Over the Bar

Back Bar USA's Weekly Newsletter

“Nothing About Us, Without Us”: H.E.A.R.D. Co-op Takes Action for All Service Workers
May 28th, 2020


Founded by a group of U.S. bartenders and hospitality workers, the Hospitality Employees’ Active Research Development Cooperative (H.E.A.R.D. Cooperative) identifies and amplifies community-based solutions and legislative best practices for service industries. In other words, it researches and compiles what’s working and makes it easier for this often-marginalized sector to appeal to state- and city-level legislators to enact public policy that recognizes all service workers.

“H.E.A.R.D. Cooperative’s contribution to the food-and-beverage landscape is so vital because we are addressing our industry’s needs from within and without pressure from interest groups,” says H.E.A.R.D’s cofounder and “Chief Cat Herder,” Mark Schettler, who is also a bartender and general manager at Bar Tonique in New Orleans, LA. “There’s no one better to identify and advocate for the needs of our industry than us—compassionate, civic-minded professionals who ourselves make a living in food and beverage. The active research has historically yielded comprehensive and lasting change.”

So, why should this matter to absolutely everyone within the food-and-beverage industry? Because the state of the industry depends on the stability of its rank and file. And it’s time for that segment to have a voice.

“We’re faced with a moment when we’re going to have to rebuild our industry. Making sure there’s a seat at the table for everyone—and we do mean everyone, from ownership on down the ladder—is the best way to get us to a more prosperous, equitable, and fulfilling tomorrow. It’s a scary time in our industry, but there’s strength in our solidarity.”

H.E.A.R.D. Cooperative is just one of the more than 700 resources found on the Hospitality Relief Dashboard by Tobin Ellis of Barmagic of Las Vegas. With each newsletter, we’ll turn the spotlight on another exceptional cause.