The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Key strategies to support bartenders and influence consumer choices

Supporting bartenders can be a powerful way for suppliers to influence consumers’ drinks choices, so it’s more important than ever to be engaging and supporting bartenders to drive advocacy and sales of brands, according to a report by CGA by NIQ.

Bar staff recommendations are one of the biggest factors influencing consumers drinks choice (25%), leading ahead of visibility (12%), promotion (20%) and what friends are drinking (18%), says research by CGA by NIQ.

This powerful influence has a captive audience; nearly half of consumers agree that if they have already decided what to drink, they can still be influenced by bartender recommendations.

The ‘GB Bartender Report’ is a major survey of 150 experienced bartenders around Britain and shares actionable insights into the views and needs of bar professionals that can help suppliers and manufacturers provide valuable practical support and secure their endorsement of brands.

Here are some takeaways…

Bartenders are passionate

CGA’s survey shows bartenders are passionate about their work, and nearly three quarters (72%) agree they want to stay in the bar industry for the foreseeable future. Their pride in their work and interest in experimentation indicate they will be receptive to partners who can make them even better at their jobs.

Support is needed on wellbeing

With half (51%) of bartenders feeling challenged by the need for a good work-life balance, and nearly a third (31%) by wellbeing issues, any support that can take some of the strain out of work is likely to be welcomed. The need is particularly acute among bartenders who have been in their job for between five and ten years.

Professionals want help with career progression

While 64% of bartenders think their profession has good career prospects, only 41% actually know how they can progress in the industry. Many of them see drinks suppliers as a route to career progression, and there is substantial interest in working for drinks brands as a brand ambassador (42%) or taste maker (30%). More experienced bartenders are also likely to be interested in bar consultancy and partnership work.

There’s a knowledge gap

The ‘GB Bartender Report’ highlights a shortage of knowledge in areas like brand partnerships, distribution chains and menu creation. By helping to educate teams about how the industry works, suppliers can get an advantage in the competition for brand endorsement.

Bartenders need targeted training

With a third (32%) of bartenders seeing brands that provide support to venues and teams as best placed to thrive in 2024, suppliers that facilitate training can secure benefits for both parties. Understanding the needs of bartenders at different levels of experience can help to tailor this training to people throughout their careers.

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