience regardless as to what's in their glass. I didn't spend years of practicing scales and modes and hours even to this day on my instrument to worry about whether or not someone's bar bill is big enough to meet some arbitrary minimum. I don't see how monitoring what they are eating or drinking, or in any way entertaining such thoughts contributes in any way to that experience. Actually in my opinion it does just the opposite. Maybe it's different for musicians than it is for KJs, but if ever the time comes when I am of that mindset, then it's time for me to hang it up entirely.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:08 pm 
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i have a few at different venues who are water drinkers.
they (all but one) have some issue which precludes them from drinking.
but most have one thing in common, when they sing, it is rare that people do not get up and dance or sing and cheer along.
while they DIRECTLY bring in no money, they INDIRECTLY do by strengthening the party feel and everyone has a good time.
they also have no shortage of non-singers and singers alike coming up requesting they sing xyz...

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