As an ongoing initiative, we’ve launched a new series called Raise Your Spirits—geared toward bringing bartenders useful and helpful information centered on wellness, professional development, and overall assistance during this difficult time.
The world’s social climate, “social distancing,” has become our reality. With bars, restaurants, and all social venues cutting capacity to zero, industry workers are left without an income. Still, bartenders are a resilient bunch. We asked Chilled 100 member, bar owner of Milwaukee’s Lost Whale, Tripper Duval how to combat stress during this time of uncertainty.
“For most of us, stress is related to time, money, or other people,” explains Duval. “Especially being a bar owner, during ‘normal’ business operations, it’s an all-day, everyday stress bomb—from taking care of my employees to my guests. Now, after spending years finding ways to make sure I have returning guests and happy employees, the world has changed.”
Currently, Duval, his business partner Daniel Beres, and general manager JC Cunningham are working diligently at Lost Whale attempting to make the best out of their current situation. “We are cleaning, and finding ways to adjust our business plan to stay open and generate revenue,” he says. “We have opened a “to-go” window at Lost Whale to offer home cocktail kits, growlers, and batched cocktails in dusty, vintage bottles we’ve been hanging on to.”
For Duval, he tries to combat his stress levels by talking about his stressors with co-workers, friends, and family. “I will try to communicate my issues, and I find most of the time, I have misread a situation or there was a missing link in the chain that needs to be resolved. Or, there was a solution to my problem that I didn’t think of. Otherwise, I do a lot of breathing and trying to put myself in other people’s shoes. It helps me with clarity and how my overall reactions need to be handled.”
Given the current situation bartenders might feel an extra strain because of forced isolation. “Right now, I am checking with friends and family via face time,” says Duval. “I am also trying to catch up on some sleep and going for runs. I appreciate going for a drive or a walk to feel less isolated.”
“My biggest piece of advice is to stay active if you can. Call and send letters to your local legislators to enact and support your local communities. Get creative to find financial support, have online happy hours or face time loved ones. This is an unprecedented time to be alive and staying positive is critical.”
Stress levels rise in a time of extreme uncertainty, and we are all certainly there. Now more than ever, it’s important to keep stress levels down and immune systems up. Here are some quick tips:
- Stay connected: Keep in touch with people via email, phone calls, and face time. Catch up on emails, speak with your employers, and if your bar or restaurant is offering delivery or curbside pick up, help out and bring home a salary for as long as possible.
- Exercise, eat well, and sleep: With all the evidence that daily exercise can help promote feelings of wellness—and boost your immunity—now’s a great time to tap into online exercise classes. Go for a walk, bike ride, or run. Also, eating well can improve your outlook. Studies show that a diet rich and fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein help reduce inflammation and anxiety. Catch up on sleep.
- Continue to Work: Online professional development classes for bartenders, online certifications, learning to mix new and classic cocktails, reading up on the latest news and techniques in the field, watching online seminars and stories about brands, and reading industry-centric books will help hone your craft and ensure preparedness when it’s time to return to work.
Meet Chilled 100 Member Tripper Duval
Tripper Duval is one of the owners of Lost Whale and R&D Beverage Consulting. He has worked in nearly every capacity of the hospitality industry for the last decade. Residing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Tripper has dedicated his career to the growth and development of the bartenders around him. He was the president of the Milwaukee Chapter of the USBG and the corporate mixologist for Badger Liquor, also consulting for bars and restaurants all over the state of Wisconsin. Tripper was named Milwaukee’s Best Mixologist 2019, and listed as one of the top 100 bartenders in the country. Tripper has succeeded in national cocktail competitions and has been featured in multiple publications locally and nationally. When Tripper is not working, he enjoys spending time with his two kids and fiancé.