1. Time For Change

During the past few years, the restaurant world has shown signs of being ready for a much needed change that has been ambitiously bubbling under. A new breed of bartenders are emerging who are eating and drinking more consciously, exercising more consistently and overall, living healthier. This doesn’t mean bartenders don’t go out for feasts and festivities, but that they acknowledge there is more to the profession than cocktails and coke. Not all of them ticks or even wants to tick the above mentioned boxes, and they shouldn’t. Labels are for bottles, not for people. But with all the personal development, combined with the numerous community and equality driven movements nowadays, they are indicating that they are ready for a change.

While the bars greatest assets – the people, are changing, the organization itself needs to change as well. I have enjoyed seeing the term leadership being used actively instead of the term management in the past five years, but leadership should hold another aspect too. The aspect of moral leadership, focusing on the importance and impact of the life around the venue and it’s people. Being conscious of the effects beyond the success of the bar should be a proud responsibility of the modern bar. Of course, every bar has to be profitable to exist and create work, but why and how it operates towards that unremarkable goal of 3-7% net profit on average (depending on the location and country) is, what matters the most in life overall.

Bulletin Place Crew, Sydney, 2019

One building block we need to strengthen when charging forward is respect. If we don’t respect what we do and with who we do it, how can we expect the guests, partners, authorities or even the press to take us seriously? Bare in mind, being proud of what one does and being respected for it, is different than looking down at others from an egotistic high horse. Discrediting yourself or bragging about your achievements are equally unproductive. Talk highly of your industry and stand behind your words!

If we systematically give people the benefit of the doubt and consider them to be reliable, self-motivated, trustworthy and intelligent, we can start creating room for a new approach to emerge. The new approach brings the best out of people by moving forward from the top down hierarchy, to non-linear hierarchy; from micromanagement to trust; from concealing information to promoting transparency. The change won’t happen overnight, but we are ready for the next step.

The practice of self-management and taming ones ego is in the center of this new ideology. As much as I know the change starts from the bartenders themselves, I believe there is an opportunity to do it together. We can create conversation, share quick tips and dig into deeper insights on how we go about the future. I have heard it being said in few different ways, but Barack Obama once said:

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

I hope Mate Hospitality can serve as a coach to these aspiring bartenders when engaging in this new bar model. A coach, that aims to create conversation and to share ideas, instead of preaching about a one certain way how to operate. A coach, that facilitates a platform, in order to help bartenders and bar owners to visualize the new direction. A coach, that encourages them to grow, and eventually contribute to the hospitality industry, while taking care of themselves as well.

Mate Hospitality derives its philosophy primarily from the book “Reinventing organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness” written by Frederic Laloux, in 2014. While being essentially a handbook for any organization working towards emerging self-management practices, it is not the only ingredient in this modern cocktail I’m sharing with you. My passion for social psychology, human behavior and leadership studies, are also influential elements in this spec of mindful hospitality.

Cheers mates!

– Mika Ammunét


Photo by Jeffry Santony

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Mika Ammunét Written by:

Bar Manager, Future Bar Owner

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