Floreria Atlantico – 8 years later …drinks are still good but one bartender can break your business

When you’re a business person, the toughest thing isn’t making it to the top, but rather keeping the factors consistent so that your business doesn’t fall apart. As an entrepreneur, you’re going to have to weather challenges that will make it difficult, night after night after night to deliver to your customers.

Eight years ago, I came here to Floreria and I had very fond memories after 2 drinking nights here. I have told people all around the world, that this was easily one of my favorites across the years.

In the bar business, you have to deal with

  • Staffing issues
  • Staffing shortages
  • Supply issues
  • Fussy customers
  • Know it all douchebags (I should hate myself on this one)

However, this entire post is about one dude named Lissandro and how much he sucked. He typifies the worst in a line bartender I’ve ever seen in a top flight bar. That being said … let’s start with some information and the good. The entry experience is just as good or even better than it was. The store front is tight, lovely and makes you want to go in.

The drink list is impressive and between the three guests that we had, we honestly wanted to try them all … but we had to deal with goddamn Lissandro.

Here’s a link to their menu : Click here

This Colonia Lujan : Homemade Sake, Príncipe de los Apóstoles,kombucha with ginger and honey and flower honey, mandarin was by far our favorite. If only we could have more of them
The Margarita Belén : Brandy Cocchi americano, mead, organic cotton. This wasn’t a bad drink, but it came with some Organic Cotton and I could not figure out the f’n purpose of it. So I tasted some of that cotton… I asked Lissandro the purpose of it and he couldn’t tell us.
The Moises Ville : El Profeta, Pan Vodka, Arak, pickled cucumbers. This was really interesting but the issue with using any type of pickle is that you’re subject to the whims of the drinker on how salty they might like the drink.
Balestrini: Príncipe de los Apóstoles, Campari, Amaro,
water from the Atlantic Ocean. In  spite of Lissandro’s incompetence, we were able to get two of these. I wonder why? Oh yeah … they’re premade and cured. I would have to loved to ask my bartender about them … but you know Lissandro.



Now on to the star of the article Lissandro and how a bad or seemingly bad bartender on an off day can wreck your business

  • They treat the waitstaff badly : Absolutely zero communication with his runners or even co-bartenders. Mind you I put the bill above, not to show how much money we spent, but rather that in 4 hours of sitting there, we had 12 drinks across 3 people i.e. average of 1 hr per drink
  • Cannot prioritize the customer : Lissandro did everything but deal with customers. He packed ice, he fixed the rail, he fixed his shirt, he fixed flowers but when it came time to delivering a drink, he couldn’t do that.
  • Ignoring customers for friends: Lissandro clearly did not have a thing for us and of course … I get worse when I’m spending my money for no service.
  • Poor hygiene : Lissandro had the same gloves on for everything
    • Loading ice into the tubs
    • Cutting fruit
    • Taking money
    • Touching my drinks
  • Can’t take visual or verbal hints : From the direct death stares in the face to shouting at him for a drink, he seemed to think that I should just toss money at his dumb ass regardless how poor the service was. Great drinks don’t make a top 50, great service does too … which is why Lissandro fails his workplace.
  • Takes offence easily : When he was too slow to make a drink, we tried getting Rosario to make a drink for us. Well fuck me… who said to do that … Lissandro was a bitch to us after that move. “How dare we ask someone else to make drink for us when he is so great at his job” . The service got worse after that.
  • Empty drinks : In training to be a bartender, I learned that I should always ask a guest if they were ready for another drink once their drink is a quarter full, not when it’s empty. Not many people want to sit at a bar with an empty drink. Asking a customer if they want a drink at the quarter full mark leaves a bartender enough time to fetch or fix your beverage while the guests take those last few sips. Needing to wave down a distracted bartender who seems surprised you’re ready for a refill is a sure sign of a bartender who lacks experience or adequate training. Considering it directly eats away at a bar’s bottom line, I’m always surprised when any bar lets a bartender get away with this.

Now what did I do:

I did talk to William (a manager) when we were leaving and I gave him the rails on Lissandro and he invited me back to drink on them. I explained pretty succintly, that Floreria doesn’t deserve my time. They didn’t respect my time today when I came in, why should I come back?

Fix issues when they happen … not after the fact, you’re assuming your customers will come back and give you a second chance.

Now I will probably go back to Floreria … simply because I cannot let Lissandro ruin my experience of this Top 50 bar, especially because after drinking at Presidente, Tres Monos, Floreria, Trade Skybar … The bar that has impressed me the most so far is Milion. I’ll have a full review on my Milion experience and what a Top50 bar experience actually looks like …if you’re sitting at the bar.

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at rishi@rishiray.com

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