The UK's biggest drinks company United Distillers and Vintners, UDV, has embarked on a £1.4million perfect serve initiative aimed at raising spirits within the on-trade.
A number of key guidelines, encompassing serve, preparation, presentation, marketing and bar design, have been adopted by a business development team who will spread the gospel according to UDV in more than 25,000 freetrade outlets.
Paul Dwan, UDV business development manager, said: "Staff rarely have any spirits training whatsoever and one of the key aims of the scheme is to create a standard and formulaic spirit serve that will hopefully increase customer confidence in the category as a whole."
Although UDV plans to encourage freepour in appropriate outlets, Matthew Partner, category development manager insisted that the Optic still has an important role to play in cementing consumer confidence in the spirits category.
"Customers are reassured by the Optic and it is a lot quicker than the thimble measure," he said. "We are not moving away from them but we're looking at better ways of serving from Optics."
In addition to the basic tips, which are primarily aimed at pubs rather than style bars for fear of preaching to the converted, UDV teams are also armed with a new interactive design CD Rom that can recreate the look of the back-bar and identify problem areas where the bar manager has been over-or under-emphasising a particular brand.