The London Bartenders’ Association (LBA) has launched a new online platform, the LBA Social, with the goal of extending its scope to help the entire hospitality industry
Drew Mallins, founder of the LBA, announced the initiative as well as a forthcoming app in a post on the LBA Facebook group earlier this week. ‘The LBA is driving initiatives to help support the hospitality industry as it rebuilds through the global Covid-19 pandemic,’ he wrote. ‘Our new social initiative and app will help businesses and individuals through loyalty schemes, events, resources and charitable causes.’
Mallins founded the LBA in 2010 as a Facebook group. It has since grown into an important resource for London’s bartending community on social media, promoting industry events, crowdsourcing information, posting job adverts and fostering discussion among its 31,500 members.
He sees the new initiative and app as an opportunity to widen both the LBA’s community and its features. ‘Although intrinsically linked to the London Bartenders’ Association, our focus is the entire hospitality industry in London – bars, restaurants, cafes, hotels, takeaways and alcohol retailers,’ Mallins told Imbibe. ‘The app will be an extension of the LBA network and become an additional resource for the London hospitality industry with features that aren’t possible to implement on Facebook or Instagram.’
For Mallins and his business partner Cesar Breton, this launch is a step towards a more sustainable model for the LBA.
‘We’ve put our heads together and I now have the drive to grow it as a valuable business, yet still maintain its core purpose of being an incredible resource, network and platform for the community,’ said Mallins. ‘I’ve been running the LBA 24/7, 365 for more than 10 years, but I can’t run it forever for the sake of both my mental health and being able to focus on larger business opportunities in the future. I genuinely dream of the day I can at least temporarily suspend my Facebook account!’
To sign up for offers and discounts from London venues as a hospitality professional, or to add your venue’s offers to LBA’s platform, visit the LBA social website.