Now that we're finally back in action, stronger than ever, we want to continue introducing you to some of our clients. That's why we sat down to talk with one of BUK's first customers: David Frazão from Bento Barbearias.
Bento Barbearias is a brand under the Bento Cabeleireiros group, a well-established presence in the male beauty and grooming market for over 30 years. It was born out of the desire to revive the pure essence of the old, nearly extinct neighborhood barbershops and has since evolved and expanded, currently boasting 3 distinct stores in Lisbon. You can find them in Lumiar, Estefânia, and Avenida de Roma.
We spoke with David, a professional barber and trainer, about his career, current challenges, and perspectives for the future. Read all about it below:
Tell us a bit about yourself. When did you know you wanted to become a professional barber?
First of all, I'd like to thank you for the invitation and send a big shout-out to all the professionals in this field, with the certainty that we'll overcome this slightly more complicated phase. In response to your question, I was practically "born" into a hair salon; my mother made sure to expose me to that reality at an early age. In 2005, I decided to exclusively work in the male grooming market.
The training of a barber is an essential pillar to ensure the best response to our clients' needs. Clients evolve, and we have to keep up with those changes. I always say, 'Training is like time, it never stops, and it never arrives.'
What were the biggest challenges you faced when entering this career?
The challenges 20 years ago were quite different from what we encounter today. When I began my training, barbershop culture, as we know it today, didn't exist in Portugal. There were hair salons for men, but it took some time for me to be taken seriously when I entered the job market (laughs). I'm not saying that there were no barbershops at the time, but it was a different era. When I decided to move to Lisbon, that's when the real challenge began—building a client base in a demanding and unfamiliar market was undoubtedly challenging, and even 11 years later, it still is. Every working day at Bento Barbearias is a challenge.
In addition to being a barber, you're also a trainer. Do you feel that training is important before and throughout one's career?
Absolutely, without a doubt. Barber training is an essential foundation to ensure the best response to our clients' needs. Clients evolve, and we have to keep up with those changes. I always say, 'Training is like time, it never stops, and it never arrives.'
What advice would you give to other professionals in the field?
Who am I to give advice, but I can't hide that I enjoy sharing what I've learned over the years. The key, for me, remains communication. It's the most important factor in the relationship between a professional and a client – understanding that each client is unique, has their own identity, and we have to tailor our services to meet their needs.
In 2017, you were a finalist in the 'American Crew All Star Challenge.' How was that experience?
It was a very positive experience, and getting to know other professionals who were also finalists, along with the healthy competition, was undoubtedly a great asset to my professional growth. It led to other invitations to work with different brands and projects, such as LVM Barber Supplier.
The key, for me, remains communication. It's the most important factor in the relationship between a professional and a client – understanding that each client is unique, has their own identity, and we have to tailor our services to meet their needs.
You were one of the first people to use our platform and have been following our journey from the beginning (thank you for that!). Do you feel that with BUK, you can save valuable time and easily communicate with your clients?
You're welcome, and it was with great anticipation that I saw this project come to life. I contributed to making this platform simple and practical, both for professionals and clients. Without a doubt, BUK has improved our service and allowed us to save time and communicate more effectively with our clients.
What is your daily routine like at work, and how does BUK help you with that routine?
BUK is always present on a regular workday, and it's undoubtedly a tool that allows us to efficiently coordinate our schedules, as we see that our clients increasingly value their time.
What feedback do your clients give about booking appointments online?
The convenience of being able to schedule our services at any time and from anywhere, quickly and easily.
In the context of the pandemic we are living in, do you feel that many things have changed in the management of a barbershop? What precautions exist now that didn't exist before?
Yes, the biggest challenge for us was managing schedules, teams, and coping with constant limitations and changes in operating hours. At Bento Barbearias, we follow all DGS (Directorate-General of Health) recommendations to ensure the safety of our clients and staff. Many of the rules imposed were already part of our daily routine before the pandemic, but undoubtedly, the most significant change was limiting the number of clients simultaneously in our spaces.
Lastly, what expectations do you have regarding the future of modern barbershops and the profession? And what advice would you give to a professional starting their career?
I believe the future will bring many changes to this market and profession, and there needs to be real segmentation to dignify all professionals in this field. As for those who are now taking their first steps, resilience and dedication are essential. It's not an easy profession, and it's up to each individual to value their work.
You can find out more about Bento Barbearias and see how to integrate the BUK appointment scheduling system directly into your website at ☛ bentobarbearias.pt
If you are a professional in the industry and would like to try BUK completely free and with no commitment, simply visit buk.app and sign up for free.