6 min read
The wine and spirits industry is one of the most important in Mexico. According to the National Institute of Geography and Statistics (Inegi), it is involved in essential activities in key sectors such as the tourism sector, which has made an average contribution of 8.5% to the country’s total gross domestic product over the past 10 years.
Prior to the pandemic, tourism activity employed more than 2.3 million Mexicans, or 6% of the country’s total paid employment. Of these, the largest contribution of jobs was observed in the services of restaurants, bars and nightclubs with a participation of 29.1%. Despite its contribution to the economy, this industry has shortcomings such as a lack of professional development of the staff.
For this reason, Casa Pedro Domecq presented its Domecq Academy, a training center to professionalize the industry.
“Training has always been in our DNA. It is our goal and our way of competing with the rest of the industry. The Domecq academic project began in the 1950s in the Valle de Guadalupe with the first laboratory for experiments in viticulture. It continues with the famous CECAD, where thousands of waiters, captains and bartenders passed by. and now we are maintaining the will to train in this new phase with the Domecq Academy, ”explains Enrique Murillo, CEO of Casa Pedro Domecq.
Training opportunities in Mexico are fragmented, have no certifications, and in some cases are overly expensive. All of this means that many professionals do not have access to training.
“Many of the workers in the industry learn the trade empirically through experience, and when they perform well and have good attitudes, they move up. In this sense, the Domecq Academy can accelerate human resource development, ”explains Pilar Velasco, Head of Human Resources at Casa Pedro Domecq, who believes that students who acquire a certificate from a formal, comprehensive and practical educational program can guarantee experience and Knowledge.
Jesús Díez, master professor of viticulture, oenology and distillation and moderator of the Domecq Academy, believes that there is no structured education on the market that enables scalability and progress of employees.
Photo: Courtesy of Domecq
What can you learn in the academy?
The academy offers courses from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., which are divided into four modalities (Domecq Essential Courses, Prime Domecq Certificate, Emblem Domecq Program and Enterprise Domecq Program) depending on the level of the student or the needs of the client.
The content varies depending on the level, from the history to the origin of the distillates and wines to ice cream preparation, cocktails, administration and costs, marketing and even travel to states like Oaxaca and Baja California to attend courses on the elaboration of mezcals and Wines.
One of the things that make the academy different from other centers is that the courses are free and the content is focused on categories rather than brands.
Carlos Parrodi, manager of the Domecq Academy and Masters in Oenology and Viticulture at the International Organization of Wine and Wine, a certification that only certifies 300 experts worldwide, the training creates opportunities and enables the industry to grow.
From winemakers, sommeliers, viticulture and distillate specialists to glassware, sherry and gin experts, mixologists, bar consultants and bar trainers, they teach courses. “Currently, the teaching team consists of ten facilitators supported by international schools such as the UK Master Court of Sommeliers, the French Culinary Institute in New York, Niagara College in Canada and Mexican centers such as the College of Gastronomy and ITAM.” says Carlos Parrodi.
Photo: Courtesy of Domecq
Prepare in times of pandemic
The health crisis we got into also sparked an economic crisis. This is particularly evident in areas such as the hospitality industry. However, the situation has also enabled the wine and spirits industry to reinvent itself so that the consumer can acquire and experience the products through various technological channels Streaming.
“With the delivery and prior to the closure of facilities and consumer centers, we found that the number of visitors and the volume of students to the Domecq Academy has increased eight-fold this year. While we accepted around a thousand students in our classrooms last year, we reached more than 8,000 with digital classes in 2020, ”explains Carlos Parrodi.
Such was the case of Mariana Méndez, manager of the bar at the Hotel Hábita Polanco, for whom the 100 days of closure represented an opportunity for growth. “When I found myself without working with the red light, I decided to take the courses. Although I’ve been in the business for 16 years, I was able to deepen my knowledge of wines and spirits and, thanks to the “Cost and Waste” course, I learned to better control the bars I manage, ”says Mariana.
Of the total of 9,188 students who took courses at the Domecq Academy, 90 percent belong to the centers where it is consumed (on trade) and 10 percent to sales outlets (off trade). “In the On Trade category, 5,029 bar staff (54.73%), ie bartenders, bartenders and barbacks. 4,063 of the service staff (44.22%) consisting of managers, captains, waiters and summer traders; and 96 to managers (1.04%) ”, explains Óscar Vargas, Marketing Director of Casa Pedro Domecq.
In difficult times it is difficult to see the light, adds Enrique Murillo, who believes that in times of crisis there is a need to look for new opportunities and that is exactly what Domecq Academy has done by becoming more flexible, narrower and more digitized, to keep in touch with the sector. .