Influencers in the Scottish Licensed Trade: David Smille

Portfolio Ambassador
Maverick Drinks

Not only is David’s knowledge of the bar industry encyclopaedic and his contacts book creaking under the weight of all the names, but he made our ‘influencer list’ because he’s also the person behind the Glasgow Bartenders page on Facebook. This comes on top of 12 years’ experience in cocktail bars, hotel bars
and restaurant bars, in both his hometown of Glasgow, and in Australia.

Who is your biggest influence?

I suppose my big influence now is the current generation of hospitality professionals coming through in Scotland. It’s a hard bloody industry to become successful in and the hard work and skill on show is very inspiring.

What motivates you to do what you do?

My motivation is the wide eyed light bulb moment everyone gets when a penny drops on something they are excited about. Understanding a spirit production technique or tasting a something that blows you away. I’m lucky enough to seek out these moments for a living and the kick of seeing the knowledge
you’ve imparted having a physical reaction.

Have you noticed any trends in hospitality or the Scottish licensed trade?

I think, finally, we are seeing a return to what makes Scottish bars and restaurants world beating. Hospitality. You can have all the great spirits, wines, beers, food in the world but if your guest doesn’t feel comfortable enough to make a second, third, fourth visit you’re in trouble. And this only happens when great operators work in close tandem with great FOH teams.

How do you stay ahead of the curve?

I read a lot. Whether is traditional hard backs, Facebook articles, Instagram or websites all the knowledge you need to keep informed and relevant is at your fingers tips. The pieces of plastic and glass in our hands may be a source of apathy to knowledge but they are also our closest window to the world. Use them properly.

Category: Editors' Picks, News, People
Tags: David Smillie