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1–2 July 2024
Olympia London

Capitalising on Summer Vibes: Trends and Strategies for Success

Despite the recent fanfare of reduced inflation, we all know it’s still very tough out there at the moment, people have less cash in their pocket, bills don’t seem to be going down and the British weather, as ever, is doing its best to tease and then depress us, so is there anything to look forward to?

Well, simply put, yes! As tempting as it is to chat about the upcoming election right now, the trade’s focus (apart from voting) must be on gearing up for summer, and there are some great trends to jump on right now, which I’ll be talking about and running tasting of during my Summer Lovin’ session at Imbibe Live on July 1, at 11.45am.

This summer is going to be all about easy sippin’, with shandies, lager tops, non-alcs and lower ABVs the prevailing trends, as well as, and I’m not kidding here, I think this is going to be the summer of slushy machines! Let’s face it, we need some whimsy in our lives and slushy machines provide not only a way to offer something fun, and cooling in the face of climate change, but the profit margins can be immense on them. 

Beer is often overlooked as a slushy ingredient, but using kettle soured beers like Berliner Weisse and Gose can be a tastier alternative than you might think, it also lessens the need to use expensive ingredients like citrus fruit, which could potentially be in short supply as the latest round of Brexit checks kick in and bad weather across Europe affects food supplies.

Because of growing external pressures, it’s a really good time to be looking inwards, people’s desire to support British and local is always high, but there’s often a failure to capitalise on that by venues. It’s easy for someone like me to recognise a local brewery at the pub, bar, or restaurant I’m in, but others may not always have that insight, and flagging up you are buying local on your beer board, pumps or menus is something that will naturally push people towards choosing that product, and that goes double when you’re in a tourist area.

Finally, I am going to be climbing on my usual bandwagon of recruiting and training staff, whilst I am aware that staffing shortages are at an all-time high, one of the most valuable things you can do to retain staff is train them. A quick snapshot of how you treat staff from the off and how important it is to keeping them was provided a survey in 2022 by LinkedIn.

  • 94% of employees would stay longer with an employer who invested in their learning and development.
  • Companies that encourage learning have up to 50% better employee engagement and retention.
  • Only 20% of employees feel engaged at work.
  • Companies that focus on employee onboarding are 50% more likely to retain those new hires.

Now, let’s be honest, how many times has someone shown up, you’re too busy to show them the ropes properly, and you throw them behind the bar or on the floor and then they never turn up to their next shift? Or you’ve been that person and felt so utterly overwhelmed that you feel like you’re either a failure or that you don’t want to work in such an unsupportive environment?

I’ll be talking through a few simple strategies I’ve developed over 15 years of training staff at bars at restaurants about beer & cider, that have made all the difference and it’s not just staff retention, but also the bottom line.

So, if any of that interests you, or you’d just like to hear a few fun stories, then come along to my session on June 1 at 11.45am and you’ll get all this and more (also, don’t forget to actually register at or your name’s not down and you can’t come in!).

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