Bartending and modern tourism

Monday, Jun 09, 2014 19:17

Stephane Gripon, general manager of Diageo Vietnam.

Reserve World Class, a global competition for bartenders organised by Diageo, has wrapped up its Southeast Asia round in Singapore and will go on to the Global Finals in London in two months' time. Stephane Gripon, General Manager of Diageo Vietnam, speaks about the annual contest, bartenders' contribution to tourism, and his company's strategies.

The competition sounds interesting. Why has your company been organising it for years? Can you tell our readers some details about the competition?

Launched since 2009, Diageo Reserve World Class is not only a simply world-class bartending competition but also a place to honour the art of mixing premium cocktails. It is where the mixing trends, experiences of luxury drinks are created and the art of bartending is elevated.

More importantly, we want to create a professional playing field for talented bartenders. In addition, the competition includes global training programmes and an international platform to discover the best talent from among bartenders all over the world.

In the five years since its launch, over 10,000 bartenders have been inspired and educated. Each competing for the highest accolade in the bartending industry - Diageo Reserve

World Class Bartender of the Year - is elevating fine drinking experiences and bringing them to consumers in the best bars around the world.

This year the global finals of the competition will be held from July 28 to August 1 in the UK.

This is third year that Vietnam has participated and we have already honoured two bartenders: Thiep from Sofitel Metropole Ha Noi in the first year and Tung from Chill Sky Bar in HCM City in 2013 and again in 2014.

Le Thanh Tung this year defended his title of the best bartender in Vietnam.

This is the first time that a Southeast Asian round has been included. What is the reason for it? What were its highlights?

You're right! From this year, the Southeast Asia round will become an annual competition held alternately in countries in the region. This year, it was organised in Singapore.

The addition of this round shows our company's efforts to contribute to bartending worldwide as well as the evolution of tourism and service industries.

It allows us to set benchmarks for the best bartenders in the six participating countries and create a SEA community.

In addition, it helps improve the quality of the event with a more prestigious jury, more VIPs, and the organization of a bar show. For 2014, we have honoured six outstanding bartenders in the region.

We are also happy to announce that Le Thanh Tung, a bartender at Chill Sky Bar in HCM City, successfully defended his title of the best bartender in Vietnam. He and the other five will attend the Global Final in London in two months' time.

We believe that Tung will become an ambassador for Vietnamese culture and people and we wish him lots of success.

Why are the skills important? Do they have a role to play in developing tourism?

High-class tourists expect to find the same global standards wherever they go, and bartenders are a key component of the perfect service to be offered at five-star hotels and modern hospitality venues.

Customers expect to find their favourite brands and favourite drinks but also some original local recipes. Bartenders can be great ambassadors to help travelers discover the flavours of Vietnam.

Does your company plan to help improve these skills locally?

We continue to train a community of bartenders through our bar academy and plan W as we want to inspire more women to get into this job. By the way, one of our finalists was a female.

We will keep organising world-class events every year and develop our portfolio of international drinks.

Diageo is involved in many social activities. Can you tell us about some of them?

Diageo is also committed to Vietnam through the investment in communities; we want to contribute to the economy and society as a responsible citizen.

Last year our company announced "Plan W-Empowering women through learning" to promote gender equality. This is part of our company's five-year campaign in the Asia Pacific, which commits $10 million to empower two million women in 17 countries in the region by 2017. Plan W will take a tailored approach for each country to address the specific needs of woman there. In Vietnam, the campaign focuses on three pillars: Diageo employees, our industry, and our communities.

Projects involving water are also among our priorities in Vietnam, particularly in Ninh Thuan province, one of the driest areas in Vietnam.

Diageo honored among most trusted companies in Vietnam

Diageo Vietnam has been honored as one of Top 10 companies of integrity and compliance in 2013 - the award within the framework of the Thang Long Gold Brand Award, co-sponsored and organized by Hanoi People's Committee, Vietnam Union of Science and Technology, Vietnam Bureau of Intellectual Property, Internal Affairs Department of Hanoi, Industry and Trade Department of Hanoi, and Hanoi Anti-counterfeit and Brand protection Association. Diageo Vietnam is the only international drinks company to make it, alongside 9 local conglomerates, thanks to its great contribution to community, its ethical and compliant operation as well as anti-counterfeit activities to protect consumers.

In February 2014, Diageo Vietnam was also honored by the Ministry of Industry and Trade as best performer for its operations in 2013. This achievement has been recognized by the Government due to efforts of Diageo Vietnam in tax contribution and job creation among others. Diageo's tax liability reached at around VND400 billion per year (equal to US$20 million). It is providing 500 jobs, both fully employment and third party players.

Comments (0)