Claudia Carrozzi, new president of the UKBG speaks to CLASS about her ideas for transforming the Guild.
How and why did you get involved with the UKBG?
The UKBG has played a major role in my career, has been part of me since I moved to the UK and I feel is very much part of my personal and professional growth. I have met amazing people and made really great friends
What role does the UKBG need to play in the lives and businesses of British bartenders?
Our core role is based on the following foundations: obtain strength by unity, act in any way beneficial to the trade, assist in training apprentices, act as an employment exchange, provide registration for new cocktails, organize competitions, and create networking events for the bartending community.
This reflects Harry Craddock’s vision for the UKBG - we only differ within the fact that we are not able to provide legal advice or a suitable club premises for rest and recreation!
Were lessons learned from the UKBG's past?
I feel the biggest challenge of the UKBG has been the fact that all the board members and honorary members have always worked in jobs full time alongside their UKBG commitments. They haven’t been able to fully commit to projects or opportunities to develop the bartending community.
To have the full commitment of its working members, we need to remunerate their time whenever possible. The UKBG has been mostly run on a voluntary basis, which has led to inconsistency in the delivery of our commitments.
I also feel that the UKBG needs a team of young and motivated people involved in the management of the guild and activities. People who are actively working with the trade, with passion, hunger for knowledge and who see the value in the UKBG for the bartending community and their career alike. The UKBG is about the bartending and hospitality community.
What are your ideas for how the UKBG will operate?
My ideas are very much revolutionary from the older structures and management of the Guild. I am surrounding myself with people who have the same vision, believe in this project, and are working hard with me to develop this structure and deliver opportunities.
To start with, I want to be focus on building a bartending community. To make this goal more realistic we are introducing regional areas. These chairs can decide how big their team should be and who should be on it.
This means, bringing onboard professionals that are currently involved within the trade who can grow the network with sponsors, partnerships, focusing on a win/win situation. Together we need to rebuild the hospitality sector, and I think we have the resources and the passion to do so.
We are currently restyling our website, we are going back to the roots where the UKBG not only organised cocktail competitions, but also registered cocktails. We want to provide education to our bartenders, with online and offline training and run events. We will have a bartender’s hub, masterclasses and guest speakers.
So our goals are to build a community, deliver efficient and accessible education, support the trade on physical and mental health, set up high professional standards in all aspects of the industry and deliver our commitment with professionalism.