Good news on the movie front. It appears Alamo Drafthouse is getting closer to opening, as it is now hiring. Founded in Austin in 1997, Alamo Drafthouse offers dinner, drinks and movies all under one roof, but in a quirky culture that is like no other movie-going experience. They also famously adhere to a strict etiquette policy that sometimes pisses people off, about which they don't care.
For now all you need to know about the job is this: Enter a waitress. Leave a badass.
I spoke with Bryan Penley, director of ops (covert? We hope.) at the Alamo Drafthouse about what's expected from the workforce at the quirkiest movie theater in
Texas the galaxy.
How does one make the transition from a docile waitress to a post-apocalyptic badass? That [video] is really about showing our culture as a company. We have a lot of fun. And if you're effective as a server, you'll be a badass.
Alamo Drafhouse has a wonderfully stringent rule about cell phones. Can any server, hostess or spare hand enforce that rule? Yes, all of our staff are empowered to enforce that rule.
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What happens when things get tense about cell phones? Are body slams ever necessary? To be perfectly honest, things can get tense. If the person is mature and they can respect what we're saying, then it's not a big deal. But if they're hostile or defensive because they're all of a sudden the most unpopular person in the room, then things can definitely get tense.
I can't believe my mom has never been thrown out of one of your theaters in Austin. Nana can't ignore her phone. It's so inappropriate. Will you give Big D time to adjust to the new policy? We're not aggressive with the rule in those terms. It's not a zero-tolerance policy. We're really here to make guests happy. There are plenty of warnings, both verbally and on the screen before the movie starts.
How many pieces of flair do servers need to wear? There's no requirement for flair, however, flair is allowed. The uniforms are pretty laid-back, just enough to differentiate the staff from everyone else. But we really want personalities. It's our culture that separates us from our competitors. Mainly we're looking for passionate and excited people.
Any local products behind the bar or on the menu? We are a neighborhood theater, and the D/FW craft beer scene is hot right now. A good number of our drafts are local craft beers. And we look for local vendors for ice cream, coffees and teas. And later on when we have some culinary events, we'll try to use as many local and sustainable sources or farms as possible.