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If you are a bartending school graduate and need job placement assistance or refresher courses, please visit our Bartending School partner
Our mission is to make our students so good at bartending, that by the time they leave, there’s no question they’ll get the job they dreamed of. We want our students to be able to walk into a job interview and say:
Below are nine questions we asked ourselves that shows you what sets us apart from our competitors:
1. Does the training program make sense?
Not giving students the training time (some schools try to teach hundreds of drinks, customer service, beer and wine in as little as 20-30 hours!) they need in order to squeeze more people into a class or charge very little money is a terrible mistake both for you and for the school that is “teaching” you. I’ve seen quite a few of our competitors up going out of business, or barely surviving by not training or evaluating students properly, sending them out prematurely, and what ended up happening was they were unable to find the jobs they wanted, and the school was taken less and less seriously by the industry, to the point that the program, and the graduates it offers just lost all credibility, and eventually they had to close their doors.
The worst part of this was that their graduates would come to us years later, complaining that they couldn’t find a job, and not realizing that it wasn’t their fault, they just didn’t attend a school that taught at a high level and gave their students specific measurable goals and skills that would serve them in the job market.
At Mixology Wine, we have the longest training programs in the United States, ranging from 48-73 hours. If you take our management programs and advanced flair trainings, the time spent here can skyrocket to over 100 hours of bartending training.
Initially we did this because it just felt good to give people the best training money could buy, but we saw results very quickly. The first thing that we saw right away was that our graduates were able to find jobs almost immediately, and in the kinds of places they wanted to work in. They didn’t feel like they had to work their way up, and work in subpar bars or waitress or bar back to get the job they wanted. Once they started working, they usually made more money than the other bartenders because they were trained better, and they had an understanding of psychology, and how to influence tips, which we also teach. As a company, what really surprised us was how much it affected referrals, and now about 30% of our students, month after month hear about us from our graduates.
When we graduate a student, we can let them out into the world knowing that when they leave our doors the reputation of the school and all the graduates that have gone before will elevate them in the industry.
2. How much staff does the school have?
When a school has a staff of 5 people or less, it’s very difficult for them to give their students a high quality experience. I’ve seen a lot of schools with a very small staff where the instructor actually interrupts the class to show someone the school, the owner copies and pastes jobs from craigslist onto the school’s Facebook page, or if something happens to one of the instructors they have no backup and use undertrained sales staff to teach the class.
At the Mixology Wine Institute, we have a staff of approximately 20. Ranging from specialists including our instructors, specialty instructors (for our Wine, Beer, Flair, ServSafe, Mixology at Home Courses), sales people, bookkeepers, accountants, social media experts, website consultants, and job placement directors. This allows us to give our students a world class learning experience.
3. Is the textbook dated?
One of the first things to notice when looking at any particular school is to make sure the book is bound, copyrighted, in color, and with up to date information. Believe it or not, some schools are using materials that are over 20 years old!
At the Mixology Wine Institute our book is updated at least once a year, and is currently undergoing a massive revision that will contain full color pictures, and describes the latest trends in the field, from Molecular Mixology to Italian Amari. If you are at our City Line Location we can even show you a proof of it!
4. Does the “classroom” use real ice?
A lot of bartending school classrooms simply don’t have the equipment to properly prepare graduates for the field. One of the simplest ways to check this is the quality of their ice. Do they teach using a variety of ice to showcase different techniques (a Mint Julep requires crushed ice while an Old Fashioned requires very large ice cubes) or do they not take this into account or worse, not use real ice at all?
5. Does the bartending school hire specialized instructors to teach seminars/advanced training?
Another problem is the lack of specialists. If the school is teaching beer, wine, responsible service etc. and doesn’t have a sommelier, brewing expert, or dedicated responsible service trainer on site, and one instructor is forced to teach everything, the quality of education will suffer severely, and you’ll see the lack of training in their results of getting their graduates placed.
7. Is the bartending school a mom and pop operation, with just one or two locations?
Many bartending schools are incapable of providing nationwide assistance for their graduates. It’s not their fault though. They’re just not part of a chain of bartending schools that can help graduates relocate anywhere across the world and support them if they ever decide to move.
At the Mixology Wine Institute, we’re part of the Professional Bartending Schools of America, the oldest and largest national chain of bartending schools, with 95 schools across the country and in Canada, so if our students decide to relocate, it’s a safe bet we can help them
8. Is there a person directly responsible and accountable for helping you find a job?
At the Mixology Wine Institute, we have a dedicated Job Placement Director, who gets paid by commission whenever our graduates find jobs. This separates us from our competitors who primarily use craigslist and inbound calls from companies for bartending students.
We, on the other hand, actively approach other companies to hire our bartenders and confirm listings. Moreover, our job placement director, Jung, helps with resume building, and making you marketable to employers. If you’d like more information about our job placement at our school, we have a blog that is regularly updated by her and an FAQ that will you an overview of what we have to offer:
9. Does the school have presence in the industry and the community?
Because of our longstanding presence in the industry, we have a huge network of bars, owners, managers, graduates and students that can be seen in the events we help run in the city, and through our facebook, twitter, youtube and other social media. It’s very easy to discern at a glance how connected a school is, so don’t be afraid to google and see what you can find.
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