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3 Tips for Opening a Hospitality Business, with Charles Hardwick

Why stick with three when you can have four!
Here’s a surprise addition to our 3 tips for opening a hospitality business series.

In 2008 I went to visit my brother who was filming in New York. It just so happened that my good friend, Jacob Briars, was in town. We planned an evening out to visit some of New York’s magical venues and characters.

At around 1:30am on this fateful evening we went to visit a rising star bartender called Charles Hardwick. Knowing I had an 8am wakeup call looming to catch my flight home, Charles & Jacob made a persuading argument for me to change my flights, stay another night & join them at a BBQ being hosted by the King of Cocktails, Dale Degroff.

On this memorable Sunday morning I was fortunate enough to forge new friendships with incredible people & one of those great friendships is with Charles Hardwick.

Charles Hardwick,
New York

Starting his hospo life as a bartender in 1992, Charles worked with a number of inspirational legends of the trade such as Dale Degroff, Jason Kosmas & Dushan Zaric.

Honing his skills at the former cocktail hub Pravda, Charles quickly became a name known in the trade for creating well balanced libations.

His C.V. now reads more like a guide to NYC’s greatest culinary experiences -  including Blue Owl, Betony, La Chine, and The Office. He’s been a contributor to The Museum of American Cocktail and now runs his own company - drinkmarkt.

It gives me great pleasure to provide you with Charle’s three tips to opening a hospo business...

Charles’ Top 3 Tips

Tip 1.  The art of learning

Learn how to do everyone’s job at a competent level. From kitchen basics to waving goodbye to guests - this baby is yours. Understand the basics of all tasks, including things you might usually call an expert in for...

  • Learn how to make drinks.
  • Learn how to cook a decent omelette.
  • Learn how to scrub pots and pans.
  • Learn how to fix stuff.
  • Learn how to learn.

You will need to do all of this and more in your new business so roll up your sleeves and get to it!

Tip 2. Love your new home

Welcome to your new home. You should prepare yourself mentally and expect to be there every single day for at least the first six months.

You’ll be the first to arrive and the last to leave. You’ll have little to no sleep and your stress levels will be high…

But after that you may possibly take Sundays off. And then just look back at what you’ve achieved; hard work gets results.

Tip 3. Double down

Planning your finances is key. Start by projecting how much money you’d need for the first year if not a single person walks through the door.

Then double it.

Oh and don’t be stingy on the important things like security and infrastructure. As the Russians say: “Cheap people pay twice”.


If you’d like to know more about what Charles is up to, head to his website - drinkmarkt or if you’re passing through New York pop in and say hi to him at The Office