Scott Lewis is a bartender at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott. We asked him about his years of experience behind the bar, why he decided to pursue bartending, and where he would go in the world for a nightcap.
What inspired you to want to become a bartender and pursue a career in this industry?
As with most careers money was the first inspiration. I grew up working for my grandfather who owned a family restaurant, where I started as a busboy/dishwasher and worked my way around every position of the restaurant. Soon after he sold the restaurant, I started working at The Chart House in Philadelphia, after working several positions there. They trained me to bartend and I haven’t looked back.
You work at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott, located in the Philadelphia International Airport. Tell us about that experience – what is unique about working at this location? Does it impact your clientele, the cocktails you serve or that are requested, etc?
Bartending at The Philadelphia Airport Marriott is unique in that our busy times are mostly weekdays as opposed to weekends. The clientele are from all over so you really get some drink requests that are regional which keeps you learning new recipes all the time.
After working in the industry for over 20 years – what is the biggest lesson you’ve learned? And what keeps you excited and passionate about getting behind the bar every day?
The biggest lesson I have learned from bartending is not to assume anything and try not to take anything personal. Everyone has a story and a preference, hearing different stories and being able to meet the guests’ needs keeps me coming back for more.
If you could hop on a plane after work and head anywhere in the world to grab a nightcap – where would you go and why?
I would hop on a plane to Scotland and get a nice single malt scotch in St Andrews. I think anywhere you can go to where the product is produced makes for a great time.
What core beliefs inspire your approach to being a leader and managing your team?
I believe in leading by example. I have been bartending for almost 30 years and I will still measure a cocktail to ensure it is properly balanced.