The WorkShop looks at working in Coppers, opening a bar with no water and trade secrets of the hospitality industry 2 years ago

The WorkShop looks at working in Coppers, opening a bar with no water and trade secrets of the hospitality industry

Brought to you by

The inside story from Irish hospitality figures.


Ireland is famed for its hospitality so it’s no surprise that many people have pursued careers in the industry. The WorkShop, a new podcast series from, decided to take a deep dive into the workings of the industry this week.

We chatted to some of the country’s leading lights about what it takes to succeed in hospitality, including Jackie Moran, Events Manager at Copper Face Jacks, Ben Barclay, Head of Operations at Press Up and Chris Paye, General Manager at They talked about great service, getting the best staff, using social media to drive footfall, and how to create a successful venue.

The challenge of opening up a new bar or restaurant was summed up by Ben Barclay, whose company's portfolio of businesses includes Garage Bar, The Workman’s Club and Vintage Cocktail Club. He recalled the mistakes they made when they first opened Peruke & Periwig in Dublin.

They opened up on St Valentine’s Night, with the venue fully booked from 7pm that night… despite that fact that walls were still being painted and carpets were still being laid at 6.45pm. As if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, they discovered that there was no running water with 10 minutes to go.

In the end, they needed the Dublin Fire Brigade to bail them out in a very unusual way!

“It was just a complete disaster but it was one of those memories that you look back and you learn from and you say let’s make a commitment to never do that again,” he joked.


“We recovered from it and luckily now Peruke has become a really respected bar in the area and people love it and we have really loyal customers and thank God we recovered. But it also taught us so much. You can’t do that to yourself. You have to take your time and open to 10 people and 20 people and figure out how your building works before you ram it full of customers. It was a big learning curve for us but it was fun as well and it was exciting.”

Chris highlighted the attraction of the industry for many people and noted that it was an area where hard work and ambition reaps rewards.

“You can start anywhere,” he argued. “It’s one of my favourite industries for recruitment because of that. Anyone can come in and start at the ground level and make their way up to General Manager whatever it might be.”

Jackie summed up what was needed to work in Coppers, one of the most iconic venues in Ireland.


Copper Face Jacks free entry

“The main thing is hard work and a strong work ethic,” Jackie explained. “The nightclub is a very busy venue – seven nights a week, closed maybe three days a year. The staff that come in, especially the bar staff, they’re all really hard workers because they’re flat out all night.”

However, she noted that there was strong commitment to keeping staff in the organisation and that people who worked in Coppers tended to stay there in the long term.

Ben said that personality and character was the first thing they looked at when they were recruiting for their venues. He highlighted the importance of hiring people who were sound, fun and happy to be working in the venue and in the industry.


Experience is important but he said that the acid test was whether you would want to go for a coffee with a job candidate. Skills and technicalities could be trained but he stressed the need to hire people that you’d want to work with.

Looking for work in the hospitality industry? Check out these jobs that could potentially change your life...

Hear more about working in Coppers, Press Up and working in hospitality on the latest episode of The Workshop, from


Brought to you by