‘We want them to leave happier than when they came in’

09 October, 2020 by Andy Young

Maybe Sammy has continued its winning ways after being awarded the Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award by The World’s 50 Best Bars 2020.

The award was voted on by 540 members of The World’s 50 Best Bars Academy, who were asked to name the institution where they received the single best hospitality experience during the voting period.

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Co-owner of Maybe Sammy, Stefano Catino, told The Shout, just what it means to the team to win.

“This award means so much to us,” he said. “To know that our peers in the bar industry believe we offer the best hospitality experience in the world is really mind-blowing and humbling.”

In terms of just what hospitality means to the team, Catino said: “We want everyone who walks into Maybe Sammy to feel like they are special, that they are being taken care of and that for a small moment in time, they can let their worries disappear. When they leave, we want them to leave happier than when they came in.

“Hospitality is the word we use the most in our staff briefings as it really is central to our guest’s experience so it’s top of our minds, always. Our guests are our number one priority as without them, we have no bar.”

This the latest in a string of awards the Maybe Sammy team have enjoyed since it opened in January 2019. It was awarded The Best Bar in Australasia at The World’s 50 Best Bars 2019, placing at No.43 and was also named Best New Bar and Bar of the Year at the 2019 Australian Liquor Industry Awards.

Catino explained to The Shout, what is the key to the bar’s success.

“We have a passionate team who share the same focus towards our guest’s experience so having everyone on the same page makes a huge difference,” he said.

“The team communicates well between them and I think that spirit of comradery is obvious to people who come into the bar and is reflected in the attention to detail.”

He added that even in the COVID-climate the team has continued its commitment to top quality hospitality.

“For us, we knew we could continue to deliver the high standards we are known for but we had to make tweaks to the business to accommodate things like the decrease in guests and the capacity restrictions,” Catino told The Shout.

“With every hurdle we are faced with, we unite as a team to develop a strategy that allows us to adapt to the current environment without compromising who we are and what we deliver.

“We have made some tweaks to our food offering and obviously have followed all the rules and regulations stipulated by the government. Having less people in the venue actually gave us the chance to deliver an even more personalised experience so we saw that as a great opportunity.

“There are certainly less people in the CBD but our guests are definitely feeling more comfortable about having a break from their lives to enjoy some cocktails.”

Looking forward Catino said he remains hopeful that Sydneysiders continue to feel more confident about heading out and enjoying some of the city’s incredible bars.

“We really hope we can slowly return to normality but we’re also very grateful to be in the position we are, considering there are cities like Melbourne and others around the world that are suffering far more than we are.”

And he had this message for other venue operators: “Keep your focus on why you created the bar in the first place and be adaptable. Don’t lose sight of the experience you want your guests to have as that’s what hospitality is all about.”