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Pattaya Daily News

26 December 2006 :: 12:12:57 pm 20820

THE GRIM REALITIES OF BAR-OWNERSHIP IN PATTAYA, Snooki’s advice to aspirant bar owners

Have you ever wondered what it’s really like to own a beer-bar or Go-Go bar in Pattaya’s fair city? You have? Did you really talk to the people who run them and find out the true story?
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            If you visit as a tourist and dream of being surrounded by idolising, willing ladies, dream on. The reality is somewhat different, especially in the low season, which seems to be most of the year these days. You’ll notice lots of bars up for sale on nearly all the notice boards in this Fun City. Ever wondered why? Ask yourself, if they’re such fun to run and so profitable, why are they always up for sale and why do you rarely see them advertised in real estate shops or publications. Could it be that they’re not so profitable and in reality, really difficult to run? 

            Take the girls, for instance, do you think they’re as friendly as they appear when you’re a customer? If you do, you’re likely to be rudely awakened. Most of the girls seem to avoid work rather than welcome it. There’ll be squabbles, jealousy, groups of them leaving in droves. They’ll really stress you out; no doubt about it. 

            And you’ll have to pay their salaries in the lean days, when your customers are few and the takings minimal. That’s if they haven’t already been pilfered by the unscrupulous members of the bar-girl fraternity. And don’t forget, for most bar-owners this is a 7 day a week enterprise, which is increasingly becoming a 6 day week as the girls wise up to their being exploited. Then, if you’re a concerned bar-owner, the girls have to be tested for sexually-transmitted diseases. And then you’ve got to get girls who will consistently be nice to the customers or will enthusiastically go out and “jap the farangs”. 

            And then you may be afraid to take a welcome break for fear of all the girls leaving, or some unscrupulous, envious competitor reporting you to the immigration police for working. Don’t forget, you can’t lift a finger to help in the bar if you don’t have a work permit and few do! Then there’s ownership itself. Are you going to put the bar in your loved one’s name? If so, make sure she hasn’t got numerous Thai boyfriends, or a completely avaricious family with innumerable sick water buffalos, family members or younger siblings who seem to constantly need new mobile phones or motorcycles because they’re just lost or crashed them. You thought you were the one who wore the trousers, think again! It’s most definitely a risky game – Pattaya roulette, it’s called. 

            Then there’s the lease. Make sure your bar isn’t too profitable; otherwise the lease is sure to rise as the landlord gets to hear of it. Or the competitors or the “boys in brown”, who will definitely be round for handouts. And so your profits vanish! There are those who do well, but very few. It’s often a question of prime locations, extremely able Mamasans, adept at keeping the girls, both in place and in line, (like me, until I gave it up and became freelance because it was too much hard work)

            And then there’s the noble art of knowing when to pull out or move on. And make sure you’re not tempted to sell cut price cigarettes from Cambodia or Viagra, for that matter. You need to have been here for a fair number of years to discover all the pitfalls, and you’ll hear many, many stories of failure – for the unwary, Thailand can indeed be the land of broken dreams, not just broken hearts. If you really want to own a bar, do some research. Check location, the competition, where to get stock, how much it will cost to redecorate, buy a new wide screen TV to keep up with your competitors, or a new pool table. 

            Then there’s wages, how many employees to have. Think of the regulars, how to handle, freeloaders, or guys who play the girls or worse abuse them! Not an easy game bar-ownership, and don’t believe anyone who tells you it is.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Society

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