Keystones Worcester Interview | Wellness In The Workplace

Wellness is generally used to mean a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being.

When you spend your days (and nights) behind the stick catering to everyone else’s needs and demands, it’s easy to neglect yourself. Making time for self- care can seem impossible in the midst of occasional grueling 50+ hour work weeks, endless hours on your feet, and shaking cocktails until muscles you didn’t know existed ache. But neglecting your own health leaves you at risk for burnout, weight gain, injury and more.

We face the same obstacles that people in other career paths face — lack of time, money, motivation, resources — compounded by late hours and long shifts.

When you’re working in a restaurant or bar, the needs of guests or fellow co- workers must almost always be

privileged over one’s own. This takes its toll over time. Most people in our culture struggle with self care, so for bartenders and servers it’s like a double whammy. How do you find the time to take care of yourself when shifts end after midnight and you work very physically and emotionally.

Keysytones Worcester Drinks

At Keystones Cocktail Club we want you to work hard and play hard but know when and how to prioritise. If you are doing both working too much and or partying too much you are in risk of burning out. We don’t want this, we expect the best of you when you are in work and realising burnout is a real factor to a productive environment. Pressure in our role can sometimes be intense but never to be constant. Believing that we can positively encourage wellness in work by giving support and offering guidance has lead us to think about a simple way to distill the massive subject down that is wellness to

 3 questions that you can ask yourself and each other on a daily basis.

The 3 Big Questions

  1. Have you slept well?
  2. Have you eaten something fresh today? 3. Have you had any exercise today?
  3. What are you grateful for today?

These questions are for you!. Your answers are for your own reflection and to remember to try action a positive lifestyle.

Here are some tips from industry veterans and wellness professionals on maximizing self care and minimizing health risks in a high-pressure, high- stress environment.


“I’ve found that my best way to keep from burning out is to make sure I get a true dedicated day off. Sometimes, I will even turn off my phone for 24 hours,” says Ian Cox, GA/SC market manager for Infinium

Spirits and president of USBG Atlanta. “Reading non-industry-related books in my down time definitely helps, too.” While it might not be feasible to shut off your phone for an entire day, unplugging from work is crucial to maintaining some balance and sanity.

James and Jp’s Phone’ are off every Monday 5pm till 10pm and uncontactable, we maintain that now we have these 5 hours to switch off is the back bone of his success and love for what we do.

“In this industry, there is always something going on, whether it’s an event, party, or conference. You have to be selective about what [events] to attend and how many to attend. I am passionate about hospitality, and I love curating experiences for people, but I recognize that for me to do that well I have to take time to recharge.”

“Writing, running, reading, not thinking about work, staying engaged in current events, and spending time with my sweetheart all help me stay healthy.”

Work it out

Bartending is a physically taxing job, and your knees, feet, back, shoulders and joints can take a beating. Combine that with a post-shift round of drinks, late night eating habbits and endless industry-related events, and your waistline can also take a hit.

“The late hours affect your sleep and your diet drastically. When I get off work at 3 a.m., I find myself at either a 24-hour gym or a 24-hour grocery store,” quips Minero Atlanta bartender Patrick Schultz.

If you choose the former over than the latter, your body will suffer.

Shaun Gordon of Charleston’s Prohibition found himself in that “unhealthy spot” last year, weighing in at over 350 pounds, “not a place I wanted to be working behind a high volume craft cocktail bar,” he admits. A combination of weight training and “intense cardio” helped him lose 130 pounds and get him in better

shape for managing his 12- to 13-hour shifts.

A former college football player, Cox agrees that “getting to the gym is key. Like any good athlete, you need to train your body to cope with the rigorous side of the business.”

Staff at San Diego’s Kettner Exchange hold each other accountable for their workouts, meeting every Friday morning to run the city’s convention center steps. “It’s a great way to stay in shape and stay committed to being active,” notes bar manager Steven Tuttle, who organizes the group runs.

Can’t find the time to work out? Jeff Banks of Brush Sushi Izakaya makes it part of his commute. The bartender started biking the ten miles round trip to his restaurant a few months ago and says he’s lost thirty pounds as a result.

Manage your mind

While it might seem counter-intuitive, “befriending stress is invaluable to self care,” says Lyn Talley, founder of


Charleston-based Go Interactive Wellness, which provides on-site yoga, barre, Pilates, mindfulness and meditation classes to companies throughout the Southeast. “The reality is, those stressors like the crazy schedule, the long hours, the difficult customers are always going to be a part of our lives. Resisting the inevitable just makes it harder to cope with the pressure.”

Renowned mentor and self-proclaimed “mindful bartender” Gary “Gaz” Regan agrees. “This is a service industry. It requires human interaction and can be just as emotionally exhausting as it is physically,” he explains. He believes being aware of your stress and mindful of how you interact with others can completely transform your work environment.

“If you start practicing mindfulness, whether that’s taking the time to say hi to dishwashers and line cooks before your shift or asking your customer ‘how are you’ and actually waiting around for the answer, you’ll instantly start to reap the rewards,” he adds. “Mindfulness leads to


happier customers. Happy customers tip better, and happy co-workers are more likely to cover your shift when you need time off or cut you more lemon twists when you run out at 11 p.m. on a busy night.”


Being surrounded by rich, fatty foods and an endless supply of booze can lead to unhealthy eating and drinking habits. The culture of stress release through drinking and drugs is an easy escape, If you want to party like a rockstar you have to work like one too, in this case these two things are mutually exclusive. I challenge you to try not drinking for a week, and see how much better you sleep and feel.

Support each other with eating “loads” of fruits and vegetables and skipping the fast food.

Wouldn’t it be great if the next “neck nomination” or “Ice Bucket Challenge” was actually good for you.

Bartenders Keystones Worcester

 Go outside

Vitamin D and not the type that gets dished out in some of our bathrooms is incredibly important to our well being. Aaron hand first hand experience of this “I ran a bar when I was 22 that I arrived to work everyday at the latest 3pm and got home from work at the earliest 4am I usually worked 6 days a week and slept 1. I spoke to my bounces about having no energy and generally feeling a bit down they coincidentally were both veterinarian students and told me the importance of getting day light. So no matter what time I got to bed at on a Sunday morning I always made sure to get up at noon and do 1 hour walk, usually getting straight back into bed after. These walks would normally be in the park outside my house and would be laps and would consist of me repeating the BED but I genuinely started to see a difference really quickly”

Atlanta’s Shanna Mayo, an alum of Leon’s Full Service, Victory Sandwich Bar. “I spend most of my days and nights in a


dark bar. Then I hang out in bars with my friends, or go to events in bars, or have lunches in a bar. My body desperately craves vitamin D. These days, I go on walks or bike rides once a day, read outside and hike on my day off.”

Bend and breathe

Others find time to recharge and re-set indoors. “I resisted yoga for years, naively thinking it was hippy bullshit,” admits Mayo. But now she’s a “total believer,” she says. “Stretching while forcing myself to slow down is the perfect one-two combo for my body and mind.” Schultz also maintains a regular yoga practice, finding it “a great way to build stamina and strength.”

Regan takes regular yoga classes and meditates every morning, “even if it’s just 15 minutes.” For meditation newcomers, he recommends 8 Minute Meditation or the Meditation Oasis app, which has several dozen guided meditations, but adds “there’s really no right or wrong way” to meditate and find your zen.


“There was this guy who attending one of my Mindful Bartending workshops a few weeks ago. He meditates every day before he starts his shift, but not like I do. He gets in early, puts in his earbuds, plays some heavy metal music, and finds his zone. It clear his head and has the same effect as good meditation.”

The bottom line?

Just like there’s no perfect method for meditation, there’s no perfect prescription for self-care. All that matters is that you do what works for you.

Big thanks to the London Cocktail Club and Keystones Worcester for this interview, a great insight into the nightlife industry. If you’d like to know more about Keystones head over to their website or reach out to us on