Nightclub Promoter Says: “No Whales or Hippos Allowed In Club” And Gets Fired

© Al Powers,

I came across this story the other day and thought it was interesting. The screen shots below show a nightclub promoter going back and forth with a guest looking to receive a comp table for a group of girls at Hakkasan nightclub in Las Vegas. Being in the nightlife industry for almost 10 years myself, I was once this kid that is texting this girl. I’d like to say without the shitty, egotistical and rude attitude, but I understand his position and know the repercussions if he doesn’t abide by the “rules” set forth by the management at these nightclubs. I agree that this kid went about it the wrong way and spoke to this girl unprofessionally. I sense standard ego in his messages and I’m not surprised. I was once a promoter in the beginning of my career back in 2005 and also managed 100′s of promoters just like him along the way. They are young, they are thrown in a “professional” field without school or training. They put a suit on, have very little power of being able to say yes or no to put someone on a guest list and their ego goes through the roof. Are they an important factor for the nightclub? Sure. They put the general admission crowd that fills the room into the clubs, but not as high and mighty of a position as they would liked to think. At the end of the day, it’s a hard, constant hustle and respectable job knowing what it takes each day to do the job they do, but there is no excuse to treat people this way.

Ego drives the nightlife industry. It’s an unfortunate truth. These promoters don’t get customer service training often. All they know how to do is drive girls into the club and they will do what they can to do just that. This promoter in the screen shots sets a bad example in the public eye for other promoters that do have great customer service (they do exist), but I wish I could say this isn’t a common attitude among a lot of promoters in the nightlife industry.


Here’s the facts: Promoters do have a job to put decent looking people through the doors. I won’t sit here and lie to you and say they are trying to avoid bigger girls and the not so attractive girls. The promoter that brings in the most and the best looking girls is the promoter these clubs want. Take a look around the next time you go to a mainstream club like Hakkasan. Vast majority of the crowd is good looking. Not all, but a lot. There’s a reason for this. The nightclub industry isn’t meant for real life. It’s a fairy tale world. There’s a science to be obtained by the success of these venues and it’s the facts of the better Vegas nightclub. The clubs with a higher ratio of unattractive people don’t do as well as the ones that do. I am speaking from an angle that knows and understands. Some of you may not. If you attend a C-list club in Vegas, you will find that majority of the crowd is less attractive. I don’t make this stuff up or set the rules. Just speaking facts.

I agree, this kid could of taken a much more professional approach to this situation. I was once a manager for this company and worked for the guy that runs this kid’s department and I can guarantee you this kid has been fired. Gaz, the gentleman that runs his department, doesn’t play with stuff like this which is one of many reasons why I respect the guy.

The unspoken rules are just one of those things where we know the rules, but we don’t talk about it or let the customer know the hidden truth because it’s disrespectful as you can clearly see here as a perfect example. Us industry folk know about the “whale and hippo” rule, but it’s code to not talk about it openly. It’s like knowing your girlfriend is fat and you tell her. It’s rude and not something you’re supposed to do. On the other hand, if you don’t like the rules, don’t go there. It’s that simple.


As I was typing this article here, a friend of mine from the nightlife industry shared this article by the Review Journal. The promoter talked about in this article has been fired. No surprise there. Management did the right thing. There are 1000′s of kids like this in the nightlife industry, unfortunately. I hope this sets an example in the nightlife industry and these type of attitudes start to get real training or get fired.

Promoter gets fired. Read about it here on the Review Journal.

[UPDATE 7-19-14]

Hakkasan released a statement saying they originally fired the kid, but then retracted the statement and then said they temporarily suspended him till further investigation.

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