UpDown Nightlife had the pleasure of catching up with one of our industry favorites, Ashley Yoder, to help our followers get to know the people serving them so well.
Ashley is a native of Wichita and attended the University of Kansas. It is during her college years that she entered the service industry on a part time basis to earn money while completing an unpaid strength and conditioning internship. What started out as a way to make ends meet, has turned into a career that she enjoys because she is the type of individual that thrives in a fast-paced and challenging environment.
When asked her preference between bartending and bottle service, Ashley responded that she enjoys both, but the latter is where she feels she makes the most impact. Bartending allows her to serve a greater number of people but there is a limit to how quickly and efficiently she can attend to everyone. With bottle service, she feels she is able to sell an experience to the customer. To her, it’s the little details that matter and presentation is everything.
Throughout her years in the industry, Ashley has worked at numerous bars and clubs. Her humble beginnings in Lawrence, KS were much different than the nightclubs in KC that she is currently serving. However, we all know the volume of people in a college bar can be high, especially in a city like Lawrence. So, we must attribute some of Ashley’s skill and efficiency to those early days.
While Ashley’s goal is to one day manage a club on a large scale, possibly in a big city like Los Angeles or Miami, she admits that KC nightlife will always feel like home. She feels the people involved in the nightlife community here are like family and the level of comfortability is hard to match. To her, it’s never been about competition. She sees the importance in the Kansas City nightlife scene succeeding as a whole. In fact, she once relocated to Houston, TX to broaden her experience and brought a lot of ideas back to the Kansas City market. Helping owners, GMs and other bartenders is something she does well because she is focused on growth across the board. Being able to help refine and execute ideas, finding new ways to improve the patron’s experience and achieving record breaking numbers in a night are a few of the things that make her feel accomplished.
To wrap up our interview, we asked what she would like to see improved about the nightlife here in Kansas City. Her response was simple – safety. When violence occurs in a venue, there are numerous victims. Aside from the people involved in the altercation, the company, its employees and the surrounding community all suffer as well. She notes that we have made great strides over the last few years to help correct this but overall it is the responsibility of the individual. We need to continue to make these small changes in order to compete with the bigger markets.
UpDown Nightlife’s goal is to continually build upon and improve the Kansas City market to bring positive experiences to all that attend our events. It is with the help of so many wonderful and knowledgeable people like Ashley Yoder that we are able to make that happen on a weekly basis.