KBL Launches the Master Bar Academy to Train 10,000 Bartenders

In order to impart bartenders with competitive industry skills, Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) has launched a capability training programme dubbed The Diageo Master Bar Academy (MBA), whose aim is to sharpen the bartending skills of over 10,000 Bartenders in the country. The training will begin this week and at no cost to participants.

Sarah Wanasakami (L) Brian Otieno (C) Senorine Wasike (R)

This comes at a time when Kenya is quickly becoming the preferred destination for business and leisure, with hotel owners increasingly scouting for bartenders with ingrained professionalism, and efficiency in delivering quality service.

Cheptoek Boyo of People shows off her drink skills under the tutorlage of Mthokozisi Mdluli from South Africa

Speaking at the launch, Commercial Planning Manager, Sarah Wanasakaami said, “The core aim of MBA is to raise the bar, behind the bar. Customers are increasingly demanding of unique services and products. This can be achieved if we help Bartenders to upscale their skills behind the bar.

This academy is therefore bringing practical knowledge to Kenyan bartenders, who want to better themselves in their careers, inspiring them to take their jobs as bartenders as valid career options.”

Ms Wanasakaami added that “It’s great that we’re giving back to the communities that we work in and watching bartenders develop their careers here in Kenya.”

Wairimu Nyingi from Mediamax

To date, the Master Bartender programme has trained over 37,000 bartenders in Kenya. 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.

Derrick Maingi of Business Brands with Wairimu Nyingi

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 containing 10 questions.

The top 25 highest scoring bartenders, who complete all 8 modules, will be invited to attend a one day cocktail master class (MBA 303). At MBA 303, the bartenders are immersed in creative cocktail skills and are thereafter tested.

Wanjiku Mungai of Eat Out shows off her skills under the mentorship of Justin Coetzer

The top 5 winners of the MBA 303 in the different regions in Kenya will win 1000 dollars and will get an opportunity to participate in the Kenyan Chapter of the World Class Competition – a Diageo Global platform that significantly raises Bartenders’ profiles globally through developing the cocktail craft.

Kevin Thaiya, a mixologist at Tune Hotel, demostrates his skills

Wanjiku Mungai, Dan Obura and Lelya Ismail

Whisky Brand Ambassdors Brian Otieno and Alex Kavita

Cate Rira, 1fm Radio Presenter with a friend at the launch

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