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The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Positive Work Environment

Creating a safe and inclusive space in your bar venue will only encourage a better work environment for all. Find out how to implement best practices to ensure staff give their best. 

Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes 

The hospitality industry can be one of the most exciting, vibrant, and dynamic places to work but creating a safe and inclusive environment in the bars and restaurants that give us our livelihood isn’t just a responsibility, it’s a necessity.  

As bar professionals, we play a pivotal role in shaping the culture of our establishments, and fostering an environment that respects diversity, prioritizes mental and physical wellbeing, offers growth opportunities, and provides training. While this is not only the right thing to do, it will also lead to improved job satisfaction and overall success. 

3 Steps to Creating a Safe and Inclusive Working Environment

  1. Respect and Diversity: Respect is the cornerstone of any inclusive workplace. As bar professionals we interact with a diverse range of customers and colleagues daily, making it crucial to foster an atmosphere that appreciates individual differences. For a bar team to truly thrive there needs to be a deep respect for diversity and inclusion.  
  2. Embrace differences: Recognizing and embracing differences in culture, gender identity, and background fosters an atmosphere of respect that enhances teamwork and creates an environment where creativity and collaboration flourish.  
  3. Zero tolerance for discrimination: A strong stance against any form of discrimination sets a precedent that intolerance won’t be tolerated.  We’re not just bar professionals, we’re advocates for a community and an industry that thrives on inclusivity.

Taking a clear stance

Taking a clear and unwavering stance against discrimination sends a message that bigotry has no place in our industry and helps create a safe space in our workplace where every individual, regardless of their identity, knows that they’ll be valued and respected. This commitment sets the foundation for a diverse and unified team. 

Inclusivity Training

Regular training on diversity, equality and inclusion provides employees with the tools to navigate sensitive situations.  

The bar is more than just a place to mix drinks, it’s a platform for human interaction. Providing our teams with continuous training in diversity and inclusion equips them with the skills to address varying perspectives and cultural nuances. These tools empower us to engage with customers and colleagues authentically, fostering connections that transcend our differences. 

Check out the Diageo Bar Academy Equality and Diversity online learning module to better understand this area.  

Open Dialogue

Encouraging open discussions about biases and challenges cultivates an environment where concerns are addressed constructively. In turn, this will create a culture where misconceptions are dismantled, and understanding thrives. This dialogue strengthens team bonds and fortifies our commitment to inclusion. 

Mental and Physical Wellbeing

Work-life balance: Implementing reasonable working hours and scheduling ensures that staff can maintain a healthy work-life balance. Striking a balance between our work and personal life ensures that we bring our best selves to the bar every day, this not only boosts morale but also enhances our ability to craft extraordinary experiences for our guests. 

Access the Diageo Bar Academy online learning module ‘Live well – Feel Great’ [ID 1888] and learn how to improve physical and mental health. 

Mental Health Support

Providing access to mental health resources and fostering a culture of empathy assists employees in managing stress. The hospitality industry can be a demanding place to work, and our mental health deserves as much attention as our physical health. Establishing a support system that offers access to resources and encourages open conversations about mental health helps us navigate the pressures of our profession with resilience and strength. 

Skill Enhancements

Offering opportunities for skills development and career advancement empowers employees to take ownership of their personal and professional growth.  

Feedback and Recognition

Constructive feedback and recognition of achievements gives a sense of belonging and accomplishment. Our growth is built on a foundation of feedback and recognition. Constructive feedback helps us refine our skills while recognition ignites our enthusiasm, contributing to both our personal success and the success of the establishment.

The foundation of a thriving bar and restaurant industry lies in fostering a safe and inclusive working environment for our teams. When you look at the best bars and restaurants in the world you can see that success doesn’t just depend on the cocktail menu, they create a nurturing workplace where every individual feels valued and heard.

As we move forward, we should all be looking to champion positive change in our own establishments to create an environment that embraces diversity, prioritises wellbeing and empowers all team members to reach their full potential. 

Key Takeaways

  • Diversity matters: Valuing diversity and maintaining a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination creates an inclusive atmosphere for employees and guests alike.  
  • Continuous training: Regular training on inclusion and sensitivity equips staff to navigate sensitive situations.  
  • Wellness and Wellbeing: Prioritizing mental and physical wellbeing through policies and resources ensures a healthier, happier workforce.  
  • Empowerment cultivates success: Empowering employees with opportunities and recognition fosters loyalty and professional growth. 


Empower your team to keep up with industry trends, learn from the experts and discover free resources for their bar career by signing up for the Diageo Bar Academy newsletter.

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