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Bacardi marches 5,500 employees ‘Back to the Bar’ for grassroots on-trade initiative

Published:  09 February, 2018

Employees at spirits powerhouse Bacardi left their computers and labs yesterday and headed to their local bars as part of a global initiative to find out what’s driving engagement at the sharp end of the trade.

Some 5,500 Bacardi employees around the world, including salespeople and those working in finance departments upped sticks and headed to their local haunt as part of the Grey Goose and Martini spirits maker’s first Back to the Bar initiative, to coincide with the groups annual Founder's Day celebrations.

Taking place in over 100 bars around the world, employees from Bacardi’s central London offices headed to the London Cocktail Club in Liverpool Street, where the company’s global brand ambassador, Jacob Briars, said the company was taking cues from the enthusiasm of craft and small production distillers – as well looking back to its brands’ own history to “reignite the company’s entrepreneurial spirit and culture”.

“The spirits industry has diversified to a ridiculous level in recent years,” Briars said. “A small number of established players are surrounded by an explosion of craft spirits and the reason craft brands are doing so well is because people are there, on the ground, telling their stories, which is the oxygen that keeps brands alive.

“The hunger of being a small fish in a big pond is really motivating, whereas Bacardi has reached a point where we deal with hundred of brands every day, so it’s really a case of reminding ourselves that it’s very important to make drinks that people want to enjoy – but equally important is how people are choosing to drink them.”

Back to the Bar also draws the success of Bacardi brands in their formative years, which grew on the shoulders of men like Sidney Frank with Grey Goose and Michel Roux with Bombay Sapphire, who says Briars, “was in bars, talking to bartenders every single day”.

“All these spirits were ‘craft’ once. They just happened to survive because of their quality and because of their stories. Back to the Bar is a reminder of this and a re-focusing of our commitment to what we do,” he added.

This year Bacardi celebrates 156 years being a family-owned business, which remains the world’s largest privately held sprits company.