In this week’s Inventory, it feels like spring (at least here in Berlin) and there’s a new database showcasing a more diverse list of hospitality workers in the US, you can start boozing at Starbucks soon, the debate rages over cocktails on tap, orgeat variations abound, and the gender pay gap is real in the British bar industry. Cheers to that? 
Ever wondered how hard your bartender is judging your drink choice? Wonder no more! Food & Wine spoke to a few bartenders who describe what happens when a customer just wants a beer instead of a craft cocktail. Not a lot! Bartenders are surprisingly chill when fulfilling a simple beer or wine request. Who woulda thunk it?!

Giffard Alkoholfrei

New Hospitality Database: Equity at the Table

Whenever there’s a list of “10 Hotshot New Chefs” (or something along those lines) and nine of those chefs are male, straight, and white, you can expect a backlash. The reply to said backlash is usually something along the lines of: “there aren’t as many women who work in food/hospitality/the bar. If they existed, we’d be happy to talk about them.” Which is obviously BS but writers as a people are lazy (hello – speaking for myself) so people have taken it into their own hands and created a new database that lists women of color, queer women, and non-binary people working in hospitality across the US. Next time you hear the old “oh, we’d love to feature more diverse bartenders, but we just don’t know where to find them,” direct them to Equity at the Table and tell them to stop making excuses. Thanks 🙂

Starbucks to Serve Beer and Wine in Hong Kong

The Drinks Business reports “Your morning brew at Starbucks Hong Kong can now come with some extra kick as its flagship venue in Central has started serving coffee-infused craft beers and wines alongside coffee.” Both beers are coffee inspired. The first, the Caramel Macchiato Cream Ale, is made using Colombian coffee and caramel. The Mocha Brown Ale “marries a robust brown ale with the indulgent chocolate and soft spice notes of Starbucks Caffe Mocha.” Bottled beers are less coffee-heavy, and there will also be eight wines on pour. It’s all part of the new Starbucks Reserve store format. The company is set to open 1,000 Reserve stores worldwide by 2019.

Should Cocktails be Served On Tap?

Having cocktails on tap provides quick, efficient service for some of the world’s busiest bars, but does the serve detract from the craft of bartending?” That’s the question The Spirits Business is asking this week. Duck & Waffle’s Rich Woods says that from a business perspective, there are rewarding figures to pre-made cocktails on tap. “I think keg cocktails are a part of the future – maybe not the be-­all and end-­all but for the right environment and conditions they are perfect.” Singapore’s Yugnes Susela says he’s not a big fan and that his bar’s biggest calling cards are fresh, local ingredients. You can’t replace that with a bottled cocktail. Basically, let’s consider cocktails on tap a saving grace but not always rely on them, mhhkay?

Orgeat Variations Abound in Bars Nationwide

Orgeat has seen a bit of a revival over the past few years, a fact that Seven Fifty Daily has picked up on. Camper English documents the history of orgeat and how it has developed from its native France to today’s United States. “Throughout the US, bartenders have further developed the recipe for the syrup. The most common orgeat spin-offs involve nuts other than almonds. A few examples are the peanut orgeat at Spoonbar in Healdsburg, California; the macadamia nut orgeat at Orchard City Kitchen in Campbell, California; the walnut orgeat at KYU in Miami; the pistachio orgeat at Nico Osteria in Chicago; and the pecan orgeat at Midnight Rambler in Dallas.” A ever-changing cocktail ingredient that highlights our industry’s true creativity.

UK’s Beer, Wine, and Spirits Gender Pay Gap Revealed

“Surprise,” said no woman. Ever. The Drinks Business reports “the UK government has published data on the gender pay gap that reveals the differences in pay at some of the country’s biggest wine, beer and spirits companies, with the pub sector in particular demonstrating a notable imbalance.” Except for two wine businesses, all of the companies listed in the database pay their male employees a higher wage than their female ones. “Pub groups with the biggest discrepancy included the Ei Group – the largest pub company in the UK – and Punch taverns, who pay their female employees on average 47% and 41% lower than men respectively.”
One notable exception is wine, particularly Majestic and Accolade pay women a higher average wage than men. “But while the wine industry appeared to be more in balance than the pub sector, one wine-based business stood out. The biggest pay gap reported within the wine sector was at Bibendum, which pays its female employees on average 30% less than men.” Pernod Ricard also comes in strong, at a solid 18% pay gap, women earn 82 pence on every man’s £1. Fun. “Diageo Scotland, which is focused solely on spirits, reported an 11.3% gap between the mean hourly rate of men compared to women, meaning that women earn 89p for every £1 that men earn.” Great news all around. So much work to do, for us all.

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