Sydney-based bartender Kurtis Bosley is the group bar operations manager for the Public House Management group, whose stable of venues includes the Four in Hand, Bistro Moncur, the Woollahra Hotel and more. Bosley has had some success in the cocktail competition world, and developed a considerable Instagram following along the way with his drink design work — his account, @cocktailsbykurtis has a following of some 39,000 people.
So, what does his role entail? “The term ‘multifaceted’ only begins to describe the role,” Bosley says. “[I’m] overseeing the development of eight seasonal cocktail menus (featured in a number of styles of venues including fine dining chef-hatted restaurants, pubs and bars), running a head bartenders program within the group with monthly meet-ups and trainings, leading the training and development of over 150 bar staff and in the mix trying to find time to prep and enter cocktail competitions, spend time honing my photography skills and making myself believe I’m putting my architecture degree to good use through my drinks design page.”
It’s fair to say there’s a bit on his plate. Below, and lightly edited for clarity, is what’s involved in a typical day for Bosley — and a couple of tips for making your Instagram drinks look ace.
5:30am: Wake up. I’ve got an obsession with V60 pour-over coffees at the moment. It’s the most laborious way to make a coffee but it’s become my morning ritual to get ready for the day ahead.
5:45am: Drink delicious coffee and read venue reports from the previous night’s trade. Any issues that need to be addressed I either reply to the email then and there or it gets added to my to-do list for the day.
6:15am: Drive to work with the Director of Food and Beverage for the company (Ben Varela) and spend the next hour or so debriefing the night’s trade or organising the day ahead.
8:00am: Catching up on emails that have been in my inbox for days and plan my day ahead.
9:45am: Make my way in-venue to pester the chefs with ideas I’m trying to develop, followed by annoying the opening bartenders with jobs and a similar brainstorming of ideas.
10:30am: Spend time compiling reports and sales data to analyse the bars GP%, what’s selling, look at any activations and how they have been received in venue and ensure venues are on top of their pricing and stock control.
12:00pm: Meetings. I tend to only book 2-3 meetings in on any particular day otherwise I find myself losing most of my working day. There are a few companies who support us really well and I usually catch up with them every other week to see what they have on the go and where we can support one another.
3:00pm: Trainings. Once a month the Head Bartenders will get together from each venue and we will have one of the brand ambassadors come in for a talk followed by a tasting and then discussion on anything going on in their bars. Weeks in between this I will often find myself in venue with staff running through SOS trainings or tastings of new menus prior to them going live.
Cider-Cocktails… Hell Yer! ???? With Sydney Brewery Apple Cider, Tonka Bean infused Dry Flor Apera, Tsuru-ume, Poire-William Eau de Vie & chamomile bitters ???? • ‘No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess’ • Inspired by Isaac Newton and the ability to bring together an eclectic mix of matter that may seem worlds apart.
4:30pm: Photographing any new cocktails for venues, promotions or competition entries. Tip: Nothing beats natural light, so take your photos an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset for best lighting. Also, don’t use Instagram filters. Learn to edit photos to make them look as real as possible through shadows, highlights, sharpness and contrast.
5:00pm: Service. Depending on what day it is will determine where I am located for the night’s service. Current focus is on #Woho Saturdays whereas during the week I get the chance to spend time at our other venues.
9:30pm: Food service finishes and the bar begins to quieten down (mid-week) which gives me a chance to write a report of the night, often using this time to also try any new drinks the bartenders are trialling.
10:30pm: Get home, wash off the day and usually spend some time trying to piece together the final ingredients for drinks I’m developing and concepts for upcoming events.