Working in the hospitality industry is very demanding. You are expected to learn flavor and pairings, menu items, customer service scripts, and so much more. In addition to that, if you want to move up in this industry the amount of information you need to absorb and assimilate keeps going up.
The trick is that none of the programs focus at Aqua Vitae Institute focus on simple memorization-it is furthered by the belief that people are conditioned to learn to pass tests in school and then forget the next day. Instead, the education philosophy at the institute is a three pronged approach.
Aqua Vitae Institute blends theoretical learning, with practical drink making, with advanced techniques. Because of that, learning how to learn is really important and it's something that most other schools don't focus on and what separates us from any of our competitors.
Here are some of the methods we focus on in class and what you should pay attention to when you study back at home:
1. Say It Out Loud!
Have you ever had to memorize a song? We've discovered that many people struggle to memorize music without actually attempting to sing the song. Instead, they can listen to a song hundreds of times and only a few phrases--likely the chorus, will be remembered by them.
The major way we simulate this process is by pairing people up into groups of two or three. One person will make the drink and the other two will coach the person making the drink on what they are doing correctly or incorrectly with a answer sheet. After every few minutes, they will switch turns. This allows people to speak out the recipes to other people, while also helping ...
2. Writing It Out!
One of the key components we use to train people is having them flash cards. The reason is that it associates learning with something more practical and artistic--it also helps to internalize some of the mneomonic devices we teach in a concise format. For example, Martinis and Manhattans being a certain type of cocktail and in a certain type of class. It also allows a place for word clues like the phrase "Very Tragic Landing" for the Kamikaze becoming shorthand for:
Vodka, Triple Sec, and Lime Juice
3. Doing It!
Aqua Vitae Institute doesn't have conventional school desks and painful school chairs set up. We have a bar and a lot of equipment. We also have a library, but after reading theoretical knowledge within a book, instead of it just sitting in your brain as a cool fact and being forgotten, we recommend our students to use our facility in order to see and prove theories. You might find that many of the things even the most popular bartending books have pictures of or create recipes for, just aren't going to work out in practice! Instead of focusing on what is in a book, it's important to understand what actually works in the real world, and focus on memorizing that.
By doing something and making it happen, you'll begin to retain that association as something that is more real than a theoretical book.