Thursday, 26 November 2009
Monday, 23 November 2009
What has happened to the traditional christmas song that gets released and is No1 for christmas? Every year its been someone from the crap factor, i think the last real christmas song was released by The Darkness - christmas time (don't let the bells end) in 2003 but my nephew showed me a christmas song that The Killers released last year in america for charity which i think should be released here and may teach the little boys and girls to be good or you may end up with this santa which is in the video, anyway here's a link to the video.
YO-HO-HO everybody or is it BAH HUMBUG? LOL
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Well i arrived at Manchester airport to a frenzy of paparazzi attention and reporters "please no photographs or interviews, i will give a press release when i arrive on Zakynthos for my summer season", I was mistaken, they were there for Cannon & Ball who were doing a summer season in Blackpool. On arrival to Zakynthos i was amazed at the quiet surroundings that greeted me, something wasn't right. I took a walk to my bar and could here a strange noise that i hadn't heard since i was on Jurrasic park. Each step took me closer to the noise and there in front of me was a Tyrannosaurus Rex trying to uproot my Oceanic sign, this called for quick thinking. I called upon a power that i had resisted using many times "By the power of grey skull, I HAVE THE POWER!" A mighty battle followed with a somersault here and a roley poley there i faught with all my strength but the T-Rex was getting the better of me this called for drastic measures "Thunder, thunder, thunder, THUNDERCATS, HO!" my sword grew and grew so i could strike at distance then when i had weakened the powerful T-Rex with a swish and a slash i plunged my sword up through its jaw till it fell lifeless on the patio of Oceanic.
Sorry that didn't happen that was fictional, but here is the factual review with a recap from January for my new blog readers.
I set up this blog as a true funny diary of my life on the island for my family and friends to keep up with what i'm doing but due to finding out i have many readers in the UK and on the island i now keep it going all year round and try to update it as often as possible. If there is any readers in the UK or business owners on the island that take offence to my way of writing then i apologise and i am more than happy for them to come and talk to me about it in Greece or in the UK or i'll go to see them as its not meant to offend anyone, i just write it as it is with no frills or exaggeration about how my bar is doing, if people don't like it there is an easy solution, DON'T READ IT! HAHA. But i will continue to write it.
Ok so here we are back in the Uk where its rained at some point every day since i got back and i'm back at my winter job as a merchandiser for the worlds largest toy store which i have been working for now for 9 years till Dec 24th.
At the start of 2009 in January i applied for 56 jobs in a month, i get bored you see as i work nearly everyday from mid April till end of Dec so when i'm doing nothing i go crazy. In February i took up 2 jobs one as a janitor in Tesco's during the day and the other as a DJ/barman in a rock club at night, both jobs i really enjoyed, as long as i'm working i'm happy and i'm not afraid to get my hands dirty, also you never know how long you'll have your job these days what with businesses going broke in the UK and everywhere needs a janitor so i'm better qualified now than most people LOL.
I stayed with these jobs till end of April and flew to Zakynthos in may, on arrival there was still signs of damage from the tornados that struck during the winter but the Oceanic was standing stronge even though it was one of the first buildings in Kalamaki. I stepped in to the bar and felt like i was finally home only to find that my menus, plastic ice cubes, zippo lighter and adjustable spanner had been stolen from where my doors were forced open during winter, this wasn't a big problem as i now use mineral water ice cubes, had new menus ready for season 2009, don't smoke and spanners are dirt cheap. Within 14 hours of landing my bar was ready for opening. From the 4th day of opening i was up and running fully and hitting my targets which i had set in a business plan for the season, OH YES, its not just open the bar and away i go, i work out a business plan every season with stats taken from previous seasons and realistic views on tourism. Here is what i mean by my stats i take and work around.
This season i was open for 168 nights and was full at some point during the night for 142 of those nights with 31 of those nights having to borrow extra seating as i had run out, i may be full at 8pm, another night 10pm, the next 11pm but no where is full from doors open to doors close thats just not realistic. With a resort that when full is said to hold 4000 tourists in all (so i was told) at any one time, my bar has 40 seats so that means i only need 1% of the resort to be full so that leaves 3960 tourist for the rest of the resort, so with there being 24 other bars open this season (this does not include hotels and restaurants with bars) this leaves 165 tourists per bar, now i know it was a very quiet season for Kalamaki so lets say it was half full 2000 tourists at any one time that still leaves 81 tourists per bar, see i'm a bit of a swat when it comes to business stats but again thats just tourists per bar i do know that a few just drink in their hotels or restaurants but most visit the bars.
The most popular cocktail of this season has to be one of my own creations the "Lemon Cheesecake cocktail" this cocktail takes 24 hours to prepare and i was amazed that so many were ordered in advanced and no i don't take a pre-payment i trust my customers 100%.
Again my Haribo gummy alcohol sweets went down very easy and with a few they have now started making them at home which is great that my customers are taken something away from my bar to use.
All my customers again were great, every night was a joy to work and really fun. When i set up this bar i didn't have any idea how popular it would become but i think thats down to the fact that people like to chat and have a laugh and thats exactly what you get with Oceanic, its a social chill out bar with only the best quality spirits used in every drink made at a very reasonable price for the size measures you get. I'm not trying to be greedy wanting lots of money and material things, i'm not in to flash cars or bikes or designer clothes and bling, in fact the 3 motorbikes i've bought come to as much as one half decent bike they were that cheap, all i set out to do was make enough to pay my bills and have food in my cupboard at home as its the lifestyle i like, the sun, pools, beaches and most of all the beauty of the island outside of the resorts.
This season it was nice to see 50% of my customers were first time visitors to Oceanic and 20% were first time visitors to the island with all saying they'd come back next season which is great for Kalamaki so lets hope the £ goes up to the € and the tour companies are reasonable with holiday prices. There has been lots of talk about the budget airlines but again before we all go getting to excited this will only bring another 480 seats which doesn't mean an extra 480 new tourists to the island and after every 20 seats are sold the price increases so yes the first few are dirt cheap but then the price rises. I checked prices with Easyjet and Thomson to fly to Corfu last week of Oct Easyjet was £168 for a weeks return Thomson was £98 for same day flight, same airport and same duration so it is all a matter of checking around every day. I remember in 2005 i bought my flight to Athens one way with Easyjet and it was £80, 2 weeks later it was £220. So we'll wait to see how this pans out in 2010.
This season also saw alot of businesses struggle and some even close which is an awful thing to see and i sympathize with the families that were running the businesses as its never nice to see a business close down also its better to have a lively vibrant resort than one full of empty units.
Towards the end of the season i was still hitting target even up to my final night and like the 2 seasons previous in the last week i only opened 8-midnight to give myself a little holiday and time to visit my friends who own bars in the resort and have a drink with them as they were always closed by the time i closed my bar during the season due to most nights closing 3.30am and at the latest 7am, that was a heavy night so thanks Dez.
All season it was an amazing season and by the end my season was 30% better than 2008 and 2007, as before i am realistic and success never lasts forever in this business which i've been in for 25 years now but i take it a day at a time and enjoy each day as it comes as you never know whats going to happen the next day.
Also this season i have been very involved with Tripadvisor website where i have been named an expert for the island along with Lyndylou and Kazpuk, over 2 seasons i have answered 2084 tourists questions with advice about Zakynthos also it doesn't harm getting a few extra visitors to my bar from the site haha, but i'm not allowed to advertise blatantly so i don't but i do get asked where my bar is which i am allowed to answer and use this blog as a link to advice which i am also allowed to do but which i can't post on the site itself, now i'm not doing anything that any other business owner can't do but the difference is i choose to do it and give up a few hours of my day for free to try to help tourism to the island.
On another matter at the end of the season it all got a bit childish on a certain website and facebook with regards to my bar and myself, i'm not on a certain website and i don't have a facebook account anymore (well i just opened one for 5 mins to post on oceanic facebook page) but i was told of what was said and i'll say this to these people, there a more importnat things in life to get on with than bad mouthing me and my bar from behind your keyboard and if there isn't then i feel sorry for you. They seem to think that i think of myself as lord high almighty but if you've read my blog properly or met me you'll see i never take myself serious and make a joke of my appearance, but saying that i did have stigmata once.....sorry i've just been corrected it was taramasalata.
So in a nutshell thats it so far for 2009, don't forget the Oceanic Awards in February and also there is a Oceanic tour in Feb, March and April where i may be staying in a town near you so far on the tour list is Dublin, York, London, Blackpool and the south west (not sure where yet) dates TBA but basically i'll let you know where i am and the date and if you want to meet up for a drink then thats cool the more the merrier i say, we can sit outdoors on a sofa and reminisce on the nights in Oceanic while it rains and we freeze to death LOL. I'll be staying from a Fri-Mon so the Sat of that weekend i'm there will be the night out.
I'd like to thank every customer old and new for visiting and making season 2009 through the roof, also thank you for all the presents, cards and e-mails for my birthday it was very kind of you. Also a big big thank you for all the food parcels brought out to me, my cholesterol is now sky high due to all the black pudding mmmmm lovely.
This has now just taken me 2 hours to type out due to not wanting to offend anyone hehe!
TH-TH TH-TH THATS ALL FOLKS! (for now anyway)