The Rise of the 'Beverage Mercenary'

Some of today's most successful consultants are mixologists, not MBAs.

Robert Gadsby, Chad Spangler, and sommelier Andrew Stover taste test 24 American wines for use at Gadsby’s American Grill on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, in Columbia, Md.
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"People have asked us to put together a directory, and I'm hesitant to do so," he says. "By the time we get it out there, not only will these names have changed ... we won't even know if these people are still operating by the three to six months that it takes to put together a directory."

That fluidity poses a problem for chefs hoping to pick talented bartenders for their restaurants, says Gadsby.

"You have to be very careful you pick. You can pick someone who brings in his following, and something happens, and he leaves, and he takes his following with him," he says.

"I think the proper term, in some respects, is they can also be mercenaries, because now they consult. ... So they're beverage mercenaries," he adds. "They can ask any price they want," he adds.

 

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