What’s it like to work in today’s beverage alcohol industry? Nearly four years since the onset of the pandemic, the global landscape has changed, and so too, has the industry.
One of the greatest changes that took place is the massive and continued adoption of technology in daily operations. Takeout and delivery, digital marketing, reservations and more have all been transformed by digital technologies. It’s ushered in new ways of doing business, opened new revenue streams and created new jobs. However, it has greatly affected the traditional bar and restaurant model — whether that’s viewed as a positive or negative.
How do industry workers feel about it? That’s part of what Provi and SevenFifty Daily’s 2023 Beverage Industry Career and Salary Survey Report gets to the heart of. Earlier this year, Provi and SevenFifty Daily polled more than 1,800 trade professionals across the beverage alcohol industry, from the on- and off-premise to importers, distributors, producers and more. The survey, which you can download here, is a data-driven view into the views and sentiments of trade workers, covering topics such as salary across industry tiers, career and pay satisfaction and prospects for future growth — as well as pandemic-induced job changes, workplace policies, industry issues and where they go to learn about and gain experience in their trade.
Let’s take a look at three takeaways covered in the report. To get the report’s full insights, download the 2023 Beverage Industry Career & Salary Survey Report here.
Digital Publications, Tasting Events and Visits to Producers Are the Most Valued Learning Tools; Interest in Certifications Is Up
For career beverage workers, experience comes from both time and education. The more knowledgeable one becomes in their craft, the better they can serve their guests. But where do industry professionals go to learn more about their craft and expand their knowledge? When polled on the learning resources industry workers value, online publications (72 percent of respondents), trade tasting events and seminars (59 percent), and visits to producers (57 percent) are preferred, while books (45 percent) and print publications (38 percent) are also valued.
Regarding formal certifications, interest in the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) is up from 2019, when SevenFifty Daily last surveyed the industry (36 percent of respondents vs. 25 percent), as well as for the Certified Specialist of Wine exam (10 percent vs. 8 percent). However, fewer respondents hold Court of Master Sommeliers certifications, falling to 17 percent from 23 percent in 2019.
Technology Is Top of Mind — and Will Be in the Future
The restaurant industry has been one of the last to undergo a digital transformation. However, the pandemic ushered in an era of technology that is now essential to managing daily operations. In the beverage industry, the same rings true. Of industry workers polled, 75 percent of respondents say that technology for beverage management will grow in importance over the next year. Seventy-four percent say that ecommerce and delivery will also grow in importance.
On-premise respondents over-index on believing technology for beverage management will grow in importance over the next year (77 percent) while off-premise professionals over-index on thinking ecommerce and delivery will (75 percent). Wholesalers also over-index (77 percent and 78 percent, respectively) while producers over-index on ecommerce and delivery (81 percent).
Gen Z and Young Millennial Professionals Care About Diversity, Pay, Social and Environmental Issues Most
The pandemic not only ushered in digital transformation in the industry but also launched a greater conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. That conversation has largely been led by Gen Zers and millennials. As the trade diversifies and its workers get younger, those entering the workforce bring with them a different set of beliefs and values than their older colleagues.
Respondents aged 22 to 30 over-indexed on every single workplace policy listed, especially pay transparency (+20 percentage points), parental leave benefits (+15 percentage points) and diversity initiatives (+9 percentage points).
But it’s not just the workplace where workers value change. The same segment of respondents over-indexed on almost every issue or trend affecting the trade today, particularly the need for more sustainable packaging (+5 percentage points), the issue of climate change and more severe weather (+4 percentage points), and the adoption of cannabis products and regulation (+4 percentage points).
Want further insights into the state of the beverage industry workforce? Download Provi and SevenFifty Daily’s 2023 Beverage Industry Career and Salary Survey Report.