Bar Manager Certification Program Launches

Southern Wine & Spirits of Arizona is launching a new training program, “Successful Beverage Management—Profitable Strategies for the On-Premise Operator.” Led by noted spirits and bar management experts Robert Plotkin and Jack Robertiello, the first presentation of the one-day seminar was held recently in Phoenix and was attended by more than 80 people.

The curriculum is designed to equip attendees with the skills and knowledge to successfully manage a bar, and participants learn how to significantly reduce costs by preventing internal theft, track bartender sales productivity, analyze pour costs and effectively manage payroll. Additional, and equally crucial, topics include advanced strategies for increasing beverage sales by enhancing drink quality and appeal, improving guest service, taking advantage of beverage trends, increasing the effectiveness of in-house marketing and building repeat business.

Joining Plotkin and Robertiello in presenting the sessions is Mac Gregory, director of food and beverage at The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Gail Bellamy, executive food editor of Restaurant Hospitality magazine. A Nightclub & Bar contributing editor, Plotkin is an expert in the field of mixology and beverage management. With more than 30 years of hands-on industry experience augmented by 20 years as a consultant and writer, Plotkin has authored 16 books over the last 20 years based on his proven policies, procedures and operational strategies for profit-generating beverage operations. Robertiello, who also writes for Nightclub & Bar and edits our NCB Mix e-newsletter, frequently consults on spirits and beverage management. In addition, he also judges at events including the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the International Rum Fest and Spirits of Mexico. The foursome developed the curriculum with a goal of qualifying it for Continuing Educational Credits.

Southern Wine & Spirits is providing support for enrollees in the form of scholarships; the distributor is contributing $200 of each participant’s $295 registration fee, thus, the seminar costs $95 per person.

Upcoming dates and locations are: Phoenix, Dec. 8; Tampa, Fla., on March 16; San Jose, Calif., on May 4; and Denver on June 29. The program also will be offered at the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas on March 8.

“This is an idea whose time has come,” says Plotkin. “The need for broad-based certification is clear, as beverage operators are facing increasing exposure to alcohol-related litigation, so it is growing more imperative for the industry’s best interests that beverage operators and managers obtain certification verifying that they possess the requisite knowledge and skill set for the position.”

For more information about the program, visit




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