Kevin Lin Wei Tam
Kevin Tam (Born December 31st, 1982) is a Canadian author, bar and restaurant operator, bartender and consultant to the hospitality industry. He is the president of the Tam Organization, a company that specializes in helping operators of bars, restaurants and night clubs increase profits through stringent inventory controls, and unconventional direct marketing.
He is a contributing writer for Night Club and Bar, and Bar Business magazine. In Fall of 2011, he also published his own book, Night Club Marketing Systems - How to Get Customers For Your Bar. He also publishes a printed newsletter, The Night Club Marketing Letter, which is sent every month to his private clients and subscribers world wide. In December of 2012, he was featured in Night Club and Bar as the Bartender of the Month.
He is the son of John and Caroline Tam, and was born and raised in Fort McMurray, Alberta. In 2007, he graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Finance. Before moving to Calgary in 2011 to pursue a career in hospitality, he worked in Edmonton as a technical sales representative of an IT company, and also as a commercial real estate analyst.
Liquor Inventory Control
Kevin is well known for operating a liquor inventory auditing service for restaurant and bar operators called Bevinco. Bevinco rose to prominence in the hospitality industry as one of the first outsourced liquor inventory control solutions bar operators could utilize to minimize shrinkage, and create theft free environments. Kevin and his team of auditors conduct inventory on behalf of bar owners by weighing bottles and kegs, then comparing the usage numbers to sales in order to produce variance reports. These variance reports allow bar operators to manage their staff more effectively and gives them the information they need to minimize their losses from over pouring, theft and scams.
Bevinco became known world wide when it was featured in the reality show Bar Rescue, featuring Night Club and Bar president Jon Taffer. Jon Taffer was known to use the variance reports to confront staff known for stealing, empower owners to take control of their business, and create environments where theft was no longer the norm.
Career and Controversy
Kevin is a polarizing figure in the hospitality industry. In terms of liquor inventory control, he has been accused of dividing staff and owners by creating environments of mistrust and fear. In an article published in a newsletter, Kevin drew criticism from many hospitality operators when stating: "There are no friends in the bar business. Those who understand that concept become successful. Those who do not usually leave the industry with nothing to show for it."
Although this hard line approach to the bar industry has brought him many loyal clients, it has also earned him scores of bitter rivals. Many bartenders have accused him of turning his back on his roots, by operating a business that limits the income of bartenders. Kevin garnered media attention in 2014 when in an interview he accused most night club bartenders of being sociopaths, incapable of moral thought and being comparable to scum. He also stated that theft is not equivalent to true income and the idea of him being a limiter of income to bartenders has its roots in sociopathic thought, comparable to criminal behavior.
He has also drawn the ire of social media consultants and experts, when in an article published in December of 2015 called "A Pox on the Social Media Experts" he denigrated the effectiveness of social media within the night club and bar industry, referring to it as "smoke and mirrors". In his article, he indicated that "most social media people have no first hand experience in night life, and their advertising methods do nothing more than build brand without having a direct response mechanism bar operators can use to measure results". He stated that bar operators are now being deceived into thinking social media is the future, while ignoring traditional, time tested methods of marketing, advertising and guest relations.
He has been labelled a Luddite by many of his detractors in the social media world and has stated that a strong social media presence does nothing more than waste time and fragments focus. He is in favor of utilizing direct mail, fax, the phone, and face to face encounters over most other methods of digital communication, and believes that technology should only be used "as glue to hold a real world relationship together". He also does not have a facebook account and refuses to get one.
Night Club Marketing Systems - How to Get Customers
Kevin is a student and follower of Dan Kennedy, and advocates the use of direct marketing concepts in the Night Club and Bar industry. He believes that failure to understand marketing is the main cause of failure in the business, and most owners do not invest enough time, energy and effort into studying and implementing it.
He is an endorser of the Infusionsoft CRM system, which he uses personally to manage his contacts, and automate his follow up processes. He has stated that a lack of follow up is one of the main reasons why bar operators fail to stimulate repeat visits from guests, and cites customer indifference being one of the main reasons why guests do not return on their own volition. He encourages the use of monthly printed newsletters, personal phone calls and gifts sent in the mail to invite guests down for special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, and personalized follow up to book corporate functions.
Kevin works with a select group of clients who retain him to write copy for their content based marketing and although he does not reveal the identities of his clients, his work can be seen behind the scenes in some of the most successful bars and night clubs in the world.