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To say that recording this episode was spiritual for me would be an understatement. My soul was nurtured during this often ideological exchange with Thabiso from The Everyday Bar in South Africa.

We chat about the importance of quality standards, the international potential of mobile bars to unit corners of the world, the philosophy behind hospitality, and how each of our little bars could have a big impact on lives and the world as a whole.

I invite you to follow Thabiso at and his business page

For more details on LQA standards, you can visit:


Sarah Murphy 0:00
Hi friends. Welcome to the Mobile Bev Pros podcast, a podcast dedicated to providing mobile bar professionals with the information they need to succeed. I’m your host and fellow mobile bar owner Sarah Murphy. Each episode, I’ll be bringing you interviews, knowledge, anecdotes, or opinions with the goal of assisting you in building a profitable, sustainable and scalable mobile bar business that will support the lifestyle. I’m excited for today’s episode, so let’s

Thabiso 0:27
get started.

Sarah Murphy 0:30
here with me today is Thabiso from The Everyday Bar. He’s coming all the way from South Africa in Johannesburg. As a result, I would hope that listeners will forgive us if there’s a little bit of delay or noise because the connection seems to be a touch spotty today, but it’s fine. The information is going to be awesome. And it’s worth sticking it out for today’s topic I’m really excited about I originally requested to a bartending group, anybody who felt like they had had information to share in part upon the mobile bar industry from anywhere in the world and to visa reached out wanting to talk about LQA standards, which actually triggered a really fun conversation for me because as someone who graduated from the Cornell hotel school with a master’s degree, I know of the LQA standards, but they’re rarely in the US anyways, primarily used for hotels. And so when he suggested this as a conversation for the mobile bar industry, I was intrigued to say the least. But he was pretty passionate about the fact that LQA standards align very much with the mobile bar world. And since he would know firsthand, I was excited to bring him on to talk about that. So to be so tell our listeners, what are LQA standards for those who don’t know?

Thabiso 1:46
Well, LQA standard itself stands for leading quality assurance. So these are the base standards industry uses to audit different hotel groups. They audit them with regards to service standards from how the establishment looks from when they entered that establishment, when they come to audited if they were greeted properly, how the staff is dress, the body language. Yeah, and all these cues for like you need to pay attention to when dealing with guests, not repeating the names and stuff like that, and just talking to them on a human level, not just as a client. So that was more of the reason of course then as I think it was personalized service, just getting rated. And it’s mostly used by Yeah. So it basically images. That’s what lk stands. Yeah, they normally help rate the quality of service across different boards from bar to to floor stuff. Yeah, but in a nutshell

Sarah Murphy 3:00
I love that I love the idea of some sort of unified system for mobile bars, but also for everything, but specifically in this case, because mobile bars are very much a gray area. I think in the terms of hospitality. We don’t have organizations like the, you know, International Hotel association or anything like that kind of overseeing or establishing, well, this one’s more quality than this one because they meet these particular standards, which is a fascinating concept, I think. And so in regards to what you know, of and what you’ve learned in practice LCA standards, which ones do you think are most appropriate or most interesting for the application to mobile buyers?

Thabiso 3:44
Yeah, like in terms of mobile, but like, like you said, mobile being a gray area. And it’s not like there’s anyone constantly evaluating them, because they keep moving around. They’re more of an informal bar. So there isn’t much regulation. Thank you. And even the stuff that has the permanent the one time they could be bad based on the people who got hired. And the next time, they might be super awesome, because the better stuff. So in terms of which standards to properly, that properly aligned with the mobile by industry, it will be standards that have to deal with how you talk and approach the guests. Such standard standards like remembering orders, it also held within the standard, just how this stuff behaves. It shouldn’t be just because it’s an informal is an informal setting that they shouldn’t be bound by some level of professionalism, some mobile bar setting some people end up consuming other while working because I mean, it’s more informal, so it’s more loose. It’s not like you have a whole corporate identity behind you that enforces a whole A lot of rules and regulations upon you. So grooming standards are going to be essential and mobile bar and time as well. You’re going to have to be still maintain the efficiency of your service even while you remote. So yeah, such standards. I think those are the most vendors that should be recognized within the mobile industry.

Sarah Murphy 5:26
Yeah, I really, I really, really love this as someone who obviously has been formally trained in hospitality and also spent about 15 years in the restaurant industry some of that time in the hotel industry as well. I do think that that’s something that I’ve been I’ve benefited from in imparting onto my own mobile bar. There’s some part of me that is super stickler about things like uniform and vocabulary even. There are certain there are certain things that I you know, like, when someone comes to the bar, you don’t want to hear what do you want, right. It’s like how Can I help you? Or may get you something right? Is it a little tiny vocabulary changes that make a big difference that I don’t know, if it comes all that naturally to people, if they haven’t had some sort of formal training, and believe it or not, we have a large number of mobile bar owners, they get into the industry without formal hospitality training. It’s more a side hustle. It’s something that like, Oh, these bars are so cute. I could totally do this. They really like people. They like to interact with people, and they love weddings, or they love whatever. And so something like LPGA standards, I think would be super helpful for those people, if not, not that they have to apply all of those things to their business. But if they choose the ones that they like, it’ll help them become more consistent. It might even raise the level of hospitality that they’re providing to the guests. So if someone is listening, and they are a mobile bar, and they’re interested in learning more about what LTE standards are, where would they go to find this information?

Thabiso 7:00
Well, uh, with regards to mq, specifically because I, I started learning about mq a standard when I started traveling. And it’s not like a system that used in South Africa in the restaurant or bar industry a lot, even within the hotel industry. It’s used by by some groups that are international, but it’s not as serious as it is, when you are, yeah, in the United States, for example, in the UK, or the Middle East, which is where I learn more about the significance and the importance of adequate standards. So you could go online and find institutions and most recognized institutions to get certified. You’d have to just google advocate standard institutions, and they aren’t even allowed because they handle a whole portfolio of hotels worldwide.

Sarah Murphy 7:57
Yeah, I think they might chuckle if I Myself reached out to them and asked to become certified in lk QA standards, right? Because they’re going to be like, I’m sorry, what? What are you?

And it’s probably pretty expensive.

Thabiso 8:11
Yeah, it’s a bit costly, but at times, they are looking into branching off into different countries like, like in Africa, for one, you know, because a lot of places don’t have certified facilitators that they can use to audit the hotels that are based in Africa. Unlike sending someone abroad to come audit this side, which is what they normally do, they mostly have people flying in to do their audit as to how they could have local people. So they’re also looking to branch off so should you ever be interested in getting certified and having a standard certified certificate, you will have to you know, reach out to such said, organizations and though they will help you in terms of aligning you with their goals as well.

Sarah Murphy 9:00
Yeah, and even if even if you don’t choose to become certified or if they don’t have a specific desire to certify our little mobile bar community individually, the the standards themselves would be worthwhile reading and incorporating into the standards as designed by the individual mobile bars as a big part of why I started mobile dev pros and a big part of why I do the podcast in the blog and have the membership is because it’s important for me to maintain the longevity of mobile bars. And the best way for me, the best way I think that we do that is to show up as a community as an industry as a niche as being super professional, super valuable to the overall party experience. And consistent I think, with the expectation that people can expect to now do I think that everyone’s experience that they provide needs to be the same no but I do love the idea of The whole experience around mobile bars being one that Oh, you should definitely hire a mobile bar for your event, not just because they have pretty rigs, but because they have this unified level of service that goes above and beyond that, which is offered by bartenders that the caterers might have or people who, maybe bartend on the weekends or as kind of like a side hustle. People who identify as mobile bars have a standard by which they perform operated and the expectations that you have can are higher, right. I love the idea of that, even if LCA itself doesn’t want to part of it mobile bar industry, which I can’t speak for them, because I haven’t actually talked to them yet. But I do think that the concept behind some sort of standardization, some sort of baseline level of expectation is is a fascinating concept and one that I hadn’t thought of before you mentioned that.

Thabiso 10:54
Yeah, I mean, like you pointed out earlier, that there’s a lot of people who To go into such industries within the hospitality industry, and they have no background with, and we have a huge number of that of people who started their own beer restaurant or mobile company without having any experience, they just had the, the capital to inject in into such a venture. And those people most of the time, as always a good thing to employ people but they create a room for all these things that that are not regular within the industry by not following certain procedures, because obviously they wouldn’t know how to find and because they are funding these programs, they normally just do away without following procedure, because they’re mostly looking for the capital side to profit from such a business or which is a business but at the same time, making the industry be so and rude and unregulated that it becomes hard for that whole mobile by industry to be a better communion you know, like have people representing it even on union level where people are paid certain amount across board across continent, people, they tend to just charge you however much they can charge you and you’re gonna have to choose whether you accept it or not. So the first one, there isn’t much regulation, even on the unseen side of the whole business, which is the hiring side, it doesn’t have permanent staff most of the time, they don’t have a no benefits, nothing. And then a big room for other people. Not everyone is the same to take the opportunity and and explain certain people. So should they be some more regulations and more institutions that govern the mobile by industry itself, where they are They should make mobile companies meet a certain requirement for them to be operational, you know, like have be certified in some way, not just have the business plan and open it and take all the boxes, but like just meet sets in standard then be audited continuously, even randomly at that to see and evaluate them properly. And it also helps whoever work for that company, should they want to work somewhere else should they want to take up a career within the broadest sense of the hospitality industry and they could use working in a mobile by industry as certified experience because I tell people who started off and all they did were event, they don’t necessarily get recognized. Much. You know, within an industry you can come up and be like, yeah, I’m a bartender like where have you heard? Yeah, mobile bar company. You know, like, what mean, you don’t know? You know, you don’t know much procedure or you know, it’s just informal teaching of opening up whereby if you work on a standalone bar, the procedures are different. The closing opening procedures, all of that is different how you handle this is different. There’s certain

certain laws that are gonna govern you.

Yeah, so all in all, we just need more regulations. And should we have regulations, we’re all gonna be on the same par. And it’s gonna be easier for us to collaborate and work together, which is more than what we need. I feel like the Lord has shown us that we can connect from anywhere in the world and still work and everybody can profit from working anywhere. I mean, I could even get hired to come to a party somewhere and the US as part of SSN bar team And vice versa, we can create such channels where people can start traveling can learn, and can grow and diversify.

Sarah Murphy 15:09
To visa the vision for the opportunity held within the mobile bar community that you’ve just shared is literally blowing my mind. Right? So like you have the opposite, the opposite seasons that we do. And but what an amazing thought that we could have a program where someone not necessarily mobile bar owner per se, because we’ve got lots of other things that go on and off season. But our staff, for example, who are trained in these, we’re going to call them hypothetically mobile bar quality standards trained in this program certified in this program, and then have a desire to travel with some sort of understood or agreed upon rate of compensation across countries, because obviously different economies different standards of quality of living, right so someone might make more Lesson in a different country than they do in their home country, but some sort of baseline agreed compensation. And then they could they could winter for us that summer for you they could winter in South Africa working for the everyday bar and then come back to their home city and the season better with this understanding that they know how to run an event. Similarly, within the two countries I just, gosh, I love the the opportunity there. So when you

Thabiso 16:30
don’t push itself, it doesn’t only present itself with mobile, but we’re never gonna start the program. Well, to be honest, to approach the appeal record with a similar idea, which was only including a hotel stuff because I was working mostly with hotels at the time, and I decided to see you know that this can be abroad venture where it shouldn’t be limited to only hotel stuff and only bad stuff. It could be all kinds of stuff from chefs as well to waiters. And like you said, moving around different economies like this helps people to get to properly connect and know more about one another. Besides what they see on social media on the internet, they will get to actually, like, experience that whole change of scenario and it also brings like a niche concept to it way. I’ll be in South Africa and I don’t know, like, in some my hand for me to say, like I have some bartenders from the state who are only you know, seasonal for a specific time. We’ll have a button from the United States, one from Brazil. I don’t know one from from Japan, like, like it’s so diversified. The cultural opportunity, you know, to learn is so huge.

Sarah Murphy 17:50
I agree. As someone who was a foreign exchange student when I was in my late teens, I spent a year in Venezuela which was amazing and someone who worked in the hotel industry. And the restaurant industry for many years when we would use, we call them j one visas. But basically, they were temporary staff from other countries. And they were getting the experience of coming over and working in the hospitality field. I did my master’s degree with a large number of people from Singapore, and also India, they were doing kind of student exchange programs through the hotel, because that has to tell industry is so International. Yeah, like you serve tables, you’re serving people, very similarly, in France, as you do in the United States and other parts of the world. Like there are certain steps and standards and parts of that process that remain exactly the same. If I’m going to order a margarita in Mexico, it’s very similar to how I’m going to make it here in the States, probably very similar to the way that you’re gonna make it in South Africa. Because these are classics. And so I just, I just love that concept. I love that idea. And so, I’d love to think that we’re planting a seed for you to be so in that, the next time we talk, you’re going to say Guess what, I have this amazing program and I would love for mobile def pros to share it with their owners.

Thabiso 19:08
Oh, like I actually look forward to that and to kind of more realize that platform of have teamed up and work with a local youth magazine is called destiny careers. They normally, you know, like, just inform us more about like current challenges or like how to start a business, how to make it in certain industries, whereby a lot of people don’t know much information about, but there’s also some industries and some professions that are foreign to most and there’s people thriving in it. And it’s niche to specific countries at times to specific races or let’s say agenda items. So we try to just open up all these marketing channels for people to have more opportunity worldwide and with the platform of the magazine I’m also using it to introduce other talents from other parts of the world and I share. It could be a cocktail from, let’s say, from someone in Honduras, for example. And I will take the set of bartender and that content and just a brief story just marketing them locally here ever to just just to get people to try be more inquisitive and want to find out more.

Sarah Murphy 20:28
I love that. I love that we you’ve taken us on a little dream session today to be so and I’m not mad about it. I’m actually really excited and energized by the opportunity. I think it’s easy. It’s easy to kind of get grounded in what currently is about the mobile bar industry. But as someone who has identified stepped out in front of the industry and said, like I would be willing and happy to lead this industry to bigger, better, greater places. ideas like this really excite me because I see opportunity here for the industry as a whole and The bauble bar industry is so universal that we have members from the United States of Africa, Australia, the UK, parts of the Middle East, I had someone from Mumbai reach out the other day. I just love this. I love that the mobile bar industry has kind of taken over the world and many unique and really fun ways. And this is just one more I think piece that can help us bring it all together despite the fact that we’re kind of everywhere.

Thabiso 21:32
Yeah, definitely. Definitely. And to also realize that those fatality industry is not limited to just itself. I feel like the hospitality industry in terms of its training and like what it stands for, it should be a baseline for each industry way even the police to be a police you have to learn some aspects of hospitality or how to serve, how to be a server and and deal with all kinds People this will give you perspective on working in government or working in corporate, for that matter. This can help can help you open up your mind to not just being close minded to be like this because I don’t know, I work in an astrophysicist. hospitality industry has nothing to do with me. We can collaborate, who knows what we can accomplish, together with astrophysicists as hospitality professionals. So we have so much room to collaborate with so much other industries for us to, to make it and create more opportunities that other people are lacking. And hospitality can also be a stepping stone for for other people. So not everybody can aspire to be a chef. Some people have to be a chef, so that they could, I don’t know, be an Olympic swimmer. I don’t know how that links together, but we don’t know people’s journeys. But defer to be so I can,

Sarah Murphy 23:03
I can help you I can help you there because my husband is currently he just graduated law school but he’s a classically trained chef. He became a chef classically trained, he was the head chef of a few restaurants, was energized by food and transitioned into a job where he was the kitchen director for homeless people because that he felt like he could be using his powers for good then he saw so much disparity even in the community of those that are trying to help and so he decided he wanted to change policy so then he went on to law school just graduated and yeah, so like you’re right even the the the hospitality industry is a stepping stone for so many people, even if they reach the top levels, where in some people would be like your chef check, you’ve reached your career goals. And that’s not always the case. But I and I also love your comments about people functioning within the hospitality industry as a way to be better at their jobs that aren’t necessarily in the house. Tell me the story. I’ve always been of the belief that everyone should work at least six months in the hospitality industry in some form or fashion to be allowed to partake in the hospitality industry as a guest. There’s a whole nother level of empathy when you have it, right. A lot,

Thabiso 24:16
a lot of empathy and empathy is key. I think within all industries. A lot of people don’t want to associate with the person because they don’t want to have to feel. And then they go out doing other horrible things because they haven’t connected with anyone, and they haven’t connected with you. So if you learn to connect better with with people as a whole, you get to appreciate life differently from how you previously viewed a life. You get to care.

Sarah Murphy 24:47
I love that. I love that so hard to be so because you’re absolutely right. Empathy is such a big part of being of service, which is what you agreed to do when you join the staff of a hospitality company, whether it’s a mobile bar, a restaurant, hotel, anything, and that’s the best part of who we are as an industry is the fact that we can empathize and we can meet people’s needs, right? We’re literally serving people every day. And that makes us special and unique, especially those of us that come into this industry by choice, like mobile bar owners, right? Like, that’s a huge responsibility that we take on. And it’s a huge honor for us as well, which is, I think, why people love the industry so much is because we get a lot of energy from helping people on their biggest day, whether it’s a wedding, or helping people at a corporate event, just feel good for a few hours. beverages are a huge part of the overall gathering experience.

Thabiso 25:40
Yeah, like it’s so amazing to see someone truly happy and an egg you did for the win. And for you, it wasn’t much you just realize that this person on the ad said it’s their birthday. And without asking you, you just assemble this moon cake and as one team, you can thing a bad day, something to you that seemed like a tick in a box for occasions in a company, it could mean so much for that person that you just surprised that it said Happy birthday to you could be creating that small good gesture can transcend from them, you know doing something better to someone else without them asking. And that creates a whole chain of people you know, wanting to do better and to do more for others.

Sarah Murphy 26:32
Ah Gosh, to this day, we’re really digging it on the heart of the hospitality industry and really leveling up those expectations because you you’re so right like what we’ve chosen to do as careers can make or break people’s day and we have chosen to be light bringers in one form or another just small moments of happiness and being served and those things can trigger other acts of good further on down the line that we may never even know about. But It’s one of the the ideal perks or one of the great pleasures, I think, serving people.

Thabiso 27:05
Yeah, definitely, definitely. And another big reason I also decided to cover the QA side with this chapter of ours was also more, it was more inspired by the other number of people who chose to be in the industry. And it wasn’t by choice error, because we have a whole a big number of people who are within the industry and they ended up the noble choice. It’s an industry where you can easily get into it without much qualification and that alone because the percentage is so high, we have people who are angry at the fact that they are working within the industry and in a way, covering a bad light for us where they’re not as passionate at being a waiter. I see it as an insult that I’m waiter and this is not what I wanted. Want to be I don’t know, an engineer, I just want to be rich, whereby, for some people, they, they willingly and thought about it and aspired for and learned and sat down and research on how to be a chef and how to be a bartender. And they, they can be a bartender for 50 more years, or 100 more years if they could, and they could work without pay, because they passionate about it. And the people who aren’t, which is a big number of those people. They’re making it hard to properly regulate the industry, because they flooding in big numbers. And also, the mobile by industry is also one of the last lines of defense because it’s easy to take someone who’s, who doesn’t have much experience to groom them like that, but not knowing that, that kind of can create some, some hatred from that person from being in that industry. Not just as a job opportunity. So it’s a tricky situation on what role we want to play within the mobile industry, as well, in terms of how to properly motivate a person, you know,

Sarah Murphy 29:15
I think he broke out a bunch in that last little bit. But I think what I could understand what I was, what I pulled from it was the mobile VR industry in a big way is the last line of defense because we can take people who are greener and train them up correctly, with a certain level of standards. And that, that sets both our industry apart but also sets them up for a better future if they get their start with a solid foundation. And

Thabiso 29:44
yeah, then use that platform as a stepping stone, not necessarily as a whole foundation to build a house, right. They could just be you know, a stone to move on to other pastures. So that’s also the tricky part where you have improved is when they employ you, they want you to, to be employed and stay there and be loyal to them not necessarily looking for your benefit where they have to train you, and hope that you become a better version of yourself where you can train other people and grow as an individual.

Sarah Murphy 30:17
It’s hard to have a bias specifically because while I spent a good portion of my career in restaurants training up people with all levels of experience in the restaurant industry, I preferred them super green when I was in the restaurant industry, because then I could train them without having to break the bad habits that they would bring from other places. But my experience as a mobile bar owner is the opposite because I don’t generally have staff that are regular enough that I can do that with or spend the time on a contractor to get them where I want them to be. So I tend to hire only the most experienced and people who are fresh out of bartending school or kind of want to get into bartending. They’re not really somebody that I consider for bar Magnolia, but it’s There’s a fascinating concept that mobile bars can do better. If should they should they accept the challenge for their staff, if they do take on people who are green and teach them the bartending skills, the hospitality skills, skills that they’ll need to kind of go on and succeed. And so it inspires me to maybe think about that a little bit of my own business model. And maybe there’s space for one or two a season that can start off maybe being a barback, for example, and then growing through just the experience of doing individual events, and then the value that that can provide them as they move on in their in their careers, even if they’re just going to college and they use their skills that they learned working for my company at a summer job, right and how, how the impact of my my little tiny baby business could have to be big to some of these, some of the people that that I take on to train.

Thabiso 31:54
Yeah, definitely, I think doing that will will benefit Not only you know the stuff as well, I mean, it benefits benefits you it to know that you I mean, that you’re doing a good thing as well, not just for for profit as well, you know, it’s great profit, we all want the profit, but that you also helping someone on their life journeys on. And yes, yeah. So so it’s relative. And what I wanted to add to that statement was that it’s a big role. It’s a big role that the mobile by industry gets to play directly and also indirectly.

Sarah Murphy 32:40
Yeah, absolutely. We’ve covered so much today to be so we have covered l QA standards, the thought of having a similar form of standard quality standards for the mobile bar industry. We’ve covered the international potential of an exchange program. Should we have similar standards and a program where mobile bars can can certify so that it’s aligned that we have similar levels of standard. And we’ve talked about the gorgeous, idealistic philosophy behind hospitality and the impact impact that has on the world. And then we brought it back to the micro impact of mobile bars if they choose to accept the responsibility of training up individuals that may not have the experience currently, but that we provide them with the experience so that we can help them go out into the world and be meaningful and impactful members of the hospitality industry. We’ve done a lot of dreaming today here to be so and I love it.

Thabiso 33:45
Well, let’s hope that the dream can can be realized positive, it’s very vital that some of those points we raise get realized in the near future. Because I mean, for for most of us, I’m sure for yourself, hospitality per se, the industry, the career I don’t see much as a career, if you have Twitter hard. It’s not just the profession, the fact that you can cook the knowledge and your way of life, probably from how you dress walk from how you talk. It’s your identity like a chef. Will we be like a race, I guess, in that sense, whereby, if you, you know, take it to the mobile bartenders scene, it’s gonna be hard when you passionate to constantly train people who you think are gonna leave, you might lose that heart of continuously training people with passion, knowing that they’re gonna, they’re gonna leave, but it’s vital to remain as passionate while training those individuals because when you instill passion on that level, that pension they can take it. They can take it far.

Sarah Murphy 34:59
Absolutely. Agree 100% Well, I have loved our conversation here to be so and I hope that we get to have more in the future. Is there is there anything that you want any last comments that you want to leave the mobile bar world with?

Thabiso 35:13
Well, to be honest, I really would want us to collaborate more with other industries and to have the liquor industry also realize that the mobile bar industry can be properly incorporated within within them because they can help with with smaller lunches. They can be the everyday man on the ground as well. So we can use each other from different aspects of, of the hospitality industry to, to better communion eyes ourself, because the stronger we want to be as a community, the easier it becomes for us to to come together, even like for such times as global pandemics for us to better tackle issues. That would have been hard to do them alone as an individual or as one organization. So yeah, for me, it’s like I’m teaching more unity and more peace.

Sarah Murphy 36:12
Ah, gosh, this might be the most inspirational podcast we’ve done. Yes. And I love it. Thank you for joining us today if you’re a guest.

You have a great rest your day.

Thabiso 36:25
No, you too. You too. Thank you.

Sarah Murphy 36:27
And that wraps up today’s episode. I hope it was valuable. I would love to hear from you what you thought you can drop me a line at Hello at Mobile death pros comm or find me on Instagram at mobile web pros. If you’re looking for more valuable mobile bar related content, we have a website full of it. You can find us at www dot mobile bez And I’d love to see you in our Facebook community. Also by the name of you guessed it, mobile dev pros. Thank you for joining me today. Until next time, cheers.

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