the business of bars® conference

Monday, 16th September - 11.30am - 4pm


SESSION 1: 11.30am – 12.30pm

The Death of the Trend: Forge your own way or go the f%ck home

When the New It Thing wings around the world in the time it takes to post on Instagram, how do you keep up with global bar trends? Should you even bother? Now that Americana and taxidermy are done, we’re surrounded by the Spritz, and no-alcohol drinks are on the march, do you jump on board or look for what’s next?

Panel: Hosted by David Spanton

  • Anton Forte (Owner, Swillhouse)

  • Grazia di Franco (Creative Director, Caffe Bartolo)

  • Rob Libecans (Co-Owner, Fancy Free)

  • Millie Tang (The Gresham)

  • Chau Tran (Chief Hug Officer & Co-Owner Burrow Bar)


SESSION 2: 12.30pm – 1.30pm

Sustainability: cash cow or money pit? How to get sustainability working for you

Sponsored by 42BELOW

We are in the midst of a zero-waste revolution and it’s great to see boundary-pushing bars leading the way with their environmental policies. In this session we will talk about how Aussie bars are closing the loop and doing their bit to save the planet covering everything from reusing pineapple pulp to waste-free acid alternatives.

Panel: Hosted by David Spanton

  • Matt Whiley (Owner, Scout)

  • Ollie Margan (Owner, Maybe Mae)

  • Elise Godwin (Strange Company)

  • Kate McGraw (Operator, Isabel & GM Waysouth Hospitality)

  • Pete Hollands (Brand Ambassador, Bacardi Martini)


SESSION 3: 2pm – 3pm

Fit is the new f%$#ed up

Sponsored by St Germain

The bar industry has long been known for pushing the physical limits with late nights and lots of booze. But a new era is dawning with millennial buzz words such as ‘self-care’ and wellness infiltrating all levels of the industry. Suppliers, bar operators and bartenders are striving for greater balance and longevity in the hospitality industry. In this session we will be discussing mental and physical health issues and some of the strategies leading bars are implementing to help support staff to live better and healthier lives.

Panel: Hosted by Amy Spanton

  • Camille Vidal (Madame St~Germain)

  • Raj Nagra (Founder Bartender Boxing Organisation)

  • Jenna Hemsworth (Beverage Director, Restaurant Hubert)

  • Thor Bergquist (Co-Owner, PS40)

  • Michael Drescher (GM Caffe Bartolo)

  • Ceri Kidby-Salom (Healthy Party Girl)


SESSION 4: 3pm – 4pm

Spirited Talks

This new session includes four 15-minute talks from experts in their fields. Here we will cover everything from looking after your customers right, developing your social media power, the secret to a great bartender, and how to find the perfect PR firm. Don’t miss out!

TOPIC: How to build a powerful social media following presented by Kurtis Bosley (@cocktailsbykurtis and Corretto Dee Why)

TOPIC: What makes good bar PR? What to look for (and what to avoid) presented by Jocelyne Simpson, Good Citizens PR

TOPIC: Exceeding Expectations: the well-known ‘secret’ to building a lasting business presented by Sven Almenning (Director of Speakeasy Group & Ananas)

TOPIC: Small is beautiful presented by Hayden Lambert (Owner Above Board, Melbourne)