A good bartender, with a stockpile of knowledge, could advance in the business beyond just working behind the bar. Santanu Sengupta in an interview with Minglebox.com reveals that opportunities for advancement in the bar business come through experience and performance.
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Q. What ingredients go into making of a good Bartender?
A bartender needs to understand the pulse of the customer. He must always strive to ensure that the customer who walks in for a drink leaves with a good feeling. A good Bartender always tries to give the customer a delightful drinking experience. He must be technically sound and confident with his approach. Building a trust with the customer is the first step to success in Bartending.
Q. Would you like to employ some fresher as a bartender or someone with professional training/ qualification? If yes why? If no why?
In our industry, a fresher is someone who has no prior experience, even if he is a hospitality graduate. I would certainly not mind employing a fresher as a bartender if he has undergone some kind of bartending training. What I actually look for is whether the candidate has the right attitude to develop himself into a skilled professional.
Q. How can a fresher become a skilled professional?
Constant learning, innovating, never fear mistakes, wear a smile and exude the same energy level under any kind of work pressure.
Q. Tell us about the financial satisfaction.
Does anyone have it? (laughs). As a fresher, your first target should be to associate yourself with a good brand and not exactly worry about the remuneration; because at this point of time nobody knows your capabilities. You need to prove yourself first. If you are confident of your potentials, you can start calling the shots. End of the day, what matters is whether you have been able to market yourself well or not.
Q. What are the best institutes that an aspirant should target?
Well there are quite a few good institutes for the aspiring bartender in all the metro cities. As far as Kolkata is concerned, I only know about The Kenilworth Tulleeho Bartending Academy. The academy creates what we call 'connoisseurs' in bartending. Apart from learning about mixology and cocktail-making and extensive bartending techniques, the students are run through soft skill trainings like Personality Development and NLP skills, to groom them into complete bartenders and future bar managers. In Mumbai, there is Stir Academy of Bartending, In Delhi there is Cocktail and Dreams , a school of bar and beverage management and also Tulleeho Bartending Academy in Bangalore.
Q. How can we determine the rate of success in this field?
The beverage industry is on a boom. Everybody drinks, well almost everybody. The consumption of liquor in India has risen by 230% over the last decade. People have money to spend in clubs and bars. The number of independent clubs & bars in the metro cities have touched the 2000 mark and is rising by the day. The customer today wants professional service. He likes to see skilled people behind the bar. But there is tremendous competition for bartenders also, if you are good you rise very quickly, if you are not you are stuck at the bottom. There is no place for mediocrity.
Q. What kind of courses is available with Kenilworth Academy? What is the basic required to take up the course at Kenilworth Academy?
You have to have completed your 10+2 to join our programmes. At present we have 2-month Bar Management programmes, 1-Week crash courses and 1-day Mixology workshops.