Over the years, bartenders have become a brand on their own. Each having signature to their drink, and for cocktail fans, there is that signature that each employs that keeps you returning to the same hangout over and over.
With Covid-19 shutting down bars, bartenders have found themselves grounded at home. Tapping into this, Jack Daniel’s launched a virtual bartender mentorship programme dubbed Tennessee Campus.
“We felt it was time to engage bartenders on what is valuable to them, elevate them as a brand,” said David Mutuga, Jack Daniel’s East Africa brand ambassador.
The hospitality industry has been one of the most highly impacted industries globally due to Covid-19. The skills and insights shared will not only serve as a useful tool for the 60 bartenders but will also provide a source of inspiration and motivation as they navigate these new challenges.
Originally, the training was to be physical, however, following the prevailing conditions, it was shifted online. Each of the participants was given a starter-pack that included data allowance, shopping voucher, and other essentials.
The alcohol industry in Kenya has been hard hit by the loss of on-trade sales (bars, pubs, and clubs) where the brands interact with the consumers in high volumes. This has required various brands to re-evaluate their models, interacting directly with the consumers and their representatives.
“It is about adapting to the situation. There are many avenues to reach the consumer. We need to be present at the level and premises open for example supermarkets, restaurants, liquor stores and empower distributors to deliver at home. We are also offering virtual training,” said Mutuga.
As part of the next phase, Mutuga states that each bartender will be encouraged to put their skills to the test on the digital platform.
“For this, we will be rewarding them with monetary compensation as a means to help them generate income,” he said.