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Casino City Press Business Profile: Bar Maid Corporation

17 June 2021

It’s safe to say that Bar Maid Corporation has always prided itself on being ahead of the curve.

Casino City spoke with Bob Joesel about the evolution of Bar Maid.

Casino City spoke with Bob Joesel about the evolution of Bar Maid.

Whether it was way back in 1961 when it first introduced a five brush Electric Glass Washing Machine as the “World’s Most Efficient Glass Washer,” or nearly six decades later when the company quickly and shrewdly began offering new products at the forefront of a never-seen-before pandemic, innovation and adaptability have become traits that Bar Maid is renowned for.

Bob Joesel, Bar Maid’s Sales and Development Manager, has been with the Florida-based company for 16 years and has worked in the food service industry his entire life. Casino City spoke with Joesel about the evolution of Bar Maid, how the food and beverage industry has adjusted to COVID-19, and where the inspiration came from the company’s newest offering, the CHIP CHAMPION Casino Chip Cleaning System.

In 1961, Bar Maid introduced the first five brush Electric Glass Washing Machine as the “World’s Most Efficient Glass Washer.”

Today, the company is still going strong offering an array of industry products and bar necessities, including the KP Cart and KP Dolly for easy moving of heavy beer kegs or trash cans, one and three horsepower bar blenders, Fly-Bye products to help combat fruit flies, and a commercial glass polisher.

How has Bar Maid managed to stand the test of time?

You build a company three ways. By buying out competitors, taking competitors’ customers, or adding new products. Bar Maid has grown through each of these methods, but the key has always been providing quality and reliability with unmatched customer service.

Please tell us more about your background and where the inspiration came for Bar Maid.

I have always been involved in food service. From bartender, restaurant owner, dealer sales representative, food service manufacturer owner to sales manager at Bar Maid. We say in our industry, “once you’re in food service you never leave.”

It’s a great industry with ever-changing challenges and Bar Maid has certainly provided opportunities within the industry and now in the gaming industry.

How have you gone about carving out a niche in the casino/gaming industry?

Our traditional distribution channels have been a challenge for Bar Maid to enter the gaming end of casinos. Every sale to the gaming industry has been generated within from “panning” for contacts and pushing our traditional food service dealers into other areas they’re not traditionally used to calling on.

We are still building our niche, but coming from outside the industry has allowed us to look at Chip Cleaning and Sanitizing from a completely different prospective, solving the problem with faster, more effective technology. The experience has been fun and the recognition is growing in the industry.

The entire casino/gaming industry was affected adversely by COVID-19, but Bar Maid quickly started to offer new products that assisted businesses with pandemic conditions, including the CHIP CHAMPION Casino Chip Cleaning System. Where did this idea come from?

The idea actually was generated from Paul in our office who is an avid card player and who has experienced first-hand the kind of thing we're trying to help the industry fix. Dirt and germs on casino chips handled regularly by patrons and casino employees has been a problem for a long time. COVID-19 has encouraged casinos to fix the problem once and for all.

As mentioned above, it’s been a challenge introducing (CHIP CHAMPIONS) to the gaming industry because of our existing channels. Those that have bought it have all said it does everything we promised. It provides clean, sanitized chips at a rate of 150-plus chips a minute, with one person operation.

What other adjustments did Bar Maid have to make in response to the pandemic?

We worked closely with our customer base to lower their inventory and save shipping charges. As a manufacturer and distributor of sanitizing products, we made sure we had the items needed for the challenges at hand. As we come out (of the pandemic) we’re well prepared to continue to service our customers at the same level as pre-pandemic.

What do you think the casino F&B industry will look like one year from now?

Obviously buffets are adjusting in different ways. Observing a server removing water spots from a glass or flatware using the “hand on rag method” isn’t acceptable anymore. Water spots on glassware and flatware can give an unsanitary impression. Bar Maid stands ready to help them conquer these tasks in a much more sanitary and labor savings way.

What’s next for Bar Maid for the final half of 2021?

Bar Maid has always been very innovative. We’re launching a new compact portable Glass Polisher with a smaller footprint for behind the bar, a new cutlery polisher for smaller areas, and a new EPA registered tablet form sanitizer/disinfectant designed to help eliminate COVID-19.
The casino industry has, so far, been very welcoming to Bar Maid Corporation and we look forward to working with more casinos in the back half of the year.

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