Meet The Worksmithers: Michael Bascetta

Co-Founder & CEO of Worksmith, Bar Liberty, and Capitano

By: Sophie

As a part of our new-look Newsletter, we want our readers to get to know a little bit more about our members, who they are and what they do. To kick things off, we’d like to introduce to Co-Founder of Bar Liberty, Capitano and our very own Worksmith - Michael Bascetta.

WS: MB, you’ve got a fair bit on your plate at the moment. What does an average day look like for you?

Every day is different, generally, though, I start in a Worksmith space at 7:30 and will be on the move throughout the day with meetings for Worksmith or at Bar Liberty/Capitano with the teams there. Any given day I could be working on half a doz. different projects: Advisory for Worksmith projects, an event for a restaurant venue, researching new opportunities in the market. It really changes every day, and sometimes I’ll be organised enough to include a menu or beverage tasting at one of the restaurants as part of my workday. Early evenings, I could be at a Worksmith event or workshop, and I still occasionally do shifts at the venues whenever I’m needed.

WS: What's been a significant milestone in the last year that you're proud of?

Opening a second restaurant, and opening a second Worksmith space.
When you open your second venue, it’s the only time you’ll ever double in size, so there’s a lot of growing pains to get through the process (on-boarding a whole new team, leasing/rental headaches etc.), but it's also twice as rewarding.
Watching Worksmith grow into a second space in our home city has given us validation that our idea to grow hospitality is actually working. This, coupled with the growing number of projects that Worksmith now has the opportunity to work on, has shown the potential global reach for our company.

WS: Your favourite thing about Worksmith and your favourite thing about the hospitality industry?

The Worksmith community. People that come in to grow their business and how they work together and with us to drive success in their own right. Having a mission and vision for your business, and seeing it come to life in others is pretty fantastic.

In terms of hospo - Most people think of hospitality and restrict their thoughts to the bare minimum of front and back of house, whereas I’ve discovered over the last few years the depth of the industry and where it can take you. A 16-year-old apprentice chef might think that their career trajectory is to (hopefully) end up in an Executive Chef role, but that’s not the case. You could start as a commis chef, become interested in fermentation and distillation, start brewing your own beverages and end up with your own drinks label. The knowledge we’ve gained from running Capitano and Bar Liberty can be shared (and actually be useful) to other industries also. Worksmith’s vision of grow, hospitality, together has this idea at its core. Where shared knowledge and collaboration will always have a greater outcome.

WS: What do you love most, and what is the biggest challenge about working in across these industries?

Capital. It’s not a particularly endearing answer, but it’s the reality of both Worksmith and the restaurants. Opening a venue isn’t hard - it’s actually pretty easy when you compare it to the difficulty of actually staying open and relevant in an industry that’s constantly evolving . If cash flow slows down in food, beverage or hospitality, they’re industries that will swallow you up without a second to spare, and there’s not a whole lot that you can do that will slow down that process. Once you’ve found a successful model for your venue, get on that hamster wheel and don’t stop it.

WS: Favourite dish?

Tomato Pie from Capitano. Cacio e Pepe from Liberty…Yes, I’m Italian and yes I am biased, but I will seriously never get sick of those two.

WS: Go-to drink?

AM: Filter Coffee
PM: Beer, Whisky, Anything Sour.

WS: Describe the Hospitality industry in five words:

Growing. Challenging. Tiring. Fun. Gratifying.

WS: Describe Worksmith in five words.

Growing. Challenging. Tiring. Fun. Gratifying.

WS: What is your hidden talent?

I can beat anyone at Limbo!