Innovators in the Industry: Flair Bartender Vladymyr Buryanov
Several years ago we set out to change the way POS systems worked in the service industry. Revel is always looking at the industry for those outliers who are changing the way the service industry performs: Those in entertainment, tech, culinary arts, and those who serve as a benchmark for raising the bar of service and excellence.
For this week’s Innovators in the Industry Piece, we took a moment to learn from one of the Legends in Flair Bartending Vladymyr Buryanov from the Las Vegas Bar Academy. Vladymyr is from the Ukraine, and moved to Las Vegas in 2007, and has really shaken up the “flair” world. In addition to catching some of his signature moves below, we took some time to get some of his thoughts on the state of the industry.
Q. How long have you been doing flair?
A: About 10 years
Q. How would you explain “Flair” ?
A: Flair is a style of bartending. Flair bartending usually involves tricks with bar objects such as the bottles and tins, but its really about entertainment and connecting with your customers.
Q. Where are you from?
A: Yalta, Ukraine
Q. When did you move to the states and why?
A: I moved to Las Vegas in the beginning of 2007 to pursue a career as a flair bartender.
Q. When & Where can we find you?
A: Right now you can find me a few days a week at the 5 o’clock Somewhere bar in the Margaritaville casino located inside the Flamingo in Las Vegas.
Q. What is the secret to a great bartender?
A: Great customer service is always number one but a great bartender also has to have good knowledge not just about the bar, but about all products as well. A great bartender should be able to make sure all guests stay in control and happy.
Q. What is special about the restaurant and bar scene in Vegas?
A: Vegas is a city that truly never sleeps. No matter what time it is you can always find a bar with nice cocktails or flair.
Q. What are your thoughts on how technology has changed the bar scene?
A: I know people are always creating innovative ways to change how we pour drinks, but the key to a great bar is customer service.
Q. When did you decide to open up the Las Vegas Bar academy & what is your mission?
A: The Flair Academy was something Terri (wife) and I have discussed for a quite a few years. It was all a matter of finding the right time to do it. It has turned out to be a success. Our main focus is to help new people get involved in the flair scene and give them a good base of knowledge where they can develop their own style. There are so many opportunities in Las Vegas that flair opens up for bartenders. It is a shame there hasn’t been a lasting training program passionate enough to continue to help grow the technique of flair. Thats why we started the Las Vegas Flair Academy.
Q. Tell me about the importance of customer service in a bar.
A: Customer service is the absolute most important thing for a bar. A bar can have the best drinks and best food in town, but if service is poor that’s all they will remember.
Q. Talk to me about excellence .
A: Excellence is never giving up. If you want to strive for excellence no excuses will be made and you will work toward what you want with everything you have and giving up will never be an option.
Q. How has having a POS improved your overall experience with working in the hospitality industry?
A: Having a POS is something most bartenders probably couldn’t work without. It gives us the opportunity to focus on making drinks and letting the system optimize our revenue for the night.
Q. Do you feel it has increased your efficiency and helped bring in more revenue/sales?
A: It has definitely increased my efficiency. I couldn’t even imagine if I had to spend the time calculating everything while I am busy.
Q. Has having a POS helped increase quality control, F & B costs, and overall allowing you to have a better understanding of what is happening and where in the establishments you have worked (tracking particular employees sales, what you are selling the most of, what you are selling the least of, highest profit you are seeing, etc)?
A: A POS is one of the most important things for every establishment. Assuming all employees are fairly accurate with the information they enter into the system, it allows management and owners to run reports and see what is actually being sold. It also really helps us keep track of our inventory levels.