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If you enjoyed last week’s Part 1, you’ll get to wrap up this awesome experience chatting with Don Branzuela in this week’s episode.

Get a peek at how Don strategizes to OWN his local bar services market!

If you want to catch more of Don, you can find him:
His podcast:
His Youtube:


Sarah Murphy 0:00
Hi friends. Welcome to the Mobile Bev Pros podcast, a podcast dedicated to providing mobile bar professionals with the information they need to succeed. I’m your host and fellow mobile bar owner, Sarah Murphy. Each episode, I’ll be bringing you interviews, knowledge, anecdotes, or opinions, with the goal of assisting you in building a profitable, sustainable and scalable mobile bar business that will support the lifestyle you dream of. I’m excited for today’s episode. So let’s get started. Hi, friend. You tuned in last week, you know that this week is the follow up episode to the first 46 minutes of my interview with Don Branzuela from HD Liquid Catering. This week, we complete this interview with another 45 minutes of awesomeness. Here we go.

Don Branzuela 0:48
Now, how do we I don’t know yet this is gonna work. So this is the new thing that we’re trying now is we’re creating different brands for our so we’re kind of like we’re launching or putting out fr- because one of the things that venues hate about being exclusive with us is they feel like they’re not giving their brides a choice.

Sarah Murphy 1:06
Rightlike if they want to BYO or that type of things. That what you’re talking about?

Don Branzuela 1:10
Right? Or Yeah, exactly. Or they don’t feel like there’s always that, well, hey, I have my brother, or I have this guy who’s, you know, we know a guy that works.

Sarah Murphy 1:20
My best friend’s friends.

Don Branzuela 1:23
Right. Or they want to bring in another company. And so we’ve our number one goal is when working with venues, we never want to be the reason why the client doesn’t pick the venue.

Sarah Murphy 1:33

Don Branzuela 1:33
You know, that’s our biggest thing where they go, Well, we would have gone with you but your exclusive caterer exclusive bartender is too expensive, like

Sarah Murphy 1:40

Don Branzuela 1:41
And then. So what we’re trying to do now is we’re kind of launching like different brands. So I’m picking up like I have this company that I started with it was Party Bartenders, right?

Sarah Murphy 1:41

Don Branzuela 1:43
We’re kind of picking that back up again as more of a budget friendly bar. So we’re asking the venue’s Hey, can you just add this to your so like, we’re still going to be your exclusive company.

Sarah Murphy 2:02

Don Branzuela 2:02
Everything still goes through HD but then now you have four things on your, you know you have fou r bartending companies.

Sarah Murphy 2:08
That’s so smart, because I’ve had this party with Mags (which is Magnolia–Mags), because I never wanted to be the bartender only company. I wanted to be the high end we take care of everything, right? Because every time I just give a bartender they show up to a shit show.

Don Branzuela 2:26
Oh, yeah!

Sarah Murphy 2:26
Like they don’t have the right mixers. Maybe there’s only literally one point we showed up and there was just Pabst Blue Ribbon, fireball and a blue sangria.

Don Branzuela 2:36
Yeah, happens everywhere. Yep, happens everywhere.

Sarah Murphy 2:39
So I’m like, a different brand. All my staff can pick up shifts on that if they want.

Don Branzuela 2:43

Sarah Murphy 2:44
But it doesn’t tarnish Bar Magnolias.

Don Branzuela 2:46
Listen, the one thing I talked about is like, you know, the biggest event we ever did for one single party, right was not trying to like humble brag or anything, like just to kind of like put things in perspective, you know?

Sarah Murphy 2:56

Don Branzuela 2:57
It was 42 grand, okay, for a Christmas party. And then we’ll have an event for like $420 for two bartenders, okay.

Sarah Murphy 3:05

Don Branzuela 3:06
In the eyes, if we just forgot a shaker tin, at like the $420 event, they’ll one star as on wedding wire.

Sarah Murphy 3:14

Don Branzuela 3:14
Right and then the one that was $42,000 still gives us five stars. But guess what, in the eyes of the client, and in the eyes of those reviewers, they’re both equal.

Sarah Murphy 3:23

Don Branzuela 3:24
They’re both equal. And then which is drives me nuts. Like, why am I-why am I putting my brand up there? It’s like, look, we got to do like a Toyota/Lexus, Ford/Lincoln kind of thing where it’s like, hey, you know what? We understand you can’t afford accurate but hey, no, here’s a Toyota-which is still pretty good. But if they don’t like to-

Sarah Murphy 3:43
It’ll get you to where you got to go. It’ll sling drinks for ya.

Don Branzuela 3:46
Right, if you don’t like the Toyota. Right? You’re not you’re not like, you’re not bashing my-

Sarah Murphy 3:49

Don Branzuela 3:50
Right, like my better brand that you know, people are paying more money for. So that’s why we’re doing this thing. Like, yeah, we’re doing this like,

Sarah Murphy 3:56
What I love about it is that you’ve decided, because my part my thing was, Do I want to start another brand where I have to have another frickin Instagram, another freakin Facebook page, another all the things right? Because that’s just, oh, it’s hard. But what you’ve done is you’ve basically said, my venues can have access to this brand. And maybe it’s on your website or something. But what you’ve done is basically like, I don’t have to advertise it, if I don’t want to

Don Branzuela 4:22

Sarah Murphy 4:23
You’re basically just giving another option for the venues that you already have an in with.

Don Branzuela 4:27
And actually just been on don’t that’s the one where I really do a lot of like, Facebook ads. We do a lot of like Google, like more on the SEO side of it, and then focus a lot on budget, cheap, this and so like, for instance, like on budget, what they’re doing is literally charging $30 an hour. You know, that’s it, and then if you need no minimum,

Sarah Murphy 4:48
Same staff,

Don Branzuela 4:50
Right. Oh, yeah, they don’t they don’t you know, it’s like or I can send a different staff.

Sarah Murphy 4:53

Don Branzuela 4:54
I don’t really care. And so but I was, but I charge them a $75 booking fee.

Sarah Murphy 4:58

Don Branzuela 4:59
Also put it on our way. website where they can book, they have to book it themselves. Like they don’t call anybody. I don’t email them. And I’m not spending $18 an hour for a salesperson to go in there because our mindset on that is like you’re booking, booking flights, thousand dollar flights, vacations, everything online, you don’t talk to a single person.

Sarah Murphy 5:16

Don Branzuela 5:17
Why do you have to talk to somebody that when you’re booking just a bartender, right, and then I know a lot of because our cheapest, I don’t say cheap. Our budget brides are the ones that end up taking, who’s our lead salesperson, she’ll spend in she’ll put in, and we’ll talk that meeting, somebody spent $200, but then she spent five hours in my phone, and emails over the last eight months. Just try to like, death by like, thousand little, little pricks. So like, so on our Party Bartenders website, you know, we actually use your drink calc, you know that one for calculoid. That’s where we put it on there. So when somebody asked, hey, how much do you need, just go on here, you know,

Sarah Murphy 5:54

Don Branzuela 5:55
Go in here, sign it, and then we use this other app. It’s called Check Cherry. And they use it. I found it at wedding MBA last year. I know it’s a way for people to like book photographers or a photo booth just on their own. And then but I use it for bartenders. And so people just come up say, hey, I need five bartenders. They signed the contract, pay, put all the stuff in there and then shows up on our deal. And then to you know, just like a few days before we you know what we confirm with them, get payment, but we don’t send them any emails. We don’t send them any contracts.

Sarah Murphy 6:24

Don Branzuela 6:25
Yeah. It’s like, it’s our like Spirit Airlines.

Sarah Murphy 6:27
I love I love that, though. Because it- that’s the-

Don Branzuela 6:30
It’s very budget. Yeah.

Sarah Murphy 6:31
That’s the thing where especially right now. But I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, because I get all these people that just want a bartender for like, random shit. I’m like, that’s not really our wheelhouse. Can we do it? Yes. Do I want to do that under Bar Magnolia? No. So but it’s kind of silly for me not been taking advantage of that opportunity. Right. So that’s kind of where I had originally thought of it. And then COVID hit. And it’s like multiple revenue streams is really, really important right now. I mean, maybe we’re not doing events right now. But just in general, if multiple revenue streams is a good practice for anyone to have, and so why not?

Don Branzuela 7:10
Yeah, that’s the thing. And then at the end of the day, it’s like, like, we might not be making that much money off of it.

Sarah Murphy 7:15

Don Branzuela 7:16
But at the same time, you know what, like, then this is my, like, I don’t want to give it all like business. Even though I love my competitors, I, you know, I also just want to crush them to the ground. And so for me, even just the smallest amount that we make, is that’s just less money they’re making, in my mind. So even though I’m only charging $120, and making $20 off of it keeps my bartenders happy. And we keep that money out of their pockets. So you know what, so like, I’m gonna use every every way i can to like to, and then use all my resources. All my contacts already say, Hey, this is what we’re doing. And also like, look, that’s how we got into this business. We got in doing this really cheap and doing it ourselves. And so we’re kind of like just putting this website as a, because that’s what people are looking for. And so, and I don’t want to, I said, I don’t want to devalue my brand.

Sarah Murphy 8:05

Don Branzuela 8:05
Oh, yeah. HD Liquid Catering is also doing it for, like, you know, who would want to pay this much if they know were already doing it for for like, on the cheap.

Sarah Murphy 8:13
right? And it’s not the same service at all. So

Don Branzuela 8:16
No, no.

Sarah Murphy 8:17
So it’s definitely different. But

Don Branzuela 8:20
Plus the experience.

Sarah Murphy 8:21

Don Branzuela 8:21
The experience. So when we tell people like, well, what’s the difference between the sounds like the bartenders are pretty much the same. It’s your experience on from the time that you call. It’s like, it’s how you’re being treated?

Sarah Murphy 8:31
Yeah. So secret- that most people know. If you get that, like drugstore, shampoo and conditioner, it is likely made by the same people with the same formula that might have just a slightly different scent as that shit you buy in the salon.

Don Branzuela 8:47

Sarah Murphy 8:48
Because they can they already have it, why not just change the smell a little bit and put it in a drugstore bottle, and then they’re getting the people that can’t afford their salon stuff. And the people like beautiful, salon stuff.

Don Branzuela 8:58
Yeah, that’s, that’s exactly what you know, we said, talking about like, Lexus and Toyota, you know, I mean, you know, I’ve owned both. And then there’s some parts that are like, these look exactly the same, like, well, they are.

Sarah Murphy 9:11
Right. Right, exactly.

Don Branzuela 9:12
You know, it’s like an even like, TVs. TVs all have the same screen, pretty much. And I was like somebody told me, it’s just what they pack into it. But you know, it’s not like every single company is making their own, like flat screen or whatever. It’s like, they buy it now. Just like iPhone doesn’t make their stuff, they just pack it. But when you’re buying the iPhone service, you’re buying the iPhone experience.

Sarah Murphy 9:32

Don Branzuela 9:32
No, I’m saying that’s what you’re buying, even though they didn’t make any all that stuff. They’ve kind of just made the user experience that much better. So that’s what we’re charging for. And if you ever look at our reviews, you know, we always tell our clients, like just look at reviews. And there’s nobody in there that talks about hey, how cheap we were.

Sarah Murphy 9:47

Don Branzuela 9:48
Everybody lways talks about, hey, how easy it was how they, you know, it’s like everything, and I always also pride ourselves on that we don’t execute 100% of the time, but we can always we know how to make up for it 100% of the time, and that’s from the waiting experience you know, being a waiter for a long time and be a bartender, like, you’re never gonna be perfect all the time. So you know, as like,

Sarah Murphy 10:08
And events are a perfect examp- Not to interrupt you, but like having been a server and a bartender for a decade. A lot of the shit that happened wasn’t even on the bartender or the server’s like, wasn’t our fault.

Don Branzuela 10:21

Sarah Murphy 10:21
But we had to make up for it. And we had

Don Branzuela 10:24
Apologize for it.

Sarah Murphy 10:25
We exactly. We had to make it right. And like, absolutely, when we go to events, this is thing about events, you never know what you’re gonna show up to. You never know who’s- I mean, the longer you’re in it, the more you work with the same people, like you know, a planner, you know, their systems, you know what they want, you know, like, but let’s say you’re brand new, and you’re walking into this field, and you’re never going to know what you walk into. You never know the venue, in many cases. You never know the bride and the groom, like their families and the should have been here, but they want you came in and it’s now there, they told you that your beer was gonna arrive at x time. And now it’s like an hour later, it’s still not here. You never know. But it’s always your fault.

Don Branzuela 11:04
Yeah, it is. It’s like, look throughout the whole course of it. Like, like, there’s gonna be all kinds of emotion. But the only thing that we’re, you know, think about, it’s like, hey, by the end of it, are they happy? You know, I mean, like, Look, if you’ve gone and then waited one hour for your food, had it cooked wrong, undercooked, overcooked, you mess up the whole time, but it’s all about how they took care of the problem and how they treated you how calm they were about it, then just what they did to make it right.

Sarah Murphy 11:30
How did they, how did they bound?

Don Branzuela 11:31
Right. And that’s where I was like, that’s where we’re always flawless on we will ever just always take care of it. No, no, when it comes down to just like everything else. Worst case scenario, you comp the whole thing, make them happy, don’t let them

Sarah Murphy 11:42
It’s a drop in the bucket overall.

Don Branzuela 11:43
That’s all they think about. Right? It’s like end of the day, you know what I don’t want, it’ll cost us more. Whether that’s,

Sarah Murphy 11:48
That’s right. That’s right!

Don Branzuela 11:50
and then that was up now. And then one of our main things too, is like I always reiterate to our bartenders like, Look, it’s a 200 person event, right? We only need to take care of three people. That’s like the venue, the bride, and whoever’s paying? You know, whoever wrote the check, okay? Because if we make them happy, the venue brings you back, keeps referring you business.

Sarah Murphy 12:10
Mm hmm.

Don Branzuela 12:10
Bride writes a great review. And then you don’t have to give back any money. Worst case scenario. So for instance, like we don’t do shots,

Sarah Murphy 12:18
We don’t either.

Don Branzuela 12:19
We don’t allow shots. We don’t allow doubles. Two drinks per person. We’re very like,

Sarah Murphy 12:23
Yeah, us too. And I think people appreciate that.

Don Branzuela 12:24
I’m very anal about it, right?

Sarah Murphy 12:25
They appreciate it.

Don Branzuela 12:27
Venues-venues appreciate that. They can’t-

Sarah Murphy 12:29
And, and parents,

Don Branzuela 12:31

Sarah Murphy 12:31
of brides, they appreciate that.

Don Branzuela 12:33
We’re the bad guy. Listen, we’re gonna be the bad guy. But guess what?

Sarah Murphy 12:35
That’s us.

Don Branzuela 12:35
So 197 people in the wedding are mad because they can’t do shots. We cannot do this. We cut them, this and this. But guess what, the venue? Happy, yes. But we’ve had times where in the earlier in the business, we tried to make 197 people happy, like giving them all kinds of stuff getting all drunk. And guess what? No more business from the venue,

Sarah Murphy 12:53
Bride’s not happy.

Don Branzuela 12:53
Bride leaves a bad review, leaves a bad review and we had to make a partial payment, partial refund, because,

Sarah Murphy 12:58

Don Branzuela 12:59
And then so I’m like, holy cow, you know. So it’s not all about, it’s just really focusing your energy towards

Sarah Murphy 13:04
And you can head that off. I always say set the expectation. So when I’m talking to a venue who’s decided to bring us on, it’s like, Look, this is like, I know, you have a lot of other bartenders that can come in here. We don’t serve shots, we don’t serve doubles, we never served more than two at a time. Because it’s our goal is to keep things classy.

Don Branzuela 13:23

Sarah Murphy 13:23
And we want the pictures at the beginning of the event to be as well worthy as those at the end of the event.

Don Branzuela 13:27

Sarah Murphy 13:28
Right? And so that’s what we tell the venue when we come on as a preferred vendor. But we tell that to every single bride and groom, every single one as part of our tastings/pre-event consultation. We’re setting the expectation. We’re going to card your your people, if you

Don Branzuela 13:42
Yup, 30 and under.

Sarah Murphy 13:43
If they don’t look,

Don Branzuela 13:43

Sarah Murphy 13:44
Exactly, questionably in their 20s we’re gonna card you.

Don Branzuela 13:46
Right, bridal party, bridal party. “Um, oh, I left my ID in my car.”

Sarah Murphy 13:47
Tell your bridal parties to dig in their dress.

Don Branzuela 13:51
And go back to your car and go get it.

Sarah Murphy 13:53
We’ll be here! Well, like we set that expectation. We also tell them we don’t serve shots. And that’s a thing here in Nashville because people are big bourbon and they like it neat. And like we’ll serve it to you, but we’re sticking on ice cubes in it.

Don Branzuela 14:06

Sarah Murphy 14:06
Look, you can’t shoot it, and I have literally seen this where people are like, ugh! And then they’ll shoot it with ice cubes in it. Or they’ll pick it out of their fingers and shoot it. And then they’ll come back later. And I’m like, sorry, you’re cut off. Like, we told you the rules.

Don Branzuela 14:22
But that’s

Sarah Murphy 14:22
The expectation and no one can be mad. They only appreciate that.

Don Branzuela 14:26
No, and I always tell my bartenders like, Look, I will answer. If you cut off people at the end of the day, if you cut off people if you know, it’s like, Look, I will answer that phone call every single time. you know? Because I will back you up every single time. If you cut somebody off, if you’ve done this, like those conversations I don’t mind having.

Sarah Murphy 14:40
And I actually tell the bride and groom like this is their livelihood. This is our livelihood. So it’s the biggest day in your life. We’re just trying to protect your people, but it’s also like our livelihood and so we cannot risk that.

Don Branzuela 14:52
Yeah, because I always tell people look, you know what all these faraway venues like, it’s easy to get there when it’s you know what, when you’re sober, there’s light out and everything, but then when it comes down to it- because a lot of people never been to these venues before,

Sarah Murphy 15:03

Don Branzuela 15:03
Getting there is easy, but then now roads are narrower, darker, drunk, paying attention more GPS. Everything’s happening. So that’s why I’m like, Look, I don’t care. You know, we used to have one star reviews all the time about cutting people off and whatnot. And then we’d show those to the venue’s is like, hey, look, this is it’s kind of like a badge of honor. Like, I want to have more one star reviews, cause all I want to say is “You’re welcome.” That you’re alive to leave me a one, a one star review.

Sarah Murphy 15:27
You’re alive! Exactly.

Don Branzuela 15:29
Yep. So..

Sarah Murphy 15:30
Oh, gosh, and people and I will every time when I’m having tastings with the bride and groom. I’ll say like we will, and we do not hesitate to cut people off. And it’s a 50% chance, the first person I’m going to cut off is either the

Don Branzuela 15:45
Bridal party.

Sarah Murphy 15:45
-best man or the father of the bride.

Don Branzuela 15:48
Right, right.

Sarah Murphy 15:49
Because it’s so true! I can’t tell you how many best men I cut off before their speeches because they are just wreckin themselves.

Don Branzuela 15:56
No, even like beforehand, like we’re even talking to. We’ve been, even with venues, were very hesitant to sometimes go on to venues that don’t have a policy on pre- like pre-ceremony. Like they’re like, Oh, they can do whatever they want, like, well, I would not. We don’t want to be a part of this.

Sarah Murphy 16:10

Don Branzuela 16:11
Because you’re just putting us at risk, and you’re trying to make them happy. So I’m just like, Look the not gonna, that’s not how it works.

Sarah Murphy 16:16
Oh, yeah. First round sometimes. And I’m like, ah, can you go eat a few appetizers? And then come back in 45 minutes? Because you clearly have been drinking.

Don Branzuela 16:25
Yeah. So yeah, that’s that’s ahhh, it’s so much. So much.

Sarah Murphy 16:29
But it’s important for us to recognize that like what we do, is we serve something that incapacitates people.

Don Branzuela 16:36
Oh, yeah. Yeah, it’s not food. You know, it’s not like hotdogs or anything?

Sarah Murphy 16:39
Right, exactly.

Don Branzuela 16:41
So no, people don’t understand. Like I said, I don’t mind them being all mad after. But at the end of the day, they don’t ever really make a big deal out of it.

Sarah Murphy 16:48
And that comes from confidence. I think. So if this part of the conversation does anything for newbies, or people that are just starting out, or maybe people are just, like- have confidence and that what you do and the boundaries that you set are beneficial to everyone.

Don Branzuela 17:02
Yeah, yeah. Because just like when you first bartending, you know, like you, I don’t know, if ever anybody remember the first person they cut off, you know? It’s such a uncomfortable thing, because you put in your money, you know, you’re thinking I’m not gonna make any money off of it. And it’s like, you got to take all that out, you know?

Sarah Murphy 17:17

Don Branzuela 17:17
And just start thinking about more people’s like, bigger picture than just whatever tips you’re making. Because I know it’s so hard whenever somebody’s there dropping 20s every time they come up, you know. It’s like, hey, I want a double this. You’re like, Yeah! But then finally, like, it’s like you’re halfway through the wedding and you’re like doing the math and your heads like I’ve already given them seven doubles.

Sarah Murphy 17:35
Oh, and, and if there’s multiple bars, forget it. You never know. Like, they might be going back and forth. Right? Like, there’s just no way to know.

Don Branzuela 17:42
Yeah, so that’s why you do it.

Sarah Murphy 17:44
I think maybe this is a good SWIG class. How to cut someone off?

Don Branzuela 17:49
Seriously, you know, okay, so real quick. I know, I had one guy, 20/21 year old bartender that I hired a long time ago, at a hotel. And he had a hard time, I had a hard time cutting people off. He always had an issue. And so finally, one night I came up to I was like, Look, your job is to cut off five people tonight? You know, I said, I don’t care if they’re sober. I don’t care if they’re drunk. I don’t care, you know. So all you have to do is tell them cut off. If you have a problem, talk to your manager. Because if you can’t cut off five people, you’re fired. It’s like, it’s like, you know, what’s harder than cutting off a drunk guys cutting off a sober guy.

Sarah Murphy 18:22

Don Branzuela 18:23
But I told him, all you have to do is basically tell him, Hey, look, I’m gonna have you talk to my manager. You know what I mean? And so it’s like, well, that’s all you have to do. And he couldn’t do it. It’s like, I’m sorry, man, you got to go. Because this is if this is how you’re going to be when I’m putting you on the spot, like, how am I going to trust you? When people are actually drunk.

Sarah Murphy 18:40
And it can be uncomfortable, I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna lie, there was a one wedding that I did. They were very entitled individuals, and-for the most part-and then there were some Germans, they did not understand the concept of being cut off, but they were like, really drunk. And so they were getting in my bartenders face, and I was in another bar, but I could see that bar, and they had security and security was there, but just kind of like, you know how security is? They’re kind of like rent a cops

Don Branzuela 19:09
They’re not there for you. They’re not there for you.

They’re not- No, not at all

They just show up.

Sarah Murphy 19:13
They’re like, I’m just here. And so I kind of was like, just looking at her. And when you work with someone enough, I can given your eye contact. And so she basically was like, you can go and you know, try and get drink from the other bar. Like she was really uncomfortable. I could tell she was on the verge of tears. And so they come over to me, and I was like, what did my bartender just tell you, and then they told me and I was like, uh huh, I said well I’m fresh out of beer. And they’re like looking at my beer. And they’re like, Mmmm, you have lots of beer. I’m like, but it’s not for you. Right like they had- and, and I was like saying Mississippi, and they were like, what? And they super slurred it. It was like really funny. And I’m like, I’m sorry. Like, you can’t say Mississippi correctly, then I can’t serve you and uh they just kind of, it was really, it was really like, almost at that point, funny? Because they were like they knew it, but they didn’t understand the concept of being cut off? Like that wasn’t something that they encountered in Germany, apparently. They kept saying we German like we can hold our. Like, yeah, you’re also stumbling.

Don Branzuela 20:21
Right. This is America, okay?

Sarah Murphy 20:25
I’m like I’m sorry!

Don Branzuela 20:25
You get cut off.

Sarah Murphy 20:26
I know. And then and then the mother of the groom came over and they’re like, Oh, these are our exchange students. And I was like, I get it. I said, but if anything happens, not only am I getting caught up in the lawsuits, so are you.

Don Branzuela 20:41
You know, my um, actually our number one deterrent now against that like, just even stop people is like, we slow down service a lot. Like we come down to Okay hey. You know what, it’s like, whenever everybody starts getting crazy, we leave our slowest bartender on the bar by themselves, while we’re don’t, why we just leave,

Sarah Murphy 21:00

Don Branzuela 21:00
You know.

Sarah Murphy 21:00
Like we’re gonna go break down in the back

Don Branzuela 21:02
We’re gonna go do stuff, whatever. And then so it’s our way and then we even tell them slow it down even more.

Sarah Murphy 21:08

Don Branzuela 21:08
Hey, not I was like, without, like, and one day I was like, hey, try to slow down even more then that line gets a little bit longer.

Sarah Murphy 21:14

Don Branzuela 21:14
A little bit more. So, you don’t speed up because the same speed that we had a cocktail hour is not the same speed we need.

Sarah Murphy 21:20
Right! And, I think people kind of recognize that on a certain level. And they’re just looking for something to drink. So what we found is if we put water up on the bar,

Don Branzuela 21:29
Yeah, they’ll pick it up.

Sarah Murphy 21:29
Someone comes up and they’re like, I’ll take another beer. We’ll just slide em the water. And they’ll look at you and then they’ll take the water and then they’ll leave they like get it. They know.

Don Branzuela 21:40
Yeah, well, I’ll tell you what, it’s funny. We went to Wedding NBA- we go to Wedding NBA every year, like for the past five years out in uh, in Vegas. It’s like one of the best like just educational conferences and it’s also really cheap. Getting to Vegas. The hotels. Everything.

Sarah Murphy 21:55
Vegas is pretty cheap.

Don Branzuela 21:57
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s like 199 bucks for the education you get out of it is amazing. I mean, sometimes I’ll go in the first class, I’ll hear something. I’m like, Oh, I’m done. I’m done. I’m just gonna take that I’m like, you know, apply that for the whole-

Sarah Murphy 22:10
That was enough.

Don Branzuela 22:11
That’s all I needed, right? And then but The Knot and Wedding Wire do like their own parties every year. And like, so they invite everybody and that’s how you make your money back from these things. So they’re doing open bar, you know, at all these casinos and then Wedding Wire always throws one at like Hakkasan over there at the MGM Grand. And then they always have like these badass bartenders, you know, everybody’s bringing up like, expensive ass tabs. I think they finally learned from it because this year, or like last October, we were at the Tropicana, it was kind of a joint one between The Knot in the Wedding Wire since the .

Sarah Murphy 22:40
The merged?

Don Branzuela 22:41
Yeah. And we show up and then- nothing against the older bartenders, because that’s also me too! But let me tell you something- they nine years before, replaced by like a little bit slower, more mature bartenders, the whole time. I’m mad, like, what the hell?! What’s going on here? You know it’s like, but then the whole time I really appreciated it. Because you know what, from a from a liquor cost standpoint, like they are saving half the money because they’re still providing you know what, 10 bartenders, it’s still open bar. The output is not there. And so finally, we’re like, we’re gonna start updating this kind of, because we’ve always been like, Can we get the fastest bartenders? The best everything like that, like, yeah, maybe that’s not what they all need sometimes.

Sarah Murphy 23:22

Don Branzuela 23:23
Yeah, I mean it’s like, if it’s a cash bar, yeah. Cause that’s how we make our money. But if it’s like, open, kind of whatever, yeah, let’s slow it down. You know, cause the one thing we’re always afraid of is like, like Polish and Russian weddings kill us all the time. So however much vodka we have

Sarah Murphy 23:37
It’s not enough?

Don Branzuela 23:36
-times 4. Out of 1000 weddings or 1000 events, right? The only ones that were or out of all the events, the only ones we’re always afraid of are like those Eastern Bloc, like Polish, Russian, you know, because, one of my best friends is polish and they, they go crazy. And then also hospitality.

Sarah Murphy 23:55
Oh, oh.

Don Branzuela 23:56
Bartender gets married, right?

Sarah Murphy 23:58
Forget it!

Don Branzuela 23:59
Guess who comes in there? All their bartender friends because and then all of a sudden, like you can’t you have to almost like double or triple your-

Sarah Murphy 24:06
Or you’ll never keep up!

Don Branzuela 24:08
No! Because they don’t drink their regular one, two drinks the first hour and one after. It’s like there’s like two to three drinks per hour.

Sarah Murphy 24:15

Don Branzuela 24:15
It’s like and they’re though, they don’t drink like regular civilians. You know, it’s like you can’t really cut- you know, cause you know how we drank too?

Sarah Murphy 24:20
Yeah, totally.

Don Branzuela 24:21
So I don’t drink the same, well, I’m better after four, like, six drinks than a normal person.

Sarah Murphy 24:26
Totally! And

Don Branzuela 24:27
At least outwardly.

Sarah Murphy 24:27
My favorite is when people are like, oh, we’re fine. We’re Irish Catholics, I’m like like… that’s…

Don Branzuela 24:33
Well if somebody does say they say hey, we’re all bartenders. I’m like, mmm, okay.

Sarah Murphy 24:37
That, I- I take into consideration.

Don Branzuela 24:38
Cause they’ve all been drinking all day, and you guys are still pretty, pretty, pretty straight because they know how to hide it. That’s, it’s not like they’re less drunk. They just get better at presenting themselves as not as drunk.

Sarah Murphy 24:49

Don Branzuela 24:49
Or enough to, or they also-

Sarah Murphy 24:50
And they hold their alcohol.

Don Branzuela 24:52
That’s what I’m saying.

Sarah Murphy 24:52
They’re professionals.

Don Branzuela 24:53
Or they know how to get drinks and they know how to send people.

Sarah Murphy 24:56
They’re not gonna be puking, even if you over serve them. They’re not gonna be puking in the back.

Don Branzuela 25:01
Like back in the day, we’ve always had this like, Hey, who’s the best drunk driver out of all of us, you know? That’s me. So that was you know, thank God, thank you Uber, you know.

Sarah Murphy 25:12
Yeah, the DD is literally the drunk driver.

Don Branzuela 25:16
Yep. So yeah, that’s all- I know we kind of like went all over the place on these.

Sarah Murphy 25:20
This is what I was hoping, actually Don, this is what I really wanted

Don Branzuela 25:22
This is really- this is really cool. And I really think it is.

Sarah Murphy 25:24
I did, ah, I appreciate it.

Don Branzuela 25:26
No, I’m serious. It’s like no, I mean, like look, I mean, I just like I’m looking from where I’m coming from. But everything you’re doing right now- it’s like look, is everything I’ve always wanted from a group, you know, like except with me not starting it, you know, because I feel like we are a big enough group. We’re and important part of the wedding business, but then

Sarah Murphy 25:44

Don Branzuela 25:44
also, but we’re also kind of marginalize a little bit because it’s like, oh, they’re just the bartenders and everything. But nobody really sees like our value in

Sarah Murphy 25:51
Can we talk about that for a minute?! This is something I’ve only ever talked about with my coach, and so I feel like this is, uh, we’re having a moment here, Don.

Don Branzuela 25:59

Sarah Murphy 25:59
Which wouldn’t be the, it wouldn’t be first time I feel like we had a moment-

Don Branzuela 26:02

Sarah Murphy 26:03
But when I show up wearing the T-shirt that I happened to be wearing today, which I haven’t worn in months, but I felt like wearing it today, which is my- for people who are listening- my Bar Magnolia T-shirt. It’s, uh, oh, that’s the bar lady. And I like, for whatever reason, it just, it’s very much dismissed that that’s, that’s the bar lady, right? And I have an Ivy League Master’s education, I have been senior leadership in tech companies, unicorn startups, right? Like, I know my shit. But in this industry, I’m just the bar lady that shows up to these events. And I don’t necessarily mind because I’ve been in service. I’ve been in hospitality my entire life. And so it doesn’t, like, I worked in the Hamptons, where people are making billion dollars or hedge fund managers that make multi billion dollars. And I was just the help, even though I was super smart, like, whatever, it didn’t matter, I’m to help. So it doesn’t necessarily matter to me so much. But we, as a portion of this industry of events, not even just weddings, but of events like, we’re a big. fucking. deal. And I don’t feel like people give us that status or even understand, but we are. We literally keep the, yes, DJs are important. I love you, DJs, sometimes I hate you because you play the same fucking playlist, every wedding for 100 weddings a year. BUT DJs keep the party going. Bartenders keep the party going. Like we’re a big part of events. And so for you when I walk in, and you guys just to dismiss me as just like “the bar girl” kind of hurts my feelings a little.

Don Branzuela 27:39
It does but you know what? But it’s almost one of those things where I’ve just learned to live with it.

Sarah Murphy 27:43

Don Branzuela 27:43
Because it never, because at the end of the day, like if you look at a florists, you know what I mean? Their stuff looks hard.

Sarah Murphy 27:49
Oh, totally! They’re exspensive!

Don Branzuela 27:51
When they do a, when they do a styled shoot, there’s they’re dropping like $1,000 whereas you and I are probably dropping a couple hundred dollars. We’re hot or sticky. We’re still gonna drink anyways,

We have leftover. Exactly. Caterers, you know, it’s like, everything always looks difficult from the surface from all these other vendors. And then us, I mean, photographers probably feel the same way too, you know, because it just looks like you’re just pointing and shooting. But normal people, people just see what we do is like, hey, well here’s a beer.

Sarah Murphy 28:17
Well photographers get all the glory!

Don Branzuela 28:18
Yea, ya know, it’s like they all- everybody knows somebody who’s a bartender or was like, or, hey, they used to do it back in the day.

Sarah Murphy 28:24
That’s right.

Don Branzuela 28:25
So they think that like, so what they what you do is just something that anybody can do.

Sarah Murphy 28:29

Don Branzuela 28:29
That’s how they’ve always just seen it, you know, so they never think about the service. It’s just really more about the person doing it. And so I just kind of just had to stop taking really, as long as I know that they’re spending money, I don’t really care how they treat me because sometimes I like to go and just delivering stuff. Like that’s my favorite thing now too, is just delivering, because it’s my way of actually touching with the venue. And at the same time, you know, and then I love being you know, my whole thing is like sometimes they’ll like, treat me like kind of like, Oh, hey, you know what, like, can’t do this, can’t do this. And that’s the worst part- like caterers. They think they own the place and then you’re kinda going through there and all of a sudden, like, I’m kind of here more than you are. I just had to, like woo-sah the whole time. It’s like, you know, they’re spending more money on my package than they are on your food. So

Sarah Murphy 29:14
Right, especially here with a barbecue. Like, no offense, but

Don Branzuela 29:17
Is that what it is? That’s huge?

Sarah Murphy 29:19
Oh, not there in Texas? What do you guys eat over there at weddings? It’s, it’s barbecue 85% of the time.

Don Branzuela 29:24
It’s like a chicken, like some sort of chicken or beef and then some sort of like green bean, mashed potato, roll, salad. It’s some sort of variation of that. And then Mexican food and then bare- and then not probably 20% of events, 15-20% events are barbecue. You know, so.

Sarah Murphy 29:45
Wow, we’re like 85% here- barbecue and so it’s

Don Branzuela 29:49

Sarah Murphy 29:49
to the point where I’m like, I don’t even want the vendor meal. So much barbecue.

Don Branzuela 29:54
Yeah, yeah, no, no, it’s even, yeah, that vendor meal is like- there’s some, that go oh, make sure you- cause like I’ll even tell some of my staff like, hey, like, go get some extra for me and just leave it in the shop.

Sarah Murphy 30:05
Some caterers- they, you know they worked in restaurants because they-

Don Branzuela 30:10
They know how to treat people!

Sarah Murphy 30:11
-take pride in the, in the vendor meals. They’ll like I plate it, and it looks beautiful. And they’ll wrap it and I’ll put it into heater and they’ll come by the bar, and they’ll be like, Hey, we left you meals, and then you’ll eat it. And you’re just like, love went into this meal. Like you can tell, right? And then there’s some that they like, come in, and they like leave before they even like bars, even

Don Branzuela 30:34
Oh, I know, I know. There’s some caterers that on my shit list. It’s like any time, it’s like, you know how they treat my staff, you know what reflects on them, you know. And so that’s always for me like, Okay, next time I see that caterer come around, it’s like, I remember exactly how they, how they were. And so I’m not very helpful. I’m not very, like, I don’t promote them as much, because they’ll come up and say, Hey, you know, can you do this for me, you know, and then because like, the one thing that we’ve decided to do, or I decided to do, actually, you know, before we go is like, from a marketing standpoint, networking standpoint, like we’ve joined as many groups as possible. So here, there’s like, I don’t know if you’ve heard of NACE? You know. Okay. So NACE. And then ILEA, have you heard of ILEA too? So

Sarah Murphy 31:15
TWESA? Do you have TWESA?

Don Branzuela 31:16
No, no, we got there’s, but all of those, so I’ve decided to just be as influential as I can. That’s like the number one things like is we’re all like I said, we’re a marginalized category, right?

Sarah Murphy 31:27

Don Branzuela 31:27
But I don’t want to be a marginalized like, person.

Sarah Murphy 31:30

Don Branzuela 31:30
So I want to be like, Hey, he’s the bartending guy, but he’s also the Vice President of membership of ILEA. You know what, he’s this guy. They’re only bartenders, but they run this group, this group and this group. So you know what, we’ve kind of built our kind of like, we’ve built our own respect, you know being part of these things. So if you said, cause you know, there’s this one girl-well, one girl- there’s one business here, she does fireworks, right?

Sarah Murphy 31:54

Don Branzuela 31:54
She’s, she’s involved in everything. So it’s almost like she was like, have you heard of MPI too, right? Uh, meeting planner? Yeah, she was president of MPI, like meeting planners, you know, but she’s a vendor, you know what I mean? So for me, being on the board of directors for these huge company gives me access in a different way than I would, as just a member. You know, getting involved in all, you know, joining committees, everything. Like I said, that takes up a lot of time, but then all of a sudden, people don’t just see what you’re doing people see you.

Sarah Murphy 32:27

Don Branzuela 32:27
Then from there, then it’s easier to walk in, like at bigger events, because people know who you are and who you represent. And so that’s kind of why when people ask a is that worth it? It’s like, you know what? Yeah, it is.

Sarah Murphy 32:38

Don Branzuela 32:39
Because I have confidence, knowing that people will treat me just because of what I’m doing. And you know, and so this, that’s why we kind of like, that’s where a lot of our dollars go.

Sarah Murphy 32:48
I love that.

Don Branzuela 32:48
We’re gonna, yeah, so everything that anything that has letters we’re a part of, and I’ll have some weeks, there’s like, Oh, you know, four nights? I’ll be um, I’ll be out doing networking and then to be honest with you, I mean, it’s not that hard, because I’m just drinking and eating.

Sarah Murphy 33:00
Right, and like, being you! You’re shaking hands. And making friends.

Don Branzuela 33:03
And yeah, you know, it’s like, yeah, yeah, doing shots at places that you can. That allow it. But yeah, so then they’re doing cool stuff. So that’s what’s really helped us in the last three-four years. Really.


You know what, rise above everybody else, cause that’s not what our competitors are doing.

Sarah Murphy 33:19
So when when you do these network events, here’s what happens. They hand you- do you have a business card? You give it to them? Do you ask for one in return?

Don Branzuela 33:26
Nope, nope. I don’t bring business cards.

Sarah Murphy 33:28
You don’t you’re like, nope, don’t got it?

Don Branzuela 33:30
No, I don’t. Because if business cards are like, you know, it’s like passing around business cards, it’s always like the I call it the pass and pray technique, where you pass it around and pray that somebody calls you, you know, I collect them. So that’s how,

Sarah Murphy 33:41
What do you do with that?

Don Branzuela 33:42
And then I just reach out to them, you know, it’s like, I take a photo of it and my little app, that’s like, it’s called cam card,

Sarah Murphy 33:47
Right, I have that one.

Don Branzuela 33:48
Just got to write down where I met them. Who were, everything. You know, I’ll send them, I’ll shoot them a text. Hey, it was great to see you, especially if we talk about something or I’ll just remember what we talked about. And then the next time I see them, I’ll kind of- cause I’ll see somebody like oh, who is that? Then I’ll kind of like look through and then just start building that relationship. But no point in there do I go hey, you know, and then always start conversations. Just I don’t ever, because the worst ones are always like, Hey, how’s it goin? You’re Sarah? Well, what do you do? Like…

Sarah Murphy 34:12

Don Branzuela 34:13
No, no, that’s- I hate that, like, you know, conferences and the small talk.

Sarah Murphy 34:17
Ugh it’s the worst.

Don Branzuela 34:17
I really like kills me.

Like “It gets really hot here!” Well, yeah, we’re in Nashville. It’s always hot, it’s always humid.

I’ll try to get to like, weird or like, really personal as fast as possible. You know, like, just kind of-

Sarah Murphy 34:29
Oh my god, what’s your favorite networking pickup line?

Don Branzuela 34:32
You know what, mine’s actually it’s really it’s really simple, because like, it’s always like, Hey, what’s your story?

Sarah Murphy 34:36
Oh, that’s not bad.

Don Branzuela 34:37
And everybody’s like, Well, what do you mean? It’s like, how did we get here? How did- what, what series of events in your life that led you to this moment right here in front of me? I don’t care what- what happened in middle school. So tell me something. You know what I mean?

Sarah Murphy 34:51
Sometimes you have to sit there for a while

Don Branzuela 34:52
Right. Something happened there that, that nudged your life to end up here. You know what I mean?

Sarah Murphy 34:57
I love that

Don Branzuela 34:58
And so somebody will just be like, Well, I did- it’s like I don’t care. Tell me something, and I don’t care where you work.

Sarah Murphy 35:02

Don Branzuela 35:02
Like, that’s not who you are. I didn’t ask- I didn’t ask you what you do.

Sarah Murphy 35:05

Don Branzuela 35:06
Like, as I asked you, you know what, like, what’s your story, I want to know who you are you know, and then people gonna really appreciate that too. And that’s like, and I find people that are like standing by themselves. Because I’ve been that guy. Like four years ago, I was in the corner, somebody went and grabbed me and said, You are going to come over here. And they’ll say, Hey, have you met Don, this, you know, it’s like, they were kind of like my, like, my little, my training wheels. And then finally until I was off to my own, so now I feel like I have to do the same thing for everybody. Because I wouldn’t be here where I am. If so, like with whether podcasting or you know, like just talking to people or anything like that, like because you never know, right? today. So if you’ve heard of them, this company out in Arizona is called Pour Masters. Have you- do you follow it? Or have you ever heard of them?

Sarah Murphy 35:47
I have heard of them, yes.

Don Branzuela 35:48
Okay. So I haven’t even talked to this guy. So the guy- the guy’s name, the owns his name’s Dave Foreman, okay.

Sarah Murphy 35:53
Uh huh.

Don Branzuela 35:54
I called him out of the blue 20 years ago. I just saw him on like AOL, or whatever. Whatever 20 years ago, it was like it was it was better than the Yellow Pages, okay, but it was similar to that.

Sarah Murphy 36:07
You AIM chatted him

Don Branzuela 36:09
I just found him. I was like, Hey, my name is Don. And then somehow, you know what, he just talked to me for like, four hours. Just talked about stuff, everything. And then I see him on like I’ll follow him on LinkedIn and follow him everywhere, right? I just see him, like I still want to, like call him like, I don’t know, when that conversation would go. Just be like, Hey, man, I know, you don’t remember me.

Sarah Murphy 36:29
He might I mean four hours!

Don Branzuela 36:30
This with this with this conversation 20 years ago, but that conversation led me to what we’re doing now. And I’ll never forget that.

Sarah Murphy 36:37

Don Branzuela 36:38
What, what you what you gave us because it you know, you sacrifice that time to talk to a complete stranger doing what you do. But then back then, you know, it’s like, even now, like, you know, there’s not still not that many of us that do this, even though our group is huge. Now compared to when-

Sarah Murphy 36:52
It’s not huge, it’s super tiny. I see groups with like, 35,000 people in it. And I’m like, we’re 1000 people. That’s a big deal.

Don Branzuela 36:59
Right, so you know what? So like, when I watch it, it’s like, I’m so like, it makes me all really happy when I see even like, the big players, and even just the small little guys, you know, they’re just starting.

Sarah Murphy 37:09

Don Branzuela 37:09
I can still see it, I can still every single one that they do. And I’m like, I don’t know where I’d be if, or I don’t know how much faster we would’ve grown if we had this resource, because everything we did was like, we had to make it up. Every single system I’ve done. So and then what’s really crazy is like, I’ll see all this stuff that you’re doing. I’m like, so you know, it took me years to come up with that. And then-

Sarah Murphy 37:30
I know. No, look, I mean, even me, I literally have spent over 15 years in the restaurant and hospitality industry, I’ve done events, and I started this business. And I’m like, where do I go for help with this? Which is why the whole group started just because I’m like, this is kind of niche, like caterers don’t really do what we do. They have bartenders, sure. But they don’t do what we do.

Don Branzuela 37:53

Sarah Murphy 37:53
And so like, what’s out there? And the answer was nothing. There was nothing. And so the only option there was like, well, we talked to other people that are doing what we do. And that’s how the group kind of formed. And so you’re an OG and one of the founders, and

Don Branzuela 38:07
Seriously, keep at it. Because like, I know, you’re gonna feel like you’re- but what you’re doing out there is what, like what this guy did for me. You know, I mean, that’s like, you just won’t know you just won’t see it. You know, and then tell you truthfully, like, yeah, you inspire me, like somebody, as long as I’ve been doing this, like watching you- No, I’m serious! Because you know why? Cause you take this seriously, you know what I’m saying? This isn’t a hobby for you, this isn’t this is, this is your business, this is your life. You know, this is your passion.

Sarah Murphy 38:32

Don Branzuela 38:32
So it’s like you see it. So it’s not just something you do. You know, it’s who you are not just you’re not just you know, like Bar Magnolia is a Bar Magnolia is what you do, you know, business is but who you are. That’s what I’m saying. Like, you know, when somebody says, what do you do is like, just business, man, I mean. Businessing is, like, my favorite thing.

Sarah Murphy 38:51
This is 100%, what I’m gonna change my LinkedIn right now. I business. That’s what I do.

Don Branzuela 38:58
Like, I don’t even know, it’s like, because I feel like we’ve kind of grown and I feel like everybody will learn that they keep at it, they’ll start realizing they can separate themselves from their business and their actual, like, who they you know, because once you apply everything you’ve met, you’ve learned from this and you can apply it to anything. And that’s how it’s easy to kind of, like, spread out and do stuff, because all of a sudden, like it really like I said, it’s systems it’s, it’s how you do things that you learned throughout this whole thing. It’s not the bartending. It has nothing to do with trailers. It doesn’t do any of that, you know, it’s like that just helps you along.

Sarah Murphy 39:29
You keep spreading out. Are you gonna venture into new cities?

Don Branzuela 39:33
We already did, like we did the Austin like last year, and then COVID obviously, yeah, that was a that was a really like a ballbuster. There’s excuse my language, but, you know, we lost South by you know, like, South by Southwest was like our- we spent years, you know, what, getting into that market, and so finally like, hey, South by and we had probably seven clients, right? And the thing was South by, like they are not just seven clients, they’re doing multiple days. So we had ones like, hey, I need one for 300 people, right? Okay, cool. But for six days full bar, like,

Sarah Murphy 40:07

Don Branzuela 40:08
Okay, so that’s like, except you’re just in one spot,

Sarah Murphy 40:11
Right. You don’t have to move, you don’t have to schlepp things. It’s all there.

Don Branzuela 40:15
You know, we were just gonna get a big ass truck, park it there, and then just lock it up in the end of the night, put everything up, put it back and that was going to be, I don’t wanna say easy money, but it was going to be good money. And then like, a week, just the Friday before, you know, is when they shut it down. So that was that was so heartbreaking. But so we had to shut everything down. But it’s starting to come back up again. But we do want to try different cities.

Sarah Murphy 40:36
Yeah. And different states.

Don Branzuela 40:38
Different states. We got I got a little some ideas for that, too.

Sarah Murphy 40:42

Don Branzuela 40:42
Yeah, I just don’t know. Because here’s the thing you know, this like listening to everybody’s post or reading it, every- damn liquor laws! They’re so frickin’- it’s like me here in Texas. Like, I wish I could give more advice on how to do it. But then as soon as I caught, you talk someone in California or even for you.

Sarah Murphy 41:00
That’s right. I can’t talk about

Don Branzuela 41:01
How they do it. Right.

Sarah Murphy 41:02
My first question when they’re asking me, I’m like, have you talked to your ABC? And they’re usually like, No. I’m like, start there.

Don Branzuela 41:09
And then, and then when you talk to them, they probably don’t know what you’re doing.

Sarah Murphy 41:14

Don Branzuela 41:14
You know. Because like, for me, I was telling some, you know, it’s called the TABC here,

Sarah Murphy 41:18
Right, here too.

Don Branzuela 41:18
Yes, 19 years ago, you know what, when they told me, I hit this what I’m doing, and then at some point in there, that guy was like, well, that’s bootlegging, and that’s illegal. Boot-bootlegging? Like, I’m just taking beer to a hou-, you know, to mean, that when I had to\ decide like, okay, these guys don’t know anything,

Sarah Murphy 41:34
Vocabulary is very important. If you don’t fit in their box, they don’t know what to do with you.

Don Branzuela 41:38
No. So if you’re not a bar-

Sarah Murphy 41:40

Don Branzuela 41:40
And even now, Sarah, even now, they don’t, nobody knows until so now we just get so asked for forgiveness than permission, because the answer is always no for them.

Sarah Murphy 41:50
And find a good lawyer. That’s what we dodid

Don Branzuela 41:52
That’s what we did, too. We have a we have our TABC guy, uh that’s the one that we spend the most money on.

Sarah Murphy 41:57
In every city, it’s a worthwhile investment, there’s at least one lawyers who’s dedicated themselves to knowing the liquor laws in that city. If you’re in Nashville, his name is Will Cheek, like he is the- the go-to guy and go to them, literally, they know they have it in with your local ABC board, like you can talk to them. And they will just it’s worth the investment that way you-

Don Branzuela 42:23
Some of them used to work there. That was somebody used to work there for years. Like we had one time, like they just came in randomly at our, at our shop, just to do an inspection at somebody called- competitors call in

Sarah Murphy 42:35
Right, of course

Don Branzuela 42:36
They do that. And so as soon as as soon as it came in, like normally, that would have been like a like heart attack moment. But then afterwards, you’re like, Oh, hey, oh, you have any questions here? Here’s my lawyer. You know, then he looks at the cards is like, Oh. I had a desk with him for for like four years. Good! then you already know how this is gonna go.

Sarah Murphy 42:53
Right. It’s worth the investment. I know that a lot of newbies they hate, they don’t want to call the ABC because they don’t want to, like stir up any and they don’t want to hire a lawyer because it’s expensive. Like I get it just, if you’re serious about this a do it.

Don Branzuela 43:08
Like if you’re gonna drop $20,000 on your trailer already, then drop another x amount on your-

Sarah Murphy 43:12
Two grand.

Don Branzuela 43:13
Right on your- right, and then get one obviously on retainer, you know what, pay them to $1,500-$2,000 up front, because you’re gonna realize like, Okay, this is instead of trying to figure out yourself trying to ask other people, like, for us, it’s always like, Hey, can I do this? Is this illegal.

Sarah Murphy 43:29

Don Branzuela 43:30
Yeah. And then finally, how do I do it? Right?

Sarah Murphy 43:32
Right? Because if you ask me, I’m gonna tell you a general, like, this is generally how it goes. I’m not gonna tell you specifics. And I’m not I’m gonna tell you that call your ABC, I’m gonna give you a little bit of language you can use they know what box to put you in. But even then, you never know who you’re gonna get on the phone. And whether or not they’re gonna give you good advice. Hire a lawyer.

Don Branzuela 43:53
Yeah. But then also out there, everybody. And then this is this might sound like bad advice. Just like everything else. You know it like, don’t, don’t wait too much. Like I said, don’t ask for permission, too much. Just go out there and do it. And especially for us, like, Look, we- we operated under the radar for so long, until we actually got our license. But it had we not, we wouldn’t be here. You know, now. So it was a lot of like

Sarah Murphy 44:15
Sounds like terrible advice.

Don Branzuela 44:16
Yeah. I mean, just seriously. Just do you know what I’m saying? Like, try to do it as lawfully as possible, but at the same time, just do it. Because, you know, like for us, like, how could the TABC like, for us? You know, we came to this conclusion that like, if we’re not even on their radar, you don’t have a license. Let’s just do something we’ll just take care of our client and see what they want. But the same time Let’s meet this not be blatant about it.

Sarah Murphy 44:38

Don Branzuela 44:39
And then let’s, let’s find other solutions to make it look like we’re doing it right. Everything’s legit.

Sarah Murphy 44:44
This is terrible advice

Don Branzuela 44:45
It is.

Sarah Murphy 44:45
To whoever is listening Don’t- don’t ever implement a word that Don’s telling you.

Don Branzuela 44:51
But you know, don’t wait around you know, so go out there don’t like said don’t do things illegally, but at the same time, like don’t be afraid to try things because that’s the only way you learn. And so yeah, that’s awful.

Sarah Murphy 45:02
It was, it was absolutely the worst advice that anyone could give. But at the same time, it’s real. It’s you know, this is the first hand I’ve experienced firsthand account

Don Branzuela 45:11
It is, I know. Whatever risk that you’re willing to take, it’s all about what you’re willing to, you know, to take on. Don’t be like, oh, what do you do this? Well, you know, this guy in Texas told us that we should-.

Sarah Murphy 45:24

Don Branzuela 45:24
No, I didn’t! You know what, like, Look, there’s black and white, there’s right and wrong, and then everything else is in between. So it’s

There’s a whole lot of gray in the world, for sure.

Sarah Murphy 45:34
there’s so much gray, especially in this business and what we do, because there’s that standpoint of like, for me, like, Hey, this is, hey, it’s legal if the client buys it.

Don Branzuela 45:43

And so like, then from there, like, we just kind of like base it off that and then like, how do we make it work to where it looks like the clients buying it?

Sarah Murphy 45:53
Not anymore, though.

Don Branzuela 45:54
No, what do you mean?

Sarah Murphy 45:56
Well, now you have a liquor license.

Don Branzuela 45:57
Oh, yeah. Yeah. Well, you know what

Sarah Murphy 45:59
You don’t do that anymore.

Don Branzuela 46:00
Yeah, actually, we still do.

Sarah Murphy 46:02
Stop it! Okay, this is getting edited out!

Don Branzuela 46:04
Oh, I’m sorry! No, no, no! Like, just in terms of like, so we have like, there’s still different dry counties here. So it’s not like- so it’s really weird. So even though you have a liquor license here, there’s still some places that the client will be like, hey, I want to do this. Like we can’t do that there. But we can do it. If you do this, this and this.

Sarah Murphy 46:23
Okay. Yea, some loopholes.

Don Branzuela 46:23
We got- so yeah, no, we’re not. Oh, yeah. We have loopholes. Yes.

Sarah Murphy 46:26

Don Branzuela 46:26
I’m not- no, no, we’re not doing it. Should’ve prefaced that point earlier, but like I said, yeah, this is

Sarah Murphy 46:33
Glad you cleared that up. Done. You do it 100% within the law. You just know the law well enough.

Don Branzuela 46:38
Right. Know your- yeah, know, know you, know where you’re supposed to go. Just know. Yeah, exactly. And then just how bad. I know. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I feel like I’ve taken up all your time

Sarah Murphy 46:50
No, I could talk to you for hours. And I have talked I know for hours. And it’s always a joy. I maybe I wish Michael could have made a little cameo here.

Don Branzuela 46:59
You know, so Michael, actually, we spent all day we finally finished up. I don’t know if you can see it. So we did our- we finished up our back bar.

Sarah Murphy 47:08
I love it!

Don Branzuela 47:08
And our bar in our conference room. So we put a um, so like, I don’t know if you could see it, like be

Sarah Murphy 47:14
Looks gorgeous. I’ve been looking at it all day.

Don Branzuela 47:17
Things and everything. So we put the wall up, built the back bar and everything. We put the TV up today like Ah, so it’s kind of, you know, so that’s where we spend like a lot of time just building stuff. And everything.

Sarah Murphy 47:30
You’re super busy.

Don Branzuela 47:31
Oh, yeah. And then by the way, thanks again for letting us use your design.

Sarah Murphy 47:34
Oh, yes, of course.

Don Branzuela 47:35
So, so you know what we’re calling it? That- so it’s our HD Magnolia Bar.

Sarah Murphy 47:39
Ah! Oh my god! I love it.

Don Branzuela 47:42
Yeah, so that’s what it-so anything with a wheel on it, it’s gonna be so

Sarah Murphy 47:46
I love that.

Don Branzuela 47:47
I was gonna show you after we got done with it, we still have to finish painting it.

Sarah Murphy 47:50
I’m gonna cry.

Don Branzuela 47:51
So like, every time we’re gonna steal somebody’s design, and I say steal, I mean, like copy and like, you know, because like Rachel Wortmann over a Drive Bar?

Sarah Murphy 47:58
Can we talk about Rachel for a moment?

Don Branzuela 48:00
So her and Ben, like Ben and they are making some awesome stuff. You know how many times- every time they post something, I screenshot it and send it to Mike and Heather. I go, we need to do this. And so I decided we’re just gonna call these our HD Drive Bars, because that’s where we, that’s where we got inspiration from.

Sarah Murphy 48:16
They’re- they are amazing humans in general. But then

Don Branzuela 48:22

Sarah Murphy 48:22
They have such creative minds. All of their designs are gorgeous.

Don Branzuela 48:28
Yeah, I mean, when it comes down to even like her before and after, like, oh, hey here’s our home gym. It’s just like, really, here’s a crappy room and then all of a sudden, oh, hey, this has just been like a little wing of the LA Fitness. Like, I think I think they’re actually charging memberships at their home gym. People come over there to hang out and then for their bar, like you know, like they have a 3D printer because I’ve talked to her. And it’s like, so they do a lot of their stuff. And then even the little camera shot that she she did have her office and we just look at it. Like, you know, we’re like, oh, we hate her. Because we can’t do Yeah, but can’t do it. It’s like it’s just amazing. Like she’s everything that we wish we could be creatively.

Sarah Murphy 49:07
And now she’s a she’s like a planner. And I’m like, if I ever have an event, I’m gonna hire her.

Don Branzuela 49:12
Seriously shout out- Rachel, Drive Bar.

Sarah Murphy 49:15

Don Branzuela 49:15
Out in Omaha, Nebraska,

Sarah Murphy 49:18
@thedrivebar on Instagram.

Don Branzuela 49:20
So they’re really cool. So this has nothing to do with me is that’s what everybody wants. Yeah. And then because like our community is seriously so creative and so good. Like, that’s the only thing like every time I watch I watch something like builds it from the stuff that Tassie’ss doing, but the latest one that she did, and then and then just all the stuff that people are doing, oh my god, like I can’t come up with it. Like my, my trailer bars and my Volkswagen is like the thing that’s lacking the most. I don’t

Sarah Murphy 49:50
No, but-

Don Branzuela 49:50
I can’t

Sarah Murphy 49:51
what’s beautiful about the community is 1. like we all have our strengths and like what you have to offer your business and the community is totally different than what I’m offering, what Rachel’s offering, we all have our- but together, we’re so much stronger, right? Like,

Don Branzuela 50:05
Oh, yeah, I just wish I can now like, ugh! I need to learn that. Just like with Matt, to get him to batch, like, I need to be better, like I need to-

Sarah Murphy 50:14
You will never be Matt. I will never be Matt.

Don Branzuela 50:16
I know.

Sarah Murphy 50:16
Nobody will ever be Matt. Okay,

Don Branzuela 50:19
I’m just like sitting, I still think about all this, like, how does this guy know all this crap? Like, I have? No, there’s no, there’s no room in my brain?

Sarah Murphy 50:29
No, no. Me neither.

Don Branzuela 50:30
All the stuff that he knows. It’s like, ugh, like,

Sarah Murphy 50:32
That’s why we need a Matt. We need a Matt so that we can have access to this information without actually housing it in our brain.

Don Branzuela 50:38
I was like, if I could have everybody here all at once. Like, we would just totally dominate everything if we were all in the same city.

Sarah Murphy 50:45
Oh my gosh, like, that’d be dangerous.

Don Branzuela 50:47
I would just I would just like, you know,

Sarah Murphy 50:49
Sould we, should we be brutal just pick a city. Should we just all like pick a city? And then just like Google it-like, not online, but like, take it over, you know how Google actually named the city after themselves or something.

Don Branzuela 51:01
Yeah. Or, we could just, you know what, we should all just start one big company. And then we all just, like, put all our efforts into Dallas, Nashville, and then every, you know,

Sarah Murphy 51:09

Don Branzuela 51:10
and then and then grow. Yeah. And Ohio. Yeah. And then grow it like that.

Sarah Murphy 51:13
Yeah. Oh my gosh.

Don Branzuela 51:14
So we all just. yeah. Well, three of us will

Sarah Murphy 51:16
Watch out world!

Don Branzuela 51:17
I know, right? This is how little, this is how little seeds get formed. And then next thing, you know, oh, yeah. We talked about this a few years ago. Like, yeah,

Sarah Murphy 51:25
Seed has been planted.

Don Branzuela 51:27
It has, it has been new. I feel like I’ve really taken up most of the time

Sarah Murphy 51:31
This will be officially the longest.

Don Branzuela 51:33
I’m so sorry.

Sarah Murphy 51:34
No, do not apologize.

Don Branzuela 51:35
Oh, my God,

Sarah Murphy 51:36
This may be the most valuable-

Don Branzuela 51:38

Sarah Murphy 51:39
uh, listened to podcast that we’ve ever done.

I doubt it.

No. I don’t, I don’t doubt it at all. But

Don Branzuela 51:46
Don’t try to transcribe this. You know, don’t pay for the transcription on buzzsprout on this because it’ll come out like, it’ll be 1500 dollars!

Sarah Murphy 51:55
Well, actually, now I have a VA

Don Branzuela 51:57

Sarah Murphy 51:57
And her name is Nicole. She’s lovely.

Don Branzuela 52:00
From where?

Sarah Murphy 52:00
And uh, she’s in California, I think? Oh, gosh.

Don Branzuela 52:05
Oh, okay.

Sarah Murphy 52:06
She’s fairly new. But she’s one of the members of MBP.

Don Branzuela 52:08
Oh, nice okay.

Sarah Murphy 52:09
Yeah. And she’s amazing. And she’s doing the transcriptions for the podcast now. So

Don Branzuela 52:14
Well, shout out to Nicole for that! that’s awesome

Sarah Murphy 52:16
And she’ll learn a ton while listening! So

Don Branzuela 52:18
Oh, jeeze. this is gonna be a long one, you might have to just use the one that like I said, that buzzsprout does on this one, because like that one I really love because I take all of my podcasts, and then I make blogs out of them.

Sarah Murphy 52:31
Yeah, absolutely. And that’s that’s obviously the ultimate plan. Because there’s so much value here like yeah, I could write up a blog post with the information. But why not just use the transcript.

Don Branzuela 52:42
But yea, podcast. podcasting. Listen, yeah, you almost have to break this up into two.

Sarah Murphy 52:47
Oh my gosh, that’s a great idea.

Don Branzuela 52:49
Just do one like a the first hour like part one. People can digest it, you know, because we always talk about when we ever we have big things like hey, how do you eat an elephant? And I was like, Yes, one bite at a time.

Sarah Murphy 53:00
One bite at a time. I love it.

Don Branzuela 53:02
So anyway, thank you Sarah. I appreciate it.

Sarah Murphy 53:04
Don, I can’t uh, thank you so much for your time. I can’t wait to meet you-uh, or see you again in person.

Don Branzuela 53:08

Sarah Murphy 53:09
It’s always such a joy. I feel like-

Don Branzuela 53:10
Listen you tell me, okay, tell me when it’s gonna be whatever and then we’ll we meet

Sarah Murphy 53:14
We met once but I feel like we’ve known each other for forever.

Don Branzuela 53:16
You were so you were so super stressed. And see well not, not really stressed but you you had so much on your plate, but you actually

Sarah Murphy 53:22

Don Branzuela 53:23
You were very like duck, you know, like on the on the surface. You know, it’s like you’re smooth up on outside.

Sarah Murphy 53:28
I’ve been in the hospitality industry forever and fucking day, right? Like, you know how to wear that shit. So

Don Branzuela 53:33
I just shifted like, I don’t know what I did. I just like, I just realized, like my positioning on the screen was totally different. So hopefully it wasn’t all that great. But

Sarah Murphy 53:41
Uh, well the video this is definitely going live for sure. I’m going to put it on the YouTube channel that I don’t even have but eventually because it’s golden. People can see my guest bed that I’ve literally not what-it’s over here.

Don Branzuela 53:58
That’s the only reason why I built this like, you know, because we’ve been having so many people asking us to do like zoom calls and like hey mixology classes and like, okay, I can’t make it.

Sarah Murphy 54:06
A barback for sure.

Don Branzuela 54:07
Got to make it look good. Instead of just like this is what we do. That’s right. So today, everybody’s like, Oh, that’s nice. It’s like, Oh, this Yeah, it’s nothing, you know, for a while, you know,

Sarah Murphy 54:17
This is how we roll.

Don Branzuela 54:20
It was cool. I made a margarita class and it was just like, oh, let me grab this. Grab this. this. Everybody come over, hang out. So

Sarah Murphy 54:27
I love it. Well, someday I’m gonna come over and hang out. Maybe I’ll bring-

Don Branzuela 54:30
You should!

Sarah Murphy 54:30
And we can all have drinks.

Don Branzuela 54:32
Absolutely hey, it’s only a 10 hour drive too

Sarah Murphy 54:34
Uh, that’s it?!

Don Branzuela 54:35
I’ve done it, yeah.

Sarah Murphy 54:36
We’ll do it.

Don Branzuela 54:37
That’s about Hey, thank you so much.

Sarah Murphy 54:38
Don, thank you so much.

Don Branzuela 54:40
Have a good night.

Sarah Murphy 54:40
You too.

Don Branzuela 54:40
And then hopefully, one person will listen to this. Actually. You see the one download? That’ll be me okay. So you’ll know.

Sarah Murphy 54:47
No! Literally, I have people all the time. They’re like, Hey, I listen to you right now on the phone or on the podcast. like Oh, are you?

Don Branzuela 54:54
That’s awesome. Yeah,

Sarah Murphy 54:55
It’ll get some listens, Don.

Don Branzuela 54:57
So thank you so much. Hey, be cool. Be safe out there and then

Sarah Murphy 55:00
Absolutely. We’ll talk soon.

Don Branzuela 55:01
Let me know if you ever need anything, let me know. Okay?

Sarah Murphy 55:03
You know it.

Don Branzuela 55:04

Sarah Murphy 55:04
And that wraps up today’s episode, I hope it was valuable. I would love to hear from you what you thought. You can drop me a line at Or find me on Instagram @MobileBevPros. If you’re looking for more valuable mobile bar related content, we have a website full of it. You can find us at And I’d love to see you in our Facebook community, also by the name of- you guessed it! Mobile Bev Pros. Thank you for joining me today. And until next time, cheers!

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