Bartenders Are Wearing A Small Pin For A Big Reason

I've previously applauded the bar industry for being more willing recently to confront the negative aspects of drinking head-on, specifically when it comes to guest safety. Now, a coalition of San Francisco-area bartenders are addressing one of alcohol's other blemishes: addiction and mental-health struggles among the people behind the bar.

Brought to my attention today by the San Francisco Chronicle, The Pin Project is a newly founded organization that supports bartenders who choose not to drink. Wearing the unobtrusive pin signals to other staff and guests that a bartender is abstaining—for the guest, that might mean not offering to buy them a shot, for example. The project, launched by a group of hospitality professionals in the San Francisco area, is funded by a grant from industry conference Tales Of The Cocktail.

According to its website, the project "wants to let our friends in this industry know it is okay and completely normal to sometimes struggle with the tough job of balancing health and 'having a good time' in situations that don't always encourage us to say 'No.' It can be a truly brave act to make a decision against the social norms for the health of yourself!"

Though it's intended for members of the service industry, The Pin Project notes anyone can buy and wear its pins. Proceeds from pin sales fund The Pin Foundation, which provides financial support to people seeking mental-health treatment and to connect people in need with those resources. Read more about the individuals behind the project over at the Chronicle.