Novus, the leading bar and restaurant operator changing the dynamics of the London bar and club scene, has announced the results of its first ‘Bar Tender of the Year’ competition, which saw 200 contestants go head-to-head over a 12 month period, across 40 heats and four quarter finals, culminating in the grand final recently at Sway in Covent Garden.
The competition aims to showcase the businesses commitment to making bar tending a career, whilst also nurturing team engagement, a competitive spirit and innovation. However, essentially, it forms part of the Novus strategy to put the experience of its customers at the core of the business.
Six judges made up the panel, including Toby Smith, CEO, four suppliers and a lucky customer, chosen at random as part of the competition.
Throughout each stage of the competition, contestants were tasked with showcasing speed of service, menu knowledge, accuracy, innovation and personality.
As part of the heat stages, contestants had to demonstrate they could pour shots to the millimetre, within a two minute window, whilst also creating a signature cocktail. The quarter final heats saw 15 entrants tasked with showcasing their best cocktail, whilst also creating two cocktails within a five minute period. In the grand final, five contestants went head-to-head across a mystery box round, which allowed them to show off their skills and let their creativity run wild. The final stage of the competition saw the contestants tasked with creating a cocktail which demonstrated enough spirit and personality to be rolled out across the Novus estate – taking into consideration GP, ingredients and ease of creation for all teams.
Charlie Bath from Tiger Tiger, Portsmouth took the coveted crown of Bar Tender of the Year, winning a cash prize of £4,000. All five finalists won a private bar and in the coming weeks, both Charlie and the finalists will be working together to design a campaign alongside London Cocktail Week.
Toby Smith, CEO, Novus, commented: “Congratulations to all our contestants, finalists and our overall crowned winner, Charlie, from Tiger Tiger Portsmouth. We have an awesome bar team with exceptional skills. We’re committed to making bar tending a career, whilst driving team engagement, creativity and innovation to ensure we continue to put the experience of our customers at the core of our business.”