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Health and Wellness for Bartenders

Christopher Reyes

Mixologists across the world are glorified for their dedication to develop and market beautifully crafted and deliciously mixed drinks consistently. This is a trend that is growing in the past couple of years. Instagram and Youtube are highlighting craft cocktails and the people behind the drink. Bartending has become more of a lifestyle than an actual job. There are many opportunities to grow within the industry. From starting behind the bar to becoming brand ambassadors, bar consultants, bartender-for-hire, and even marketers for their brands.

However, accustomed to all bartenders is a practice usually unforeseen to the general public. Cleaning, restocking and dealing with unpleasant customers are all parts of the job, which are inevitable. Lack of preparation and extended working hours can lead you down a path of unhealthy habits. This will affect your mental and physical health later down the line. High levels of stress and anxiety are often attributed to unhealthy eating and irregular sleeping patterns. Moreover, these changes are often overlooked due to the many responsibilities expected from most bartenders, managers, and even brand ambassadors.

What is the solution? How can bartenders change their habits to embrace a healthier lifestyle? There are three things you can establish today to get on the right track to a more healthier and fulfilling career in the bar industry:

Learn the Art of Prepping

One of the challenging aspects of having a night time job is prepping a healthy meal for late-night snacks. You should be able to prep a proper late-night meal the same way you can adequately prep your bar station for efficient usage. Look into prepping take-out bowls with a mix of yoghurt, grains, and fruits that provide you energy. A recommended combination would be bananas, strawberries, quinoa. A bowl like this will give you the right amount of antioxidants, performance enhancers, and pain relief. Other options would be to have a bowl of peanuts along with dark chocolate. Dark chocolate, according to research conducted at Archives of the Turkish Society of Cardiology, may have a beneficial impact on your cardiovascular system by pumping more blood into your body. In return, you feel more alert and responsive in your busy environment.

Find a workout that works for YOU

Whether it be jogging, early morning gym sessions, or casual trips to the pool. Proper time management between workout regiments and your bartending career is crucial towards your longevity. A short 30-minute workout can provide you with much-needed energy to prepare for a long night. Yoga practices, along with colleagues, have been a common practice as of late. It provides bartenders and other restaurant staff a team bonding session that does not revolve around drinking and eating unhealthy food. Social media outlets, like Facebook and Meetup events, as well as platforms like yoganect.com, are providing several options for yoga sessions throughout Europe and the United States. This increases social skills amongst your team and develops authentic relationships.

Learn to “JUST SAY NO”

It can be tempting when surrounded by a substantial amount of alcohol options. Moreover, several opportunities to drink with your colleagues, guests, or even taking shots with your manager will pop up. You will inevitably confront an offer to consume an alcoholic substance, every single time you are behind the bar,. It will ultimately hinder your performance and your judgment. Bartenders in San Francisco are wearing abstinence pins to signal other bartenders and guests that they will not be partaking in any drinking during the night. Some meetings also focus on mental health and addiction, which comes with working in the hospitality industry.

In some parts of the world, particularly in Eastern Europe, refusing a shot can be a sign of disrespect. So, have the courage and proper communication skills to inform your colleagues that you not drinking is a sign of respect for yourself and your colleagues all around. Having the appropriate energy required to perform your best behind the bar is a win-win scenario for both the business and yourself.

All suggestions in the article are easy to establish to improve your craft and efficiency. It is easy to participate in unhealthy practices and activities for a sense of social gain or just sheer laziness. However, this will only layout a path towards the ‘B’ word…BURNOUT.

Christopher Reyes