Humans of Hospo: Jared Merlino

Discover Jared Merlino's hospitality journey in this second instalment of our Humans of Hospo series.

humans of hospo: jared merlino

Jared is the Managing Director of Kittyhawk, The Lobo Plantation, and Big Poppa's, and most recently opened Caffe Bartolo. Like our first instalment of Humans of Hospo, Jared's hospitality career is an inspiring one, having been awarded National Bar Operator of the Year 2017 by the bar industry at the Bartender Magazine Bar Awards. We've partnered with 5Why on this exciting new series to inspire successful hospitality careers. 


"I want to build careers in hospitality, not just jobs"


In this profile, Jared provides insight into his outstanding hospitality career including his first job as a dishwasher, who inspires him, and how he almost quit university along the way. Jared is a perfect example of what a successful hospitality career can look like, should you have the passion, drive, and creativity. 


"I realised that in hospitality you're creating an experience more than anything"


#HOH humans of hospo: jared merlino

Jared's tips for a successful hospitality career

  • Spend time in venues. It's the most inspiring thing you can do, making note of venues that you enjoy, what details you value, etcetera. 
  • Get a job as early as you can. Build those transferrable hospitality skills. The more skills you acquire for yourself, the more hireable you'll become.
  • Be hungry for knowledge. While working at any hospitality venue, be eager to learn as many things as you can. From product knowledge to operations, push yourself and ask your employer to train you on as many things as you can.

"Balance is integral. It's about finding the right employer and the right workplace that doesn't exploit you, allows you to have balance, and to be able to have a good relationship with the people that you work with so you can have that balance."

Check out the full video here.


After a career like Jared's? Submit your details below and we'll connect you with Sydney's premier restaurants, bars, and events. 


About the author Carlyn Shaw

Drawing on 12 years of hospitality experience and coming from a Communications background, I am passionate about all things hospitality.


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