BARTENDERS play a huge part in helping consumers navigate the world of craft spirits in outlets, and subsequently it’s up to licensees to ensure their bar staff are up to the task.
That was the message from drinks firms and operators, who told SLTN licensees should work with brands to ensure their staff are compelling advocates for craft spirits.
“Staff education is crucial for helping craft spirits sales,” said Andrew Hannah, brand controller at Benromach, producer of Red Door Gin.
“It’s not a commodity offering so staff need to be able to convey what makes a craft spirit appealing as opposed to a mainstream one.
“Having an understanding about where it’s from, how it’s made and what it tastes like is essential for today’s consumers who are looking for brands with a strong story and heritage.
“Operators can look for training sessions from the brand owners or their ambassadors, as well as referring to supplied training materials, brand websites and apps.”
Matthew Logie, general manager at the Dornoch Castle Hotel, seconded that approach.
“Staff have a huge role to play in what sells well on the bar,” he said.
“A well-trained staff member will be able to confidently sell the craft products.
“Training sessions by craft spirits makers are a great way to introduce the team to new craft spirits in a fun and personal way.”
Gaining extra pieces of salient knowledge on craft spirits needn’t be complicated, according to Louis Wright of Orkney Distilling.
He said: “The simplest thing for bartenders to do is read the label thoroughly and visit a brand’s social media pages – usually they’re full of great serve ideas and information.”