Margaritaville Jobs
An Interview With Michael Kopczynski


Michael Kopczynski has worked as a bartender at a number of bars and restaurants around the country. I decided to ask him specifically about his Margaritaville jobs because I've heard there are some real benefits, including better pay than the average bar and a fun environment. Mike has worked in two of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurants, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Glendale, Arizona.

How did you get started working for Jimmy Buffet?

I had just moved back to Myrtle Beach from Nashville, I had years of bartending experience. and a friend of mine was bartending there already. He informed me that since it was spring, they were getting ready to hire a bunch of people for the summer season. Putting in an application with a good referral and plenty of experience I liked my chances.

What are some of the benefits of working at a Margaritaville restaurant (insurance, vacation pay?), and what did you like best about your time there?

The benefits were outstanding, Blue cross heath, vision, and a decent dental plan. Vacation time is paid after one year of continuous employment, and they have one of the best 401K plans that I have ever seen.Mike Kopczynski

I understand you invented a drink that became popular. What is it called, and what's in it?

It is called "Bama Breeze" it's named after one of my favorite Buffett songs, It's a simple recipe really, Cruzin Vanilla and orange rums, Mango and Pina Coloda mix as well as a splash of OJ. It was fun actually, Jimmy Buffett has a large fan base and when they are sitting at the bar and find out you created the drink, it was a lot of fun selling and signing collector menus.

Now, I understand that a bartender can do well staying behind the bar, but had you wanted to work your way into other positions, including management, was advancement a possibility?

Of course, There are always opportunities for advancement. Especially at Margaritaville. A bartender I worked with in Myrtle Beach has recently been promoted to bar manager in Pensacola Beach, FL, A bar manager from Orlando was my General Manager in Glendale. those are a few examples but the stories are all around the place.

What would you recommend for those who want to get hired at a Margaritaville restaurant? Are there positions that are pretty much open to anyone--like dish washing, for example? And if a person wants to tend bar, what kind of previous experience is Margaritaville likely to look for in your opinion?

I would recommend being yourself. The greatest thing in my opinion that Margaritaville does is to let you be who you are. I'm sure you wouldn't need much experience getting a dish washer job, that's pretty much an entree job into any restaurant. Once in, you can be a busser, then a server, and then bartender and on from there. If getting right in as a bartender is what you want to do, you really do need some bar experience, Margaritaville requires knowledgeable bartenders, there is a rigorous testing period to get through when you first get hired.

What's the most you have made in one day at Margaritaville?

There was one day I will always remember, I was scheduled to open Margaritaville in Glendale AZ, and ended up working a double shift as a bartender had called out. I bartended from 11 am till 2 am. that day I had brought home over $700 in tips and also collected 15 hours of pay at 4.25 an hour.

Is it a fun place to work?

It was an absolute blast. It hardly ever felt like I was working. I was simply showing up to have fun every day.

Mikes email: jerseymike75 @

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