Sandals bartender is face of online marketing campaign


Sandals bartender is face of online marketing campaign

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

MONTEGO BAY, St James — If things had gone according to plan, Rajiv Johnson would have either been a professional footballer or a member of the army.

Today, however, he is one of Sandals Montego Bay's most sought-after bartenders and the face of the company's recent Sandals State of Mind online campaign. And, he would have it no other way.

As a member of one of Jamaica's leading football clubs, it seemed Johnson's fate as a footballer was sealed. That is, however, until he suffered an injury that dashed those hopes. Not one to give up, he set his sights on another goal—joining the army. Unfortunately, this dream was also crushed as due to his injury he was unable to endure the rigorous training.

Though understandably disappointed back then, the determined 34-year-old believes it was destiny that steered him into his current role.

“Now when I look back I know that I didn't make it because maybe that just wasn't for me,” he said.

After his unsuccessful bid to join the army, Johnson turned his attention to learning a trade. Working with a construction company on several projects on the north coast, Johnson became a skilled plumber, painter and drywall installer.

Work in that field however was seasonal. Johnson longed for a more secure income and applied for a job in the dining room at Sandals Montego Bay. Fate, however, was about to intervene once again.

“When I went to the resort for the interview I saw some guys walking around with trays full of food and drinks. I said to myself there's no way I could balance all of that and so I told the interviewer that I was interested in working in the bar instead,” he shared.

Johnson got his wish and after completing training, he began his Sandals journey in 2015.

A people person with a big personality and infectious smile, Johnson loves what he does and his guests love him even more.

“I love learning to make new drinks, meeting new people, getting to know them and playing my part in ensuring they have the best vacation”, he said.

A guest-favourite on Trip Advisor, Johnson consistently receives rave reviews from vacationers, many of whom return to Sandals Montego Bay year after year just to spend time with him at the bar. For his consistent efforts, Johnson has received several awards and accolades, including being named the resort's Diamond Team Member for the Year 2016.

It comes as no surprise therefore that Johnson was handpicked to be the face of the company's Sandals State of Mind campaign, which was launched after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns, to help guests recreate the Sandals experience at home. The series features an energetic Johnson providing step-by-step instructions on how to recreate both old favourites and new twists on traditional drinks. To say he has been a hit among guests would be an understatement.

“That experience for me has been great. Because of that series I've ended up meeting a lot of new people. With the resort now reopened, people come to the bar and ask for the person that was doing the State of Mind videos. I've received a lot of positive reviews and I'm really grateful for the opportunity,” said Johnson.

Happy for the path his life has taken, Johnson is extremely grateful for the opportunities working with Sandals has presented.

“Sandals is a great company and working here has given me so many opportunities. I get to be myself and display my personality. Before I worked here, I had never been on a plane and because of Sandals I was able to work in The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands to gain new experience and exposure. Those experiences were wonderful. I've also done courses in leadership and communication through the company,” he noted.

Johnson credits his immediate supervisor Shinton Dixon and the bar manager Angella Richards-Farrier, for being constant sources of motivation and encouragement.

Hailing Johnson as a star employee who consistently goes above and beyond his duties, Richards-Farrier said, “Rajiv is a people person who is very consistent. He enjoys his job as a bartender and goes above and beyond to please the customer. He is passionate about the job and can be called upon at any time.”

“He is also great with his hands and enjoys fixing things. If anything is broken I can call Rajiv and he's ready to assist. Whether it be a plumbing matter, an issue with wheels on a trolley or an electrical problem, he can do it all. He is a great team player and willingly assists his fellow team members without even being asked,” she added.

Back on the job since the reopening of the tourism sector and resort, Johnson is even more focused on achieving his goals, primary among them is to secure a position as bar supervisor and eventually bar manager at one of the company's overseas properties.

“I'm just happy to be back at work. Being at home, not seeing my guests or my co-workers and not being able to do my job, I really missed it. Since I've been back it's just been tremendous!” said Johnson.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon