'Bar Me Tender', a free professional bartender training by Coca-Cola HBC Hungary and Bacardi Mojito Mixer School returns this year

The lack of skilled workforce is a serious challenge that the Hungarian hospitality sector must face recently. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Coca-Cola HBC Hungary has been looking for opportunities to help the industry which has been hit by the coronavirus and now by the economic downfall related to the war. In partnership with the Bacardi Mojito Mixer School, the company provided 100 selected candidates with free mixer training. As of October 2022, another 100 lucky applicants will be able to start their studies. Costs of the trainings will be covered by the country's biggest beverage company and one of the most prestigious mixology schools.

The closure of hospitality and catering establishments during the most severe phase of the coronavirus pandemic put both employees and owners of restaurants and cafés in a difficult situation: consumption practically stopped at around three quarters of Coca-Cola HBC Hungary's HoReCa partners throughout the restrictions. The company is committed to help the sector that has been hit hard from an economic point of view, as the negative impacts on the hospitality business will be tangible on long term. Many have left the sector in the past two years, and the recently reopened HoReCa establishments are now facing new problems of increased costs and soaring inflation, in addition to a shortage of skilled workforce. In this situation, Coca-Cola HBC Hungary is providing professional support in cooperation with the Bacardi Mojito Mixer School, and last year they jointly financed the bartender training of 100 lucky applicants.

It is very important to us to support our customers – including those working in the hospitality sector – in this difficult situation caused by recent events. A total of 20,000 workers left the business in the first year of the pandemic, bringing the total number of people employed in the sector to 95,000 in 2020. According to the data of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, the situation got better by 2021, when the hospitality sector had employed 105,000 people. There is a huge shortage of skilled workforce in the hospitality and catering business, as employees of closed restaurants and cafes had been forced to look for other jobs; last year, nearly 2,000 workers were missing from this field. We are trying to relieve this situation with our own resources, therefore, in partnership with the Bacardi Mojito Mixer School, we have organized a professional course, providing free basic bartender training for 100 applicants.

Márton Vajda Premium Spirits & Coffee Business Director at Coca-Cola HBC Hungary
bar_me_tender_foto_202210 bar_me_tender_foto_202210

The bartender training program, called Bar Me Tender, began in October 2021, and ran in 5-week sessions of 2x3 hours per week – a total of 4 consecutive groups started the training in October, November, January, and March. The trainings follow the proven theme structure of the mixer school and covers everything from practical knowledge through finding the potential in the mixer profession to the key facts about alcohol brands. To give the mixers who participated in the program the opportunity to show what they are capable of and to give them a better chance on the job market, Coca-Cola HBC Hungary and the Bacardi Mojito Mixer School organized a cocktail competition to close the first year of the training.

The gap-filling bartender training, worth HUF 100,000 per person continues in early October 2022 and offers another 100 talented people already working in the hospitality sector the opportunity for forward-looking professional education. Participants can learn from top experts, including brand ambassadors from Coca-Cola HBC Hungary's premium spirits portfolio, learn about premium quality drinks and take their knowledge to the next level. The training takes place in monthly sessions, with 25 future bartenders being trained each month from October this year until March 2023. The mixer course is free for participants, with the full cost of the training co-funded by Coca-Cola HBC Hungary and the Bacardi Mojito Mixer School.

More information and registration is available here.