Dave Forman had a whopping two weeks of experience in bartending when he decided to launch his own professional bartending service, PourMasters, in January 1992.
He had been working in management and sales, but after taking a two-week course in bartending, Forman was hooked. “Bartending seemed like a fun, great job,” says Forman, a native of Michigan. “I’m a people-person, and I just had a blast.”
PourMasters provides clients with bartenders and portable bars. The service also provides the actual beverages, including the alcohol, sodas and mixers. Bartenders employed by PourMasters must be familiar with Arizona alcohol laws and certified with the proper credentials.
Forman started PourMasters with two friends in the Valley, but by the end of the first month, the partnership dissolved. This left Forman alone to handle the challenges that come with starting a new business.
“One challenge I experienced early on was learning what clients want from a bartending service in the first place. The biggest challenge, though, was hiring bartenders with the right personality.”
Another challenge Forman faced — and he was not alone — was the 2008 recession. Luckily, Forman had built a strong relationship with catering businesses in Arizona, and that helped him to stay afloat. “I’m proud of staying in business for this long in this economy,” he said.
As for the future, Forman says he hopes to expand into other cities, and maybe even write a book about his experiences.
He has this advice for other small business owners: “If you’re not having fun, find something else to do because if you’re not having fun, it’s just not worth it.”