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Soak up knowledge at Bar School

Don’t know the difference between a margarita and a Moscow Mule? German bartender extraordinaire, Norman Stan, is setting up a new bar training school in Siem Reap to educate the masses on how to properly work a bar.

Stan has distilled his knowledge from eight years of hospitality consulting and training into a 13 seminar course so people can learn the ways of a bar master.

Stan has worked in cosmopolitan cities around the world as a bartender, hospitality consultant and bar advisor. He trained in Austria as a bartender before opening his first bar in Zell am See, a ski resort area.

Stan then undertook a certified bartender course in Germany, becoming a master bartender. Since then he’s worked with bars around the world to refine their operations and train their staff.

“I started my own company doing bar design, tailoring menus, bar training, things like that in every major city in Germany, then Switzerland, Italy, Australia,” Stan says.

“One of my favourite bars I’ve worked with was at Sling in Brisbane. It was ranked as the second best Australian cocktail bar in 2010 and ranked 36 world-wide.”

Stan has been in Siem Reap for three months and says while the hotels and bars are nice, many of the staff lack enough training to properly understand bar work.

“There are so many restaurants, bars and hotels starting up. The service is good but the head management of establishments would often rather employ a lot of staff instead of a few well paid but well trained people. They have 20 people running about but no one knows what they’re doing,” Stan says.

“Knowledge is power. If you understand your work you become enthusiastic and passionate about it. You work harder. It means the customers are happier and your boss is happier because you sell more.”

Stan’s school is now working with hotels internally, but he is also opening the school at Siem Reap Bar. His classes take place in the morning when the 24 hour bar is usually empty.

“Trainees go behind the bar to mix their own cocktails, it’s quite hands on,” Stan says. “One of the courses is in work flair tendering.  Work flair is grabbing the glass, throwing it up and catching the ice or something. Little tricks which don’t slow the process down. You still work the same speed but you do a little trick and it looks good. People like this.”

Classes at Stan’s school, Australian European Bar Training Siem Reap, cost $90 per person for a full thirteen seminar course.

Stan’s main target is for hotels to enlist their entire staff but says he welcomes individuals looking to learn the art of bartending.

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