A place to fuel, connect, create and reignite passion for our Hospitality Industry - posBoss launches The Drunken Octopus Club
As we move forward with our “Here for Hospo” movement, posBoss has just taken a massive leap forward and opened our first Members Club for Hospitality Professionals!
The Drunken Octopus is located in Te Aro, Wellington and is a safe space for members of the Hospitality Industry to work individually or collaboratively - while providing learning and growth opportunities through events & networking.
So let's get underway with Wellington's newest and brightest MVP for all things hospo - our Host Nikki!
We parked up in “The Lounge” with Nikki, over a brew of Coffee Supreme’s latest single origin. We wanted to know what puts a spring in her step every day - and what The Drunken Octopus is all about. Check it out below.
Introducing Nikki Carlson... our Drunken Octopus Host!
Q: What is your background in Hospo?
A: When I was leaving uni I started as a FOH manager in an operations programme for a chain restaurant in the States. I started in operations - trying to get closer to the business side of Hospitality and build my career there - but I actually found myself falling in love with service and the enjoyment of being in a team in a hospitality setting.
I accidentally fell into hospo with that role, and from there ended up working in different positions in FOH internationally - service, bar, management and barista. I LOVE coffee, and I have a lot of experience in that bistro kind of environment.
When I came to NZ about 3 years ago. I was more focused on building a career in the industry so moved back into management positions. Some of the kiwi companies I worked for are; Allpress, Welcome Eatery, Red Rabbit Coffee and Nikau Cafe.
I love so many different aspects of hospitality, but if there’s one thing that really brought me in, it was the people.
Q: Where did the concept of The Drunken Octopus come from?
A: It came from Jonny McKenzie’s years of being in hospitality and networking with people from all sorts of professions for posBoss. During these trips, he frequented a number of different spaces dedicated to networking and collaboration - but none of these were for Hospitality... and he had the thought “Where is our opportunity to relax together and collaborate in our own time, and in our own space - not at 2 in the morning when everyone is finishing a shift or over coffee when it’s far too early.”
So the concept of the Drunken Octopus came along - a consistent space dedicated to hospitality industry professionals. A place to see the creative goodness that can come from networking and positive community building. You never know when you are going to see the right idea at the right time, so it’s really about staying in that continuous chatter.
As for the name… Ever come across this little champ? (←)
It just made sense, as this little coat hook has been supporting our industry (and customer bags) for years.
That was the start, and since he has expressed that thought I have heard nothing but positive remarks from everyone who has walked through the door. Everyone is just so stoked there is an area they can come to; to host an event like a tasting or great ideas about events the community would love to see. It's been an outpouring of positive feedback, and that just makes it that much more encouraging for us to keep working and organising this.
Q: What is the goal of The Drunken Octopus?
A: Fueling, connecting, creating and reigniting passion for our Hospitality Industry.
Our goal is to inspire people in and around the industry through personal development, courses, networking and collaborations along industry lines - or even just providing/offering a safe space to do admin in a respectable environment (rather than sitting downstairs in the storage room.)
We’re looking at growth in a very slow, sustainable and consistent way so that we have a really beautiful membership base and a really positive, structured and worthwhile offering for people who come in the door.
This is a space to applaud our members efforts and successes and provide an aspect of wellbeing.
Q: How do Drunken Octopus memberships work?
A: Anyone who is open to networking and helping to build, encourage and support the hospitality industry is more than welcome - we would love to have them apply to join!
Obviously we are a hospitality members group, so our focus is on enriching the experience for members of the hospitality industry. But there are so many people that are involved in helping our industry run - from accountants to marketing people to branding and design. So there are a lot of technically “non-hospitality” professionals that would fit quite nicely into our membership here too.
What qualifies you is your ability to bring something positive toward other members in our community as well - so having good ideas, passion and a positive attitude is gold! We also offer memberships for anyone who is passing through Wellington on a regular basis, as opposed to paying a one off fee to host an event.
Q: What puts a spring in your step every day?
A: So many things… but I really love this new role and the amount of passion that people exhibit on a day to day basis. Being able to assist in solving smaller issues from things like “what is my goal for today” to a big plan for Drunken Octopus to inspire the Wellington Hospitality scene in the next 6-8 months!
In my off time, I also just enjoy exploring Wellington, so any little weekend or after hours adventures are always fun. It’s such a cool and condensed city so that’s really exciting. I’ve only been here for like a year so a lot of it is very new.
Q: What is your favourite thing about wellington?
A: The fact that you can walk down the same block 20 times and see something different every time. There are so many cool little condensed spots that you walk by… so it’s a fun little city to live in and explore. It’s also really cool how close it is to so many national parks.