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Massimo Stronati on Bartending in Covid and 2021

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18/01/2021 Massimo shares his thoughts on how the role of a bartender has evolved during Covid times, tips to drive foot traffic, 2021 drinks trends, and much more.

In conversation with Massimo Stronati, Head Bartender at Ettan Palo Alto. 

Born and raised in Milano, traveler, bartender for decades, and enthusiast dad. My Dad was my first mentor and after that, a lot of people came into my life who taught me the meaning of bar and hospitality.

How according to you has the role of the Bartender evolved, especially now during Covid times?

I’m not thinking the role of the industry evolved during last year and the beginning of the new one, just some aspect changes, especially social media communication and activities, but you know that is temporary stuff, Bar is made at the bar the rest is just an excuse.

How are you marketing your bar to drive some foot traffic during covid-19?

As all the industry people are doing through social media and local stuff basically in this tough situation we cannot do anything more than take out food and drinks so our goals to do that at our best with special menus and suggestions. 

What do you look for when you plan to buy spirits for your bar?

Quality, production process, consistency, and possibly something different from my competitors something like outstanding for my guests.

What support programs work best for you from suppliers?

Whatever makes my life easier in terms of management, especially in these times we need to move the stock so whatever help in that direction is welcome and actually a good move.

What cocktails and drinks trends you see in 2021

Again 100% agave spirits and good quality spirits in general....true rum and high-quality scotch to mention a few. 

Any tips for new bartenders?

Be humble, nice, and hungry to learn it will be a one-way ticket often complicated and heavy but always you'll get a reward from that especially you’ll make guests happy and you’ll be happier and more at the same time living incredible moments.

What’s the most underrated cocktail ingredient or spirit?

A lot of ingredients are underrated or not used I guess it’s mostly a matter of inexperience when you start to know how to play with grand bottles all go easier if I can mention one I think a lot of people don’t know how to play with amaro at all. 

With the current pandemic, what will the F&B industry look like in the near future?

In the very close future, I cannot see anything good or well surprising, I think we have to keep going what we can like take out stuff and follow all the indications and protocols to get back as soon as possible as I think guests are missing bar and restaurants as well hospitality people are missing guests.

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Bartender Spirits AwardsBartender Spirits Awards gathers the top on-premise buyers, bar managers, and bartenders who have a direct influence on the US on-premise market.

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Leading spirits brands from around the world now have an opportunity to grow their business and gain the attention of top on-premise buyers, Bar managers, bartenders, and influencers within the U.S. on-premise industry. Time to submit your spirits in the 2021 Bartender Spirits Awards.


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Warehouse Closes For Samples: April 23, 2021

Judging: May 17, 2021

Winners Announced: May 31, 2021


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