Behind The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore’s The Bar at 15 Stamford is bar manager Edriane Lim, an industry veteran of 10 years and a certified master of libations. Born in the Philippines, he moved to Singapore in 2011 to advance his career in hospitality. Growing up, he was always drawn to hotel architecture. Growing up, he was always drawn to hotel architecture and found it amazing just to step inside a beautiful hotel lobby. While he was initially more interested in working at the front office, he was also always interested in bartending. When the opportunity arose, he grabbed it and never looked back.
A specialty bar best known for having one of the most extensive rum collections in the city, The Bar at 15 Stamford serves elegant, handcrafted cocktails befitting its location’s colonial charm. As its Bar Manager, Edriane is responsible for all the prep work—from making syrups to stocking garnishes and filling side stations with cutlery—all in time for its daily opening at 4 p.m.
10am: My schedule is slightly different from other hotel employees in the food and beverage industry. My day usually starts at this time and does not end until past midnight. I get started with a cup of coffee—my espresso machine has been my motivation for getting out of bed. After my coffee, I like to enjoy a moment of stillness. I use the time to clear my head and plan my day.
11am: Get ready for work. I usually put on some good tunes to pump me up and set the day right. As the bar manager, I am responsible for the beverage program of the bar. I ensure we are in line with our theme and proactively promote our bar concept. On top of that, I make sure that the bar operations run smoothly together with my team members. I’m at the hotel by 11:40 a.m. to get ready for my shift at The Bar.
12pm: My shift starts at this time. The first thing I do is go up to the bar to make initial preparations. Some of the prep tasks involve bringing out all the syrups and juices from the fridge, and check if any top up is required. I set them aside so the bar team can continue before the bar opens. After this, I work on cleaning tasks and prepare the tables to welcome guests for the day. Pressure is always around but it’s important to stay grounded, go with the flow, and take things one step at a time. What I love most about my job is it allows me to share stories with other guests—it can be about travel, or perhaps some of the best bars they have been to.
2pm: My team arrives in time for our 20-30 minute briefing to start the day. We would go through the necessary preparations, look through the reservations for the day, and plan for upcoming events. The briefing ends with a training on cocktails, spirits or wines. At the moment, we are very proud of our new bar menu. It features a series of handcrafted cocktails inspired by the Austronesian Islands. A lot of hard work went into it—from picking the right ingredients, to the creation and naming of the cocktail. We are very happy with the end product and even happier to see our guests enjoying the cocktails.
2:30pm: I go to the office to tackle some paperwork. First by going through my email and reply to all incoming enquiries and follow up on action items accordingly. At 3 p.m., the managers will gather for a daily meeting, which will take between 30 and 45 minutes. This is where we will catch up with each other on daily operations.
4pm: We open The Bar and get ready to bring guests our signature cocktails! One of them is the rum-based Plantation 1840. The drink pays tribute to Joseph Balestier, the first US Consul to Singapore, who also happened to own the house where The Capitol Kempinski now stands. Personally, I would always go for a classic cocktail and add a bit of sherry to it. I love making a Tom Collins, a gin-based cocktail with lemon, sugar, and soda water. I would add fino sherry into it and make it a refreshing but savory cocktail.
5pm: We spend this time getting ready for operations and scheduling break time for the team.
6pm to closing time: The bar starts getting busy when the dinner and after-work crowds start coming in. I stay on the floor with the team to make sure operations run smoothly. This is also when I speak with guests to learn about their experience with us at the bar. I would say half of what we do is conversing with guests to learn more about their preferences. A question like “Is this your first time here?” is great because then I can make recommendations for first-timers or ask them about their previous visit.
Operations would slow down at around 11:30 p.m. and this is when we do our last calls. We usually finish doing our bills and close 12:15 a.m. Before leaving, I finish my daily report and make sure all stations are clean.
12:30am: If the night is still young, we’d go for a few drinks before calling it a night. If not, I head home. my pre-bedtime rituals include having some small bites and sparkling water. I also like to catch up on a show or two to wind down. I try to get at least seven hours of sleep so I wake up fresh the next day.