It seems like the longest time I have been hearing and viewing peoples complaints regarding the Double Ladies Drink. I have heard and seen various people complaining about them calling them a scam, a rip-off, a con and a variety of other names, however the fact is, the double ladies drinks are proliferating throughout the bars, even in some Perimeter Road bars, many customers are buying them without complaint and it seems like they are here to stay.
Some have claimed double ladies drinks represent the changing face of the new Angeles and to some extent they are right. The double ladies drinks are indicative of a more commercialistic attitude from the bar owners, a more businesslike attitude from the girls and the fact that they are being purchased with such frequency clearly shows there is a wealthier breed of customers visiting AC who are less conscious of the amount they are spending or how they spend it.
For me the double ladies drink has always been paradoxical as I see both disadvantages and advantages to them depending on which hat I am wearing be it the bar managers hat or the bar customer hat. As a bar manager I see definite advantages for the bar and its personnel and when considering them I always find myself thinking back to a conversation I had with the then manager of Blue Nile Executive bar when he said “ the one customer who complains about double ladies drinks is more than made up for by the 20 customers who buy them all night long without so much as a single negative comment”. Viewing them from the customer stand point I dislike them and see them at best as a waste of money and at worst a blatant rip off.
In this article I will look at the development of the double ladies drink and examine how it started and how it became so common place. I will also outline some of the advantages that are normally overlooked as well as reiterating the commonly discussed bad points. At the end of the day I hope to give readers both sides of the double ladies drinks debate as well as giving them some new points to consider together with some light hearted entertainment as well.
The double ladies drink first came to prominence in approximately 2003 under the well known mamasan of Neros Mummy Perla. They had been in existence before her but she was the first to introduce them and bring them to prominence in a mainstream Fields Avenue bar. At the time Perla had strong customer base of Korean and Taiwanese clientele all of whom would buy Perla a drink in return for her introducing them to a girl. Invariably these drinks were non alcoholic and were charged at double the price of normal ladies drink. It wasn’t long before the girls working in Neros realized the benefits of double ladies drinks this being a double commission and very soon the practice was established throughout the Blue Nile group of bars especially the Executive which was a high end bar and supposedly attracting a more affluent clientele. In fairness to Perla her rational for the double price tag was based on the quantity of the drink. When she would order a coke they would use a can of coke which holds enough liquid to fill two of the ladies drink glasses therefore her logic was the customer is in effect buying me two ladies drinks in one. For the customer this logic is clearly flawed since he only ordered one drink and is expecting to be charged for only one, however, I can also see the Filipino mind set this being that the amount of liquid contained in the can or bottle is enough to make two drinks so why not charge accordingly.
Perlas habit of getting double priced ladies drinks was a genuine double edged sword. On the upside it would gain increased sales for the bar in the short term and it would enable her and the girls to earn more money in the form of commission. On the downside it would also cost the bar money because it would cause disgruntled customers who would vote with their feet and take their business elsewhere. Also Perla would have various little scams going such as when she ordered a drink, lets say a coke, the customer would be charged for a double and yet she would only have one glass of coke saving the other half of the can for the next customer who bought her a drink. In effect this meant one can of coke was the equivalent of purchasing 4 ladies drinks. And here’s the twist. Every time a customer would order her a drink this meant a new can of coke even though her drink was poured from the already open can. At the end of the night Perla would often have cans of coke that had been put aside for her and she would then take them home no doubt to resell them at a reduced price. Some may see this as stealing however technically speaking the drinks had already been paid for by the customers so therefore in her mind she was entitled to take them home and do with them as she wished.
Mummy Perla who is credited with bringing the Double Ladies Drink to prominence in the mainstream Fields Avenue bars.
The amount of liquid in the can or bottle justifying the double price tag was soon applied to the dancers as well. Somewhere along the line someone figured out a bottle of San Miguel light if used together with ice could fill two ladies drink glasses so as a result they could charge for two drinks rather than one. A dedicated beer drinker would cringe at the thought of putting ice with the beer but for Filipinos this is common practice and totally natural. Generally speaking they do not drink beer for the taste but rather as a refreshment or simply for the effect of the alcohol contained within it. As such it was simply an extension of this logic to drink beer in the bar utilizing ice and therefore being able to make two glasses full out of one bottle which in turn led to the double price tag.
The alcohol content of beer also acted as a sort of justification for charging double. On many occasions I have heard the waitress or bar staff claim “ she ordered San Miguel Light sir” as if this automatically justifies the double charge. The logic here is that by drinking San Miguel Light the girl is going to get drunk and will therefore be unproductive for herself and the bar so as a result the bar is somehow justified in charging double which acts as a sort of compensation for the loss of her productivity. This is what I loosely refer to as the quick kill mentality and it is very common in Filipino culture. As a customer I expect to pay more for the privilege of getting a girl drunk however the alcohol content does not justify charging double. If I am being charged for alcohol then the price of Gin and Tonic or Rum and Coke should also be significantly higher when they are purchased as ladies drinks and yet in all bars they are only charged as singles.
Seems like all the hot ones go for the SML option these days.
Believe it or not there are a number of positive aspects to the double ladies drink and it is my intention to outline some of them here. My ex boss in Makati used to justify the high price of ladies drinks there by saying “Martin you are not really buying a drink you are buying her time” and this logic was applied to AC when a friend of mine and regular AC customer said “Martin I don’t mind the double ladies drink. I nearly always buy two or three ladies drinks if I am interested in the girl and by buying a double the drink lasts longer resulting in me having more of the girls time”. I thought this was an interesting argument so I sat and studied the girls who were ordering double ladies drinks and in most cases he was certainly correct the double ladies drink took just as long as two single ladies drinks to consume.
In terms of the bars operational aspects the double ladies drink helps it operate more productively. On many occasions I have seen girls “milk” ladies drinks simply because they do not want to dance but when they do this with a double ladies drink they are at least still making money for themselves and the bar whereas when they do this with a single ladies drink they are making less money for themselves and the bar. The double ladies drink increases the profitability of the bar and at the same time allows the girl to get a larger commission. This is important because at the end of a day the bars are a business and if we as customers are to enjoy their continued existence they need to make a profit. It is also important that the girls make money because this in turn will encourage more girls to come and work in the bars which of course is beneficial for us as customers. Lastly the more money the girls make the more they will spend which in turn supports the local economy and infrastructure that surrounds the bars.
The single LD is ideal when initially interviewing prospective dates.
I recently had a customer say to me that he really enjoys buying the double ladies drink but he insists that the drink must be Gatorade. When I heard him say this I looked at him with surprise written all over my face and I asked him “why Gatorade I thought you would buy them beer” to which he replied, “no Gatorade is much more effective. Tell me Martin have you ever seen a Filipina who can drink three Gatorades in a row”. I thought about this and I then realized I have only seen a few full grown men who could drink 3 Gatorades in a row let alone a smaller framed Filipina. The point here was that the double ladies drink provided this customer with an opportunity to play games with the girl and have some fun.
Gatorade is often charged as a double ladies drink. I guess this is because one bottle can make at least two separate drinks.
A lot of customers like to get the girls intoxicated thinking that this will lessen the social barriers between them and the girls and here again the double ladies drink comes in handy. The girls knowing they will get a double commission from the drink will play along with the game as well because of the double commission. If your aim is to get the girl a little drunk and lessen her inhibitions then I would recommend the vodka cruiser. This is charged as a double ladies drink and it is sweet and easily consumable even though it is 5% alcohol which is stronger than most beers. As a result the girls can drink it quickly without realizing its strength. Many guys view the Vodka Cruiser as a rip off because in terms of volume it does not equal two glasses full of drink however for a customer such as myself who likes the girls to get slightly drunk and looser the Vodka Cruiser is an excellent means to an end and I have no problem purchasing them providing they drink them in their entirety.
The infamous vodka cruisers. Despite the fact that these are only a small volume they are quite powerful and get the girls drunk. They also cost the bar more to purchase.
The bottom line for the both the customers and the girls is more often than not money and by purchasing a double ladies drink you are demonstrating that not only do you have money but also that you are not afraid to spend it. A girl working the bar soon learns the importance of money and she soon learns how to read the signs telling her whether the customer has money and is prepared to spend it. By buying a double ladies drink the girl will often interpret this as a signal you have money and are willing to spend it.
There are a number of negative aspects to the double ladies drink but the one that is most vigorously voiced is that it is a scam or a rip off. Customers call it a scam for a number of reasons not the least of which is that the cost of a ladies drink is advertised as that of a single drink and not a double. This argument states that if the customer is charged for a double then he should be made aware of its existence either by some sort of signage or at least by the waitress telling him. Many guys have said they don’t mind the double ladies drink as long as they are informed prior to purchasing it. A second argument against the double ladies drinks states that if they are going to pay the prices of two drinks for the girl then the girl should receive two drinks not just one. In my opinion this is a valid argument unless of course the customer has been informed of the double ladies drink price and has been given the chance to order a single ladies drink only. And this is where a third problem occurs because due to limited English and a lack of training the waitresses are often vague as to the exact cost of the double. They will tell customers “ she ordered San Miguel Light sir is that ok or sir that is a double is that ok with you”. Vague lines such as this are not fully informing the customer what is happening prior to purchasing. When it comes to this situation it is verging on deception.
One of the biggest problems regarding the double ladies drinks is that it represents an easy way for the girl to make money and therefore can act as a disincentive for her to go out with the customer. An attractive girl working the bar these days can make a good nights earnings just by getting the commission from double ladies drinks and as such has no incentive to go out with the customer. The term “drink sluts” has been coined to describe this situation. When it comes to the drink slut scenario the double ladies drinks is in fact empowering the girls which for the customers can be either a good thing or a bad thing depending upon your perspective.
One costumer being overwhelmed by drink sluts..
The time factor which as I have explained earlier in this article which has positive connotations for some customers can also have negative connotations for others. For example many of the harder core mongerers do not want to waste to much time chatting up the girl by using a double ladies drink. They want to conduct the interview quickly and efficiently with minimum fuss and at minimum expense. Since the double ladies drink takes longer for the girl to consume this then extends the so called interview time and it is more expensive.
The classic example of the hard core mongerer. They like to cut the interview short and not waste time buying double ladies drinks.
On a personal level one objection I have to the double ladies drink is that as it becomes more and more widespread it will become the norm which in effect is merely raising the prices making the mongering experience more and more expensive. I can see in the near future a situation in the major Fields Avenue bars where the single priced ladies drink will become a thing of the past and all ladies drinks will be doubles. So far competition has kept this from becoming the case but every year as operating costs rise it gets harder and harder for the owners to keep the prices down and the double ladies drink is a tempting partial solution to maintaining the bars profitability.
As I hope this article has demonstrated there are several sides to the double ladies drink debate but one thing is for sure, like them or hate them it would seem they are proliferating and it would seem are here to stay. It would also seem they are destined to become a standard in the Fields Avenue bars which will possibly replace the single ladies drink. Currently the majority of Perimeter Road bars do not have double LD’s but as the economic pressures come to bear it is my prediction they will be forced to slowly adopt them.