Raf’s time with the European Bartender School in Manchester has come to an end, and he is now safely back with us in Bowness. We couldn’t wait to hear all about it and find out all that he has been up to over the last 4 weeks…
So tell us Raf… did you enjoy the EBS course?
Very much! I have wanted to go on a course like this for as long as I can remember, and it didn’t disappoint. I met so many interesting people from across the world who I know I will keep in touch with for years to come. It was just a great experience overall.
What was it like being in Manchester?
I loved it. People really ‘live’ there, you know? I found it amazing how much vibrancy and activity there was, you could never be bored! It was very different from village life in Bowness that’s for sure.
If you could name your favourite thing about the overall experience what would it be?
The course was fantastic but it was the people that made the course an unforgettable experience. Everyone was just so open to learn from each other and share their life experiences. I believe I have gained a network of friends who I know I’ll see again in the future; perhaps I’ll even be working alongside a few of them one day.
What sort of skills did you learn on the course?
We learnt all sorts. We were taught how to improve our ‘flair’ skills, how to create different cocktails, and how to use our personality as a bartender. There was a lot of emphasis on customer care and how to interact with all the different people you meet as a bartender. There was no aspect of the job that we didn’t learn something new about.
What is your favourite new skill?
Definitely the flair skills! I love to show off in front of customers (especially the ladies), and the skills I have learnt means I can do this to an even greater extent (and hopefully without dropping anything!)
Did you learn anything unexpected?
I didn’t expect to learn anything about behaviour and interaction behind the bar. The knowledge I have gained about ‘personality’ has definitely changed me as a bartender if not a person. Personality is one of the most important things for a bartender, as often they are the main point of contact with the customer. It’s an integral skill to be able to care for your customers and make them feel 100% comfortable. If they are ordering cocktails, you should be able to make them feel as if they have been transported to a tropical island, even if there’s a storm outside!
Would you recommend the course?
Absolutely. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner, or you have some experience, you are guaranteed to learn valuable tricks and skills. I knew I had knowledge gaps but I didn’t realise I had so much to learn!
I would just like to say a huge thank you to my instructor Nathan Larkin, and to all the people I met on the course. You guys were great and I’m sure I’ll see you all very soon!
Be sure to visit us at The Fizzy Tarté and see Raf’s new skills for yourself!