It hasn't slipped by us that you are as excited about Hub Town opening as we are!
There isn't a day that goes by that we don't hear from one of you wondering when the heck we will finally start hiring...and believe me, if I could hire all you go-getters I would!
But of course we can't hire everyone...so I thought I would create this post so that you could see for yourself if you are the right fit for the culture and crew we are building and if WE are a good fit for you! And if you are good for us and we are good for you, this BLOG is where you will find out exactly who we are looking for and how to get to the top of our hiring list!
Maybe I should start with telling you what roles we will be hiring for early on so you don’t waste your entire day reading this lengthy BLOG just to find out your skills aren’t even being sought yet!
Part-time server(s) – we will likely hire a few part time servers for up to 20 hrs per week. This will be someone that can work evenings and/or weekends (not exclusively) and just wants a handful of hours per week.
Assistant Brewer/Brewing Intern – this will be someone in school (Olds College Brewing School) that wants some brewing experience on their resume. Could it lead to more…of course, but for now it's an internship.
So no, we don’t have a huge collection of jobs to offer just yet. As a start-up, Mark and I will be onsite and wearing every hat possible (as we always seem to do) until we see exactly how many people we need to run a successful brewery!
Now, if you've ever been to a brewery (and if you’re applying I sincerely hope you have), you know that things are done differently than in a bar, nightclub and even a pub in comparison to a brewery…like closing earlier...and Hub Town will be no different.
This is for a couple of reasons...
1) Our licensing restricts us from being open longer than the contracted local restaurants providing delivery service to the brewery. Once the food stops, the beer has to stop too;
2) Brewery patrons are well known for grabbing a pint or two during the day, at lunch, after work or even a little later on the weekends and then taking a growler of beer home with them. But staying far into the night is not the typical brewery modus operandi. That’s not to say we won’t see a collection of people wanting to stay as long as possible…and we get that! We just know in general, brewery patrons are a more gentle crowd who are in it for the Quality Time vs Quantity time. But don't worry...we won't be pushing anyone out the door if you want to stay a while longer...we know how frustrating it is to find a place you enjoy just to have it "closed" when you want it.
As it stands today and based on the food contract we have with a local restaurant, our licensing allows us to be opening the following hours (which are subject to change should another local fooderie get on contract with us of course):
- Monday - Thursday and Sunday: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
- Friday and Saturday: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
- EVENTS: TBD
So...if you're hoping to work for a place that is open into the wee hours of the night...we may not be your best choice. Silver lining of course is that if you work with us, you will still have some of the night left after your shift, to go hang out at some of the other awesome places Okotoks has to offer like John Henry's pub (Tom's House of Pizza) where they already have one of our beers on tap!
Another thing you'll notice with breweries is that your server loves and knows about beer! And if they don’t…well…that’s like asking a vegetarian sell you a wagyu steak…it’s not that they CAN’T sell it (and I’m sure some would be absolutely incredible at selling it), but how authentic can they be if they are morally or dietarily (I think I just made up a word) against the idea of steak right? Now, I can’t hire you based on your love or hate of anything, but to us authenticity is everything, and the best employee is the one who is passionate about their product. They are the ones who will make our patron’s visit to Hub Town a memorable experience…not just a beer. So keep in mind when throwing your resume into the ring, that your passion for our product is extremely important to us because in our eyes, the experience is AS important as the product…
Are you asking yourself yet what I meant when I said, “your server knows about beer?”
I don’t mean do you know what that bubbly yellow stuff with the big foamy head on top is. What I mean is, do you know there are MANY different beer styles that have MANY different flavour profiles? Do you know what beer is made of, how it’s made or how it should be served? Do you know how to clean a beer glass and why it is SO important to the taste and presentation of an incredible beer?
Do you need to know all of this to serve a beer? No. Do we want you to know all of this and more? Absolutely.
Let’s get back onto the “experience” stage…yes we plan to have incredible beers for our patrons to enjoy, that is a given and we are working very hard at that. The reality however is that even the BEST beer can taste mediocre when served by someone that can’t or is uninterested in helping patrons choose the best option on their first ever visit…or even on their tenth visit when a new and innovative beer goes on tap that they’ve never heard of before.
It wasn’t that long ago that I was told that the hefeweizen (a very light, wheat beer that tastes “sweet” with its banana and clove character) I was ordering was “very hoppy”…which was just not true. It wasn’t a lie either…it was simply a mistake made by a server that hadn’t been trained in or likely even tasted the product they were selling. That is a mistake we want to avoid at all costs, so if you are certified as a CICERONE SERVER (https://www.cicerone.org/us-en/certifications/certified-beer-server ) you can expect your resume to hit the VERY top of our list!
Now all of that said, here's the thing...if you love beer but aren't SUPER knowledgeable about it, that's ok...so long as you want to learn. We have all been "newbies" at one time or another and when you go into your first brewery and have 6-12 different beer taps in front of you, picking one can be daunting! So much so that a lot of people avoid ever entering a brewery so they don’t feel dumb about not knowing what to pick.
Mark often tells the story about HIS first experience in a brewery...have you ever been to Brewsters? Waaaaaaaaaay back when Mark first went into a Brewsters in Calgary, he ordered a Guinness. Do you know why that is a “funny” thing to do? Because Brewsters has many, many taps of their own brewed beer and definitely does not serve Guinness. But if you don't know what a brewery is all about (like him that day) then you wouldn't know NOT to ask for a Guinness.
Our job…and yours if you choose it, is to make sure that when our customers come in for the first time, they don't feel like they have to know everything about everything to just order a beer. We want them to come up to the counter and ask us for a Guinness…from which you, our knowledgeable staff will gently reply, “no but we do have our Stoneheart Stout, which is an Irish Stout much like Guinness, only under carbonation rather than nitrogen. Want to give that a try?” No harm, no foul…just a simple and easy exchange that leaves our patron with a beer in hand, much like what they were looking for and feeling “good” about the choice.
Mark and I are beer nerds for sure but of course we weren’t always, and when I think back to why I first turned-on to craft beer, it was the experience and then it was the flavour. I tried a number of “weird to me” styles and didn’t really like ALL of them, but it was fun and an experience I wanted to repeat because our server was kind and patient…and helped us find our way!
Which brings me to the next incredibly important quality we are seeking out in our staff…you are kind.
KIND you ask?! Yup…can you feel compassion for others?
My kids often make fun of me because they will come home from school on occasion and tell me how “terrible” some kid was being that day and my response is always, “Why do you think they behaved that way? What do you think their story is?” And that’s when my kids say, “mom, can’t anyone just be mean!?” To which I say…”I don’t think it’s ever that simple.” Now…I’m not excusing or condoning bad behavior and of course we address all the crap that we’re all exposed to…but I know there’s always more to the story than is sitting in front of us. And the ability to see that, is what we are looking for.
You might be thinking, “I’m just going to be serving a beer...why is this getting so deep?”
It’s getting so deep because we grew up in the “Cheers” generation where a group of misfits felt like they were “home” when they walked into their local pub. That is how we want Hub Town to feel…like everyone belongs. And that is only possible with staff that understands and respects the importance of that feeling. So please don’t send us a photo with your resume (yes that is actually a thing)…we don’t care what you look like. You will be hired based on your merit as a human being and your kindness will be evident the first moment we meet.
Ok, I’d be lying if I said being “kind” was the only quality we were looking for! It’s very high on the list…but your ability to handle conflict isn't far behind.
In all the years I’ve been in oil and gas, I’ve faced my fair share of conflict, and learning how to deal with it is incredibly important. What will you do when a customer starts yelling at you because their favourite beer just ran out (write that answer down…it may be an interview question!)? I can remember a very long time ago, before my oil and gas days, when I worked at Superstore as a cashier and a customer took a carton of eggs and ripped it in half (and I don’t mean the ones that do that on purpose). When I told him the eggs can’t be sold that way (because he left the bar code on the other end he left on the shelf) the customer started yelling at me (a 19 year old with no idea what to do) until my manager came over to handle it. The manager gently sorted things out and may not have made a repeat customer, but he didn’t lose his cool either. That type of control over a situation can be one of the most valuable tools in your brewery tool box.
There’s just one more thing (that I can think of right now anyway) that comes to mind as being high on our level of importance…you’re a TALKER!
I don’t know if I’ve ever talked as much as I have since getting into the craft beer industry!! And my mother would tell you, I have talked a LOT in my life. Every teacher in school used to tell her, “Lisa is always talking and socializing in class too much,” but even those days don't compare to how much I talk now, so you’re going to need to have the gift of gab! When we patronize a brewery we always sit at the bar for the first time. We’re open and looking forward to talking to the server to learn more about the beers and just have general conversation with them about the brewery, so we know it’s something others will seek out too! I guess what I'm saying is if you’re a shy butterfly, you may want to reconsider your plan to work in a brewery (as a server anyway).
Well there you have it…if you haven’t noticed, we place the majority of our focus on attitude. You will be representing us and our dream of having a wonderful craft beer family and your attitude is more important than anything else you could bring to the table. Throw in some knowledge and a demonstrated interest in learning more and we have ourselves a winner!!
Oh wait...there is one more thing. Server or brewer...we will need you to be part of our quality team. So be prepared to taste a decent amount of beer in your time with us.
So if you managed to get through this ENTIRE blog and we are still the “fit” you thought we would be and our culture is one you think will make you WANT to come to work each day, start getting that resume ready because we will be asking for it very soon!