Engaging Australia’s bartenders: Insights from CGA’s report and webinar

Bartender engagement is a key way for suppliers to generate brand loyalty—and a CGA by NIQ report and webinar reveal how to achieve it.
Watch the full webinar here

CGA’s Global Bartender Report is packed with insights into bartenders’ preferences, knowledge and observations of consumer behaviour. Drawing on an in-depth BarSights survey of 150 hospitality professionals in Australia, it looks at the best ways to influence people’s purchasing decisions, with expert analysis of the latest innovations and challenges across the bartender community.  


Highlights from the report were revealed at a special CGA by NIQ webinar, led by CGA’s James Phillips, Client Solutions Director – ANZ, and featuring a range of drinks experts, ambassadors and venue operators. Here are five of the top takeaways. 


Bartenders want to become bar owners and brand ambassadors 

Many of Australia’s bartenders are passionate about their work and eager to progress their careers. More than half (56%) of those surveyed find the idea of running their own bar appealing, while 46% think the same about working as a brand ambassador. Ashley Nash, venue manager at the Osbourne Hotel in Fortitude Valley in Queensland, said at the webinar: “Brand ambassadors are super-important—they’re the first step to building that relationship between a brand and a venue.” However, bar professionals don’t always know how to navigate the career pathways and need help to make their way.  


Social media can be a powerful influence 

CGA’s sales research shows the importance of social media in influencing consumers’ decisions. However, with two in five (41%) bartenders telling the Bartender Report that they never post on social media, there is room for a lot more activity—and 85% of respondents agree that more social media could help their careers. “Social media is a great way to advertise yourself and get noticed,” said Alex Zanarini, National Brand Ambassador at Moet Hennessey. 


People are looking for both innovation and familiarity in drinks 

Bartenders like to be creative, and suppliers have some great opportunities to support their innovation. Half (49%) of those surveyed said they feel expert or very knowledgeable in menu creation and cocktail mixology. But with nearly as many (48%) wanting to learn more about drink creation, there’s a clear need for more education. Innovation is very important, said Fever Tree’s brand ambassador Trish Brew at the webinar. “It’s so important to give consumers choice and elevate their experience.” At the same time, people also want to know they’re getting good value. “Nostalgia and familiarity are playing a big part… people are choosing things that they know and understand and perceive to be worthwhile rather than taking a risk,” said Nick Tesar, creative director of drinks at Four Pillars. 


Venues value support 

The Global Bartender Report emphasizes the need to regularly support venues with their knowledge and skills. Nearly half (47%) of respondents say they would ideally expect brand and supplier sales reps to visit them once or twice a month. These visits can be very effective, as 40% of bartenders discover and add new drinks based on recommendations from ambassadors and reps. Half (51%) say tastings and masterclasses have helped them learn and discover new drinks. “As a bar manager we know you don’t have a lot of time to educate your team—we can give you so much to help you succeed and do your job better,” said Trish Brew. Webinar guests agreed that in-person visits are always best, and that timing them to suit venues’ schedules is crucial. 


Venue-supplier relationships are win-win
Nearly all (97%) bartenders told The Global Bartender Report that their relationships with suppliers and distributors are necessary to the success of the bar. They are keen to stay in close touch: 88% say they are extremely satisfied when they order directly from the suppliers to ensure a better connection with the brand for future support. It’s all about building a mutually beneficial and win-win relationship, said Alex Zanarini: “The goals of suppliers and venues are pretty well aligned.” 




You can watch ‘The Last Call: Bartender Insights in Australia’ webinar from CGA by NIQ in full here. 

The Global Bartender Report is available from CGA by NIQ now. To learn more, contact James Phillips, client solutions director – ANZ at CGA by NIQ at james.phillips@nielseniq.com.  


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