Submission Deadline

22 Feb, 2024

Judging
Date

20-21 March 2024

Winners Announcement

10 April 2024

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Gold

90-100

points

Photo for:

Silver

76-89

points

Photo for:

Bronze

65-75

points

Photo for: Francesco Pittala at the Malt.

Interviews

Francesco Pittala at the Malt.

Francesco Pittala is ready to get even more creative with his cocktails, more complex. A whiskey lover himself, he sees the demand for non-alcoholic beverages growing.

Where do you work?

The Malt.

Tell us something about yourself

Whiskey lover, deeply in love with my job, creative and charismatic.

Francesco Pittala, Head Bartender at The Malt London

What inspired you to get into bartending?

Curiosity.

How according to you has the role of the Bartender evolved, especially now during Covid times?

I do not really think the bartender evolved during these last 2 years, I believe the real evolution involved the general customer who started to appreciate the service and the quality more.

What are some of the most important skills for a bartender to have?

Consistency, passion, dedication.

What do you look for when you plan to buy spirits for your bar?

Quality.

What support programs work best for you from suppliers?

Retro stock for the bar, discount on the price and trainings for the team.

What cocktails and drinks trends do you see in 2022?

Probably the non-alcoholic trend will grow even more, having cocktails with more complexity.

What's the best part of your job? 

Creativity.

What are your favorite TV shows right now? Or your favorite movie?

Chef's table.

If you had to pick one spirit as your personal best, which would it be and why?

Whiskey, because the complexity of the aromas and the flavour profile makes this spirit so unique.

How are you marketing your bar to drive some foot traffic during covid-19?

Monthly initiatives, new menus, a service focused on quality more than in quantity.

Any tips for new bartenders?

If you are not ready to sacrifice your time, your personal life, don't even think to start.

What’s the most underrated cocktail ingredient or spirit?

Genever.

What is an experience or a customer story you thought was funny and that you remember?

After 12 years I would need a trilogy to list all the experiences I have seen or lived at the bar.

What are the 4-5 challenges you face in your business and how do you overcome them?

Skilled staff, beverage supply, freedom from management/owners, budgets.

What's your career goal? Where do you want to be and how are you working towards it?

I'm on my way to reach my goal. When I'll get there, I will let you know.

Tips for brands looking to pitch to bars? What should they cover in their pitch? What do you need to know? Give us the best elevator pitch brands can do to you.

If they cannot compare in quality with the other brands, just don't promote your products. Easy.

Define a good Bartender according to you.

Polite, energetic, creative, hard worker, friendly.

What's an ideal bar drinks menu? What should it include, what profit metric should it try and achieve?

A menu open for every palate, including different styles to be approachable by anyone. It should be easy to understand and to be fair, it should have a gross profit of 74% to 78/79%

International and Domestic Submission deadline is February 22. If you are looking to grow your brand in 2024, looking for product feedback, or looking to get in front of real trade buyers. It's time to enter your brands in the London Competitions. Here's how to enter, costs and benefits.

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