Blog 003 // Modern Minimalism

Since Marie Kondo’s ‘KonMari’ method became cult viewing for the makeover TV world, a new wave of modern minimalism has been gaining traction. Minimalism can be used in many iterations, from creating a slick, interior aesthetic that photographs beautifully for the Instagram crowd, to giving you the tools to enable you to run your bar in a more efficient and cost-effective way. With some hard work & a little creativity, the minimalist way of thinking can be tied in beautifully with running a more ethical & cost-effective business. Better for you, better for the planet, & better for the profit margins. What’s not to love?

At Sweet&Chilli’s very own Nine Lives Bar, the aim has been to implement innovative but simple steps, to ensure we come at everything with a pared back approach.


Giving Customers More For Less

Millennials & Gen Z audiences are searching for venues and products that can offer them ‘more for less’. They want greater experiences in flavour & taste using fresh, local ingredients that appease an elevated social conscience by causing less negative impact on the planet. This can be a strain on the budget when creating new and interesting cocktails, as organic, free range & biodynamic produce come with a cost.

At Nine Lives, we simplified & looked to our community for solutions to this problem. An independent bakery around the corner started bringing leftover pastries when they popped by for their post-work wind down. This was the inception of our almond croissant infused Metaxa, used in our Top Rocks serve. 


Savvy Serves

We design cocktails that minimise wastage & find innovate ways to repurpose any by-products of prep to ‘cross pollinate’ with other drinks on the menu. This saves money on ordering ingredients & minimises waste. The garnish on one cocktail was made by pressing & dehydrating a coconut after it had been infused in Johnnie Walker Black Label for our Moby Dick cocktail.

Get friendly with local markets or greengrocers & take their waste products for pickling, dehydrating, infusing or making syrups. We enlisted the help of homeless charity St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots initiative, to create a beautiful, functional space in our garden, to grow our own seasonal fruits & herbs.

Consider streamlining in all areas. Start with the menu-a stripped back menu of well executed drinks is always more impressive than a never-ending, catalogue. Do the hard work during mise en place, making the preparation over the bar simpler, quicker & more cost effective. Pre-batch & freeze martinis pre -shift for example. Focus your deliveries – use the same supplier for as much as possible & reduce your delivery window, enabling negotiation for better prices & the chance to cut down your carbon footprint.


Five Key Takeaways


Invest in community spirit // Meet your neighbours, learn what businesses on your doorstep have to offer & what magic can be made.

Get creative with serves // Use seasonal & local ingredients & create cocktails with minimal waste

All killer no filler // Invest in key quality interior elements that showcase your bar’s style

Digitalisation // Of menus & reservations can be cost effective & also give you insight into your customers

Maximise your staff // Ensure everybody knows the key role they are playing to drive efficiency