Bacardi Takes Stands on Both Gainful Employment and the Environment

By Tina Casey
Oct 10, 2019 2:05 PM ET

Bartenders have a unique window on the world. They absorb and reflect the hubbub of conversation that swirls around their workplace. They fill many roles, including those of cheerleader and social influencer. When brands build relationships with bartenders — or mixologists, in professional parlance — they have a unique opportunity to amplify their messages. That’s not as simple as it may seem, but the company Bacardi has launched a new youth training program that could help build public support for its environmental activities as well.

Bacardi launches new training program for young mixologists

Bacardi’s new initiative addresses the twin problems of youth unemployment and a worker shortage in the hospitality industry.

Announced last month, the company’s “Shake Your Future” program is aimed at recruiting young people into the hospitality industry through a bartending and mixology training program.

In an era when the “gig economy” is attracting workers into jobs with little or no career development opportunities, Shake Your Future offers placement in an industry that has traditionally offered pathways for working up the ladder.

Bacardi gave this program a trial run last year in France. Based on those results, the company plans to roll it out across Italy, France and Spain later this year, with the aim of making it available in 12 leading cities globally within three years.

Amplifying environmental messages

Coincidentally or not, Bacardi’s focus on youth employment has come about during a key moment in history, when young people across the globe are flexing their power to influence policy on climate change and other environmental issues.

In the meantime, evidence is growing that millennials are attracted to companies that share their values — both as consumers and as employees, too.

In other words, a company’s ability to attract the up-and-coming generation of workers is becoming intertwined with its ability to engage the public on environmental issues.

As a spirits maker devoted to building relationships with young bartenders, that focus puts Bacardi in a good position to work with the hospitality industry to amplify messages on the environment.

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