Caterer Middle East

UNSUNG HERO Artem Petrunenko

Meet the assistant bar manager at Miss Lily’s who loves meeting new people every day


Amember of staff considered the backbone of Miss Lily’s bar since opening, Artem Petrunenko has gone above and beyond for the last ve years. Petrunenko said to Caterer Middle East: “I started in the position of junior bartender more than ve years ago and the company has given me an opportunit­y to learn a lot since then.”

It has been quite the journey for Petrunenko, who spent years behind the bar meeting different people from all walks of life. “I feel like I’ve really gained valuable skills that I can apply to a variety of settings. It’s great to see that Miss Lily’s still has that same vibe from the opening that keeps attracting people and makes them want to come back and enjoy the time there,” he added.

Petrunenko particular­ly loves the fact his supervisor­s give him a lot of freedom. He said: “They are very open and casual. I appreciate that they trust me to make my own decisions even though my experience in this is minimal.

“I love to have an opportunit­y to pass my knowledge to others and help them become better at their job. I like to feel that I’ve accomplish­ed something at the end of the day and I get to do that here.”

When it comes to dealing with dif cult customers, Petrunenko always tries to nd a solution the right way. “It’s very important to listen to the customer carefully and hear them out. It’s important to apologise whether or not they are right or wrong, then try to nd a solution. I do my best not to say no and offer a solution.”

A few weeks ago, Petrunenko had a guest at the bar, who complained that the Dutty Wine wasn’t strong enough although it was their third one that night.

He said: “I apologised to the guest and informed them that I would remove it from the bill. At the same time, I offered him a few options of cocktails that were stronger and helped him with the order considerin­g his preference­s. He was thankful for the assistance and the group stayed at the venue and continued having a great time in the restaurant ordering more drinks.”

Petrunenko tries to learn from every manager he’s had in his career. “Every manager that I worked with was my mentor in one or another way. I’m glad that I’m surrounded by profession­als and I can learn something new from every single one of them. But I do think that my colleague Julian has been my biggest mentor and I’m very thankful for everything that he’s taught me.”

Stephen Allsop, Miss Lily’s general manager, had this to say about Petrunenko: “Artem has grown into a leader for not only his department but for the whole team. His dependabil­ity and work ethic set the standard for the rest of the team to follow. His pursuit for knowledge has allowed him to grow his expertise in being the strongest bartender on our team. His reliabilit­y in completing his work and going beyond what is asked of him has made him the go-to person to make sure we have a smooth operation. Artem’s passion and work ethic are a direct contributi­on to the success of Miss Lily’s. Working with him is nothing short of a pleasure and we are grateful for everything he has contribute­d.

One day Petrunenko plans to launch his own bar someday and hopes it will be a venue as unique as Miss Lily’s.

“You’ve got

to listen to customers and work with them“

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