“Community is everything” BA Brendan Grey talks us into the new year
A new year is upon us! That time when we vow to turn over a new leaf, start afresh and drum up motivation to hit the ground running. Whatever this year (or month) means to you, we know that it’s one with even more meaning and hope attached to it as we take positive steps towards a brighter (Covid-19 free) future.
We picked up with one of our Brand Ambassador’s, Brendan Grey in Australia, to see what this year means to him, what his New Year’s resolutions are and how he stays motivated.
What are your New Year’s resolutions this year?
I've never really been one for resolutions around the new year but I'd be lying if I said 2020 hasn't had a massive impact on my priorities. More time with friends, family and the people in my community has organically become more important as we've made our way through this adventure of a year. Ideally, I'd like to develop some type of new skill but we'll see what happens. This year I learnt how to create videos using a green screen (albeit it out of necessity…), so thanks 2020 for forcing me out of my comfort zone!
What are you most excited about this year?
We still find ourselves in an incredibly tumultuous time in history which is both exciting and scary. I've found the best way to maintain my sanity is to approach it all with a level of gratitude that I get to be a part of such an insane adventure that has bound us all together so fiercely, particularly in the hospitality scene. I guess I'm most excited for the unknown, for whatever the next challenge is going to be and how we're going to have to adapt as quickly and as positively as possible. The upside of living through times like these is we really don't need to create any excitement, it's coming to us whether we’re ready or not.
What was the most valuable thing you learnt last year?
Community is everything. Together we can limp our way through to the other side of this.
What are your top tips on keeping yourself / your team motivated this year?
I hate to quote a kids film but: "See a need, fill a need" (from Robots) has been a good mantra that I'll be continuing to use for 2021. There's something very motivating about tackling an issue/project that you care about or find exciting. The day to day grind is of course still going to be a necessity, but having something extra that you can tie into your profession can make such a difference to how you feel at the end of the day/week. Finding that project is going to be a journey in its own right and requires a lot of time and care. Creating that balance in your life where you do have the time and energy to consider the world is probably step one. Easier said than done, I know.
What do you think will be the biggest change or trend in the industry this year?
I just don't know, there's so many to choose from! Probably the biggest change I've seen in hospitality in Western Australia is the sudden loss of so many workers and the sudden importance of skilled bartenders and operators which has dramatically shifted the power dynamic in business relationships. Awareness around wage theft and unhealthy work environments has become a much more common conversation topic as well. As to how this will affect things long term, I'm just not sure but already we're looking at a much different landscape than 2019.
What should we wave goodbye to?
This might be due to my lactose intolerance (what am I saying, of course it is! I'm so jealous of all you milk drinkers out there), but I'd like to see any and all cocktails using dairy to finally go away. The White Russian gets an exception if you're Jeff Bridges, which you're not.
If you had to create a cocktail for 2021, what would it be and why?
Is there a cocktail that embodies a quiet optimism? Not that things are going to necessarily go well, but that we can get through it! Maybe that should be the next trend in drinks: comfort cocktails. For me, I guess that's always going to be the humble daiquiri but each to their own.