Bartender 608 Intoxicologists & Cocktail Caterers: How a local small business is keeping pace with ‘instant gratification culture’

MADISON, WI – “When do we want it? NOW!”

What used to be a chant for the likes of labor unions and human rights activists has become the modern day motto of the millennia. We are not satisfied if we have to wait. You could blame Amazon for promising 2-day delivery. You could point a finger at the food service industry for promising to deliver “free, fast and hot” meals directly to you at lightning speed. One could even cite smart phones as the culprit as they made having the entirety of the knowledge available on the internet immediately accessible on a device that fits in a pocket.

Most likely, though, it is a combination of all these things that have created an “instant gratification culture.” People want to be able to access goods and services from their phones and have an immediate, or at least very quick, response.

“Not only do people want super-fast service and information, but they want it without ever having to speak to another human being,” says ChinaMoon Crowell, Owner, Operator & Lead Intoxicologist of Bartender 608, a Madison-based beverage catering business. “It’s ironic; people want to be able to conduct business and personal affairs from their phones without actually speaking on the phone.”

Crowell is not incorrect in this observation. Telephonophobia is rampant in Millennials. A study by reports that a whopping 88 percent of Millennials prefer texting over phone calls, and 52 percent of Millennials feeling anxious when taking a phone call. As an example, many Millennials still have their parents call to make doctor appointments for them. In contrast, 77 percent of Baby Boomers say they feel little to no anxiety making or receiving phone calls. Gen X is, logically, positioned between these two extremes.

“As a small business owner, I’ve learned that it doesn’t help to sit around and wait for a potential client to call,” says Crowell. “More and more, it just doesn’t happen.”

In this brave new world of electronic and mobile commerce like Uber, Amazon, Door Dash and Instacart, how is a small business like Bartender 608 able to appeal to individuals who may want Crowell’s services but are too timid to call to inquire about them?

“You have to learn how to swim with the big fish,” she says. “That’s why we have on our website – which is smart phone-friendly – Wisconsin’s only automated book running proposal system.”

In short, the end user enters certain criteria – like what kind of event needs catering, the date and the venue –and leads you through the rest of the event-planning. One is able to select the number of staff, tables, chairs, glasses, ice, alcohol, beer, wine, hors d’oeuvres, and other bar-related amenities directly from the website. And, to appease both the phone phobic and those who want instant gratification, a quote is offered in real time based on the selections made. Tax is even included.

“What’s really cool is there’s even a suggestion algorithm programmed in,” says Crowell. “If you tell us you expect 250 guests, our packages will compute that number into suggested amounts of everything you’re going to need to make your gathering a success.”

Payment is not required to submit a proposal, which is just an estimate. Bartender 608 will contact clients directly to confirm their event details and send over a contract proposal within 24-48 hours (in most times less) of submission.

“Ultimately we do want to speak with our clients prior to their event to really understand what is needed and wanted,” says Crowell. “Plus prices are subject to change from the computer-generated quote, and we can talk about any substitutions that may be desired.”

After a dearth of bookings in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Crowell says her business is back up to 2019 numbers.

“We do a lot of events in a year,” she says. “I know we’re talking about satisfying people’s need for instant gratification, but when it comes to booking a date, one should not wait until the last minute. You want to act early to make sure everything can be delivered to your event on time.”

Bartender 608 Intoxicologists & Cocktail Caterers, LLC is a beverage catering business owned and operated by ChinaMoon Crowell. The company, established in 2007, provides experienced bartenders, staff servers, bar-backs and all associated beverage amenities for social and residential events, private parties, intimate and big bash weddings, along with many other event types in Wisconsin, Iowa, Northern Illinois, and destination events. Bartender 608 caters about 150 events and celebrations in a typical year. Interested clients can get a same-day book running proposal by visiting the company’s website at