TRENDS INNOVATIONS "We like to see the programme as an inspirational kit," Michiel says. "Users can choose the parts that are relevant to them and their particular situation. For instance, a small bar might only need the right pouring tips, while a pub chain may want to organise training sessions and tap contests. There's something in it for everybody." DUTCH INSPIRATION A major inspiration for the Art of Pouring is the Draught Beer Excellence programme from the Netherlands, which started in 2006. "The programme has been very successful. We started out training around 2,000 people from just under 1,000 establishments in 2006, and we have grown ever since," said Heineken Nederland Category Development Manager Ronald van den Assem. Over 3,500 on trade establishments have participated in the programme's training sessions in the first three years. This year 10,000 people from 1,500 establishments are expected to do the same. One key ingredient in the Dutch programme, which is also discussed in the Art of Pouring, is the so-called Mystery Visit: unannounced, anonymous inspections in order to check on a business' operational quality. The mystery visits in the Netherlands are conducted four times a year for programme participants by AQ Services International, a mystery shopping and marketing research company. Heineken Netherlands combines its training programme with a national beer tapping contest. Last year, 1,300 pubs and cafes throughout the Netherlands participated in the competition. The winner carries the title 'Golden on-trade establishment of 2008' and is presented with the Golden Barrel award in a glamorous ceremony attended by on screen celebrities. Research conducted after the conclusion of the programme's first year in 2006 showed that participants sold 8 per cent more draught beer compared to non-participants. Sven Janssen, owner of Brasserie De Bock in Holland's Boxmeer and winner of the 2007 Golden Barrel comments: "The Draught Beer Excellence programme contributes towards a good and close-knit team spirit, and more sales." GOING INTERNATIONAL IN THE FUTURE? Michiel says that 'The Art of Pouring' will be a handy tool for Heineken operating companies, enabling them to organise training sessions independently. "And in turn, they can pass the tool on to their respective on-trade clients." He adds that he looks forward to the possibility of organising international tapping competitions in the future. "We'll consider this once the training programmes have gained more ground in the different regions." 36

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World of Heineken | 2008 | | pagina 106