Five ways bartenders are changing the world

26th November, 2018 by Nicola Carruthers



Healthy Hospo’s Tim Etherington-Judge with Camille Ralph Vidal, St-Germain brand ambassador

Health has always been an issue in the hospitality industry. In a career that operates outside of regular working hours and with the normality of the after­-shift drink, it’s easy to see how bartenders might neglect their well-being. And, with an increasing number speaking out about their battles with mental health issues, this has become a frontline topic that needs addressing urgently.

Bartender and former Bulleit brand ambassador Tim Etherington-­Judge launched not-­for­-profit organisation Healthy Hospo following a breakdown that saw him diagnosed with severe depression. He found that his role as a brand ambassador, with its constant travelling and partying and ensuing loneliness and lack of sleep and exercise, “proved to be an incredibly demanding job”.

After speaking publicly about his illness, Etherington-­Judge says he was flooded with hundreds of messages from people with similar struggles.

“There was no one who had set up a company with the aim of trying to improve health and wellness in the industry,” he says. “I grew up in an industry with 24­-hour partying and drinking, and thinking without consequences. The next generation shouldn’t have to learn the hard way.”

He says the on­-trade needs to make small changes to become a “much better and healthier industry”. His examples include making “good quality sleep a priority”, making better choices with food and exercise, finding a hobby and connecting with people in an industry that he says can be “incredibly isolating and lonely”.

Along with huge interest from major bar shows, Healthy Hospo was also one of 11 recipients of TOTC’s first grant programme, which allocated US$250,000 to organisations that benefit the spirits industry.

The grant will go towards the first project, dedicated to improving sleep, as well as help the non­profit to create videos and “spread the message broadly to increase access for the community”.

“Healthy Hospo is hopefully just beginning the conversation; we can’t change everything on our own,” says Etherington­-Judge. “We need other people looking at other aspects of the industry and creating a much bigger movement for health and wellness, because it’s a serious subject.”

One Response to “Five ways bartenders are changing the world”

  1. Hello Nicola,
    Thank you for this article. For so many years there has been a stigma associated with bartending responsibly. Alcohol promotes many behavior changes. First inhibitions are lowered. We over serve our customers and they become vulnerable to suggestions and sadly, predators. The creativity, attention to detail and rise of the activist bartender is refreshing. However, the conflict with management directives to ring up the cash register for the almighty dollar grab may interfere. I hope not.

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