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Thoughts

Thoughts

Pre-batching? Wait a (la) minute, says Kevin Armstrong

Batched cocktails are here to stay, but what’s good for the bar is not necessarily good for the guest, writes Satan’s Whiskers’ Kevin Armstrong.

Thoughts

BBAs: Which product reigned supreme?

We finish our review of the BBAs 2024 where the competition ends. Once all the scores had been tallied these were the best-performing products. So which brand was best of the best? 

Thoughts

Are your products being nerfed?

Brands exist as a signifier of quality. But what happens when products are quietly diluted or diminished? Beware the intervention that is nerfing, says Satan’s Whiskers’ Kevin Armstrong

Thoughts

How to use data to run your bar better

Edmund Weil outlines some of the many ways in which data can provide invaluable insights into guest trends without being intrusive to their experience

Thoughts

Are you a generalist or specialist? Jake O'Brien Murphy on drinks knowledge

Jake O'Brien Murphy worries that he doesn't know enough stuff about enough stuff – but he’s met plenty of those who do and generously share their expertise.

Thoughts

How to do brand trips better

Anna Sebastian says brand trips are about creating lasting memories and, whether you work for a brand or a bar, make sure they’re the right ones.

Thoughts

The hospitable takeover - how to do guest shifts better

There are guest shifts and good guest shifts. Pajtim Tani Hasa from Lab 22 is our guide to takeovers done well.

Thoughts

Matt Arnold on cocktail comps: It's the taking part that counts (no, really)

After his World Class GB win and narrowly missing out on the global crown in São Paulo, Passing Fancies’ Matt Arnold explains why comps are about more than glory.

Thoughts

Jake O'Brien Murphy reviews online bar reviews

A surprisingly high majority of online product reviews are positive. Jake O'Brien Murphy carries out his own study to see if the same is true of hospitality scrutiny.

Thoughts

Monica Berg's bar diary: 'Citrus is for flavour, not just acidity'

Winter means citrus, but don’t think of these fruits as just providers of acidity – use them for their flavour, says Monica Berg

Thoughts

Ways to win in 2024

Even in what may seem the darkest hours, there are ways to boost trade and income. Edmund Weil offers some welcome advice.

Thoughts

Edmund Weil on how to insure a bar - properly

Making an insurance claim is never a fun thing to have to do. Edmund Weil has first-hand knowledge of how best to deal with insurers.

Thoughts

Jake O'Brien Murphy on making the bar industry great again

Jake O’Brien Murphy sets out his three-pronged manifesto for change.

Thoughts

Monica Berg's bar diary: Autumn infusions

This autumn, Monica Berg’s thoughts have turned to infusions – using seasonal raspberries to illustrate.

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Why good hospitality is the subtle art of knowing when to break the rules

New CLASS columnist Kevin Armstrong unpicks what his bar Satan’s Whiskers excels at: flexible, nuanced service.

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Are you a spirits specialist? Become a BBAs judge

If you're a bartender working in a UK bar and you have a specialsm in a particular drinks category, we'd love to hear from you.

Thoughts

What's on at London Cocktail Week? CLASS speaks to its organisers

Hamish Smith chats to London Cocktail Week’s Hannah Sharman-Cox and Siobhan Payne about this year’s festival.

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How to be a better boss

A bar employer’s generosity comes in many forms, says Edmund Weil.

Thoughts

Review: Erik Lorincz's Kwant 2.0 takes CLASS' first 10/10 score

Erik Lorincz's award-winning Kwānt has finally reopened in a new location. Hamish Smith wasted no time in heading there to review. 

Thoughts

Looking a little alike: why cocktails have become homogenous

Is social media stifling creativity? Jake O'Brien Murphy thinks it is and suggests it’s pulling drinks towards safe ground.

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How classics are born - and remain relevant

Classic cocktails are as relevant now as they’ve ever been, says Hamish Smith, but is their creation slowing?

Thoughts

Anna Sebastian: How to become a bar consultant

Anna Sebastian went from a decade in operations to becoming a consultant. If you’re thinking of making the step, here’s how…

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Perpetual improvement: how classic cocktails retain relevance

Classics are an obsession for Jake O'Brien Murphy, particularly in the way they keep pace with the times and changing tastes.

Thoughts

Why the seaside and countryside are the next frontiers for cocktail bars

If bartending is about working with the freshest, local ingredients, rural bars have a big role to play in the future of our industry, says Ugly Butterfly’s Josh Linfitt

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Edmund Weil on handing back the keys to his award-winning bar

Developers’ plans for Edmund Weil’s Oriole site meant shuttering the bar after seven years. But he’s discovered the economic and sustainability benefits of being able to preserve the fixtures and fittings for a relocation.

Thoughts

A tribute to the life and times of Wayne Collins

The late Wayne Michael Collins was one of the pioneers of the modern bar industry – his good friend Jason Crawley writes a tribute to his life and legacy.

Thoughts

Empirical's Lars Williams: What flavour means to me

Guest writer Lars Williams of Empirical (and formely of Noma) says spirits should have no rules and no boundaries - flavour is the only currency.

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After Noma, does hospitality need to redefine success?

Jake O'Brien Murphy questions whether the fine dining model is dead and, now looking back, whether any of it was worth it?

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Looking after the pennies - Tim Etherington-Judge on cost cutting in bars

Healthy Hospo is offering a free course to help bar owners and operators navigate the financial challenges impacting hospitality this winter. Founder Tim Etherington-Judge reveals some of the key advice.

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Edmund Weil: Creating value has never been more important

The concept of value may be different for everyone, but Edmund Weil thinks a great bar experience is a universal win.