The hospitality industry expressed its collective shock earlier this week after the New York Knicks organization announced it had hired 21-year-old Alex Carter as a roaming beer salesman for the 2014-15 season. While Carter became known for his professionalism and leadership skills during previous stints of employment at Baskin Robbins and The UPS Store, experts are thrown by the fact that Carter, a graduate of Peter Stuyvesant High School, has never sold beer at the professional level.
“Mr. Carter is an upstanding individual, but the fact remains he is utterly inexperienced with arena vending,” said Sacramento Kings Director of Fried Foods Max Wesley. “I would expect someone at his level to be assigned to a less popular item, like churros or shrimp baskets. But beer? It’s a big risk.”
“It is true that I have only been of legal age for a short time,” said Carter in a prepared written statement to the press, “but I have a keen sense for the nuances of the craft and the needs of my customers. The Knicks organization prefers the traditional cry of ‘ice cold beer here,’ but I intend to innovate and test out several new phrases, including ‘brews? I got ’em.'”
Food service leaders contend that “splashy” hires like Carter, who gained notoriety as a three-point specialist on his high school basketball team, consistently show less impressive sales records than their more experienced counterparts. “Look at Eddie Caputo,” offered Memphis Grizzlies Vice President of Salty Snacks Sandra Dunham, “there’s a guy who knows his beer. He’s been passing Bud Lights to Knicks fans for 18 years. He knows how to get up and down those stairs fast, and he’s not even thrown by inexact change. Plus, he’s a bartender in the offseason. People like him will outperform people like Carter in sales every single time. Wouldn’t be surprised if Carter gets outsold 3 to 1.”
There is speculation that Carter was hired so that the team could entice Kolby Dillard, an ice cream superstar who worked alongside Carter at Baskin Robbins over the last three summers. Neither Carter nor Dillard would comment on these rumors.