MORE training and support is needed to help staff in the licensed trade cope with the potential for stress, mental illness and alcohol abuse.
That was the consensus from a panel of bartenders at this year’s ScotHot hospitality show, who said the trade should be doing more to identify and help staff with potential problems.
The panel, compered by Liquid Academy boss Scott Gemmell, included Martin Duffy of Solid Liquids and the Scottish Bartenders’ Network, Colin Church of Big Red Teapot, Ben Iravani of Orchid, James Kemp of Kained Holdings and Frank Murphy of The Pot Still.
When discussing the risks of mental health issues and addiction in the trade, Murphy said it’s important to pay attention to what’s happening with co-workers.
“The best thing we can do with our team is stay close and look after everyone we work with,” said Murphy. “It’s important to understand that a lot of people who end up in the trade end up there because they feel akin to everyone else, but they have different things going on [in their lives], and I think maybe we need to try and find some other training on top of the mandatory two hours about how we recognise when people are under pressure.”
Duffy said the nature of the industry can put bartenders at risk of developing issues with alcohol.
“As bartenders we’re very reliant on alcohol – it’s our bread and butter,” he said. “So it becomes more of a friend than an enemy, and we’re not so aware of the damage it causes to us.”
Iravani added that it’s important for senior members of the industry to tell younger staff that “it’s OK to not drink after work”.