From a small town outside of Toronto, Canada, Sean began his career in the field at the age of 12, when he landed a job washing dishes in a truck shop. He progressed from there, becoming a bartender at age 19 and later moving to London for six years to educate himself in bar management.

At age 27, Sean moved to Sydney where he became the owner of his own bar. He ended up amassing a total of eight bars to his name over the next five years, but such a large operation was taking up a lot of his time.

Once his second child was born, he realised he wanted a career that offered more opportunities to spend time with his family, so he made the tough decision to sell his bars and started the Barmetrix consultancy service.

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“I coach the fundamentals”, Sean told The Portugal News. “I want venues everywhere to be better, and I give them the tools and the know-how”. To date, he’s provided his services to over 9,000 bars and restaurants, with offices in 8 different countries, advising them on “decision making, growth, marketing, learning environment, and unique experiences”.

Dynamic Approach

Sean Finter offers programmes which cover various topics, each one of them detailing a fundamental pillar of running a successful business in the bars and restaurants industry. These include mastering the logistical basics such as budgets, measurement systems, and an effective communication loop, cultivating an environment of style and quality that guests will come back to not just for the drinks but also for the atmosphere, forming a healthy workplace environment that rewards the hard work of the employees and steering clear of toxic culture, making the most of peak hour operations when most of the bar’s income is made.

Described as a “professional storyteller”, Sean often uses his own personal experiences in the industry to reinforce the lessons he gives. According to him, the key to a successful bar business is to trust the process. “Do the work. Things don’t change overnight, they get better”, he explained, highlighting the importance of “understanding what’s most effective”. Adding to the statement “Don’t start with the biggest thing, start small. Gain momentum”.

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This is the wisdom he’s acquired after many decades in the field, with 18 years of experience as a consultant. Many consider such insight to be vital, as the bars and restaurants industry is extremely competitive – 80 percent of businesses end up going under.

His skills as a storyteller don’t end at just consulting his clients, though. He has also written a book, titled “Business of Bars”, which compiles all of his teachings into a single resource that you can use as a guide to your bar business at any time. Reading isn’t even required, as Sean has partnered with drinks company Diageo to distribute the book in the form of a series of video courses to over 50 countries.

Sean Finter now lives in Maryland, in the United States, with his family, but continues to travel to every corner of the globe to provide his services. He has so far visited over 53 countries, and Portugal is about to be his 54th.

He will be taking the main stage of the Lisbon Bar Show on May 14 and 15 at Altice Arena, to discuss “Napkinomics”, which he describes on his LinkedIn to be “a dynamic approach to measuring hospitality”.

“This isn’t about me, through maturity I’ve realised everyone is going through a different fight”, Sean concluded. It’s a tough industry, but he believes that “through enough awareness and education, it can be made better”.

For more information on Sean Finter’s programmes, please visit: and Join our Bar & Restaurant Facebook Group or Instagram.


A journalist that’s always eager to learn about new things. With a passion for travel, adventure and writing about this diverse world of ours.

“Wisdom begins in wonder” -  Socrates

Kate Sreenarong