Guinness hosts master bar academy

Many of the African Nations are challenged by the shortfall of skills and skills transfer across many sectors.

Africa has become an attractive place for business and leisure, making the hospitality industry a key area for growth, and a viable career option for people living in Africa.

Businesses within Africa acknowledge difficulty in finding the right skills sets when hiring. Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks business, addressed the need for successful bar training by successfully implementing Africa’s largest bartending programme, titled The Master Bar Academy and known as MBA in Africa.

MBA is the brainchild of Mark Barrett (Spirits Capability Manager-Africa for Diageo Africa) who created the academy after visiting bars and clubs in different parts of Africa and constantly getting the incorrect serve. Barrett who has worked for Diageo for more than 12 years said “It’s great to feel

like we’re giving back to the communities that we work in and watching these guys develop in front Mark Barrett said, “The core aim of MBA is to raise the bar behind the bar. Bringing skills and knowledge to African bartenders, who want to better themselves in their careers, inspiring them to

take their jobs as bartenders seriously.” The training programme will reach bartenders within South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Kenya and Seychelles. MBA is available in 3 languages and has more than 12 multilingual African.

To date the Master Bartender programme has trained over 37,000 bartenders across Africa. Each bartender is enrolled in a three month syllabus consisting of three modules. In the first module (MBA

101), bartenders are required to attend a one day training workshop where they learn about customer service, the art of bartending, tools of the trade, bartender secrets, drink categories, spirit production, brand knowledge, perfect serves, counterfeit spotting, up selling and importantly responsible serving.

Once bartenders leave the training they progress to a self-learning module (MBA 202) which is accessed via their mobile phones on a mobi site. This consists of 8 modules, each module contains 10 questions. The top 25 highest scoring bartenders, who complete all 8 modules, will be invited to attend a one day master class (MBA 303). At MBA 303 the bartenders learn cocktail skills and are tested to see which skills they have learned. The day starts with 25 bartenders and by the close of the afternoon after several tests the final 5 are picked.

The final 5 compete in a live showdown in front of an audience where one bartender will be announced as the MBA winner, winning $1000, an ipad loaded with cocktail apps, as well as MBA cocktail set.

Credit: MBA

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