The Bar Professional is Here to Teach the Fine Art of Bartending, Beverage Industry!

LOS ANGELES - Picture yourself behind the bar.... mixing drinks, meeting new people and creating an atmosphere that simply makes it a better day for all involved... all while getting paid to be a social butterfly! Yes, this can be you and it’s easier to make it all happen than one might think.


Article by Joe Milliken * Photos courtesy of Kyle Branche and Kellie Nicholson

Meet the professional bar consultants and staff training experts Kyle Branche and Kellie Nicholson, the creators of Bar Professional, an online training program designed to teach you the fine art of bartending as well as the business side of the beverage industry. With a combined 60 years of industry experience coast-to-coast, Kyle and Kellie have systematically created formulas that are setting new industry standards.

So how did these friends enter the bar professional and beverage field and come about creating this unique, online training program?

“I’ve been in the field for over 33 years now,” Kyle Branche said in an exclusive, Standing Room Only interview. “In the early 80’s, I was living in Phoenix and a new Embassy Suites hotel was opening up and I needed a change from being a champion introvert into something more out there in the world... so, I went to the hotel’s human resource office.

“They liked me because I had excellent inventory/ordering skills from my years in retail/distribution, plus I was moonlighting as a bar-back on weekends. So, the deal was, if I crash-coursed a bartending school and received my certificate, they would hire me as a bar-back and banquet/poolside bartender. I got the certificate and that’s how it all really started going full-throttle.”

As for Kellie, her path was slightly different; “I began working as a cocktail waitress to earn extra money while attending college on an academic scholarship... and when I got an offer to become a bartender, I'm ashamed to say that my response was, 'No, that's a boy's job.' Even I was a sexist! The fact is that it was almost unheard of for a woman to be a bartender in those days.

“I’m told that there once was a law in California that women could only tend bar if they owned the establishment. Yes, we have come a long way... and they even let us vote now! Anyway, I was talked into it and just fell in love with the job. So, though it was never my plan, here it is some 30-plus years later and I’m still in the business.”

So how did their business model for Bar Professional come about? Well, for a while, Kyle and Kellie were basically looking for a way to collaborate their knowledge and skills.

“Kellie and I had been trying to figure out what we could do together, considering all the ‘bar book’ material we had collectively written over the years,” Branche said. “She was teaching at colleges and I was writing for industry magazines – plus, the bar work each of us had – so for quite a while our plates were just too full.

“But as time goes by things change and that’s when, a year-and-a-half ago, we finally had an opening in our schedules where we could put our collective efforts together, Kellie being the great communicator and me the ever-exploring experimenter and the long-project-road of Bar Professional finally came together.”

“Kyle and I have always talked about our individual pursuits in the beverage industry and I’ve always wanted to partner with him... and this project seemed like the best way.” Nicholson added. “Getting to work with one of my favorite people and also helping others by sharing our knowledge is the ultimate way to spend my time. I can’t praise Kyle enough as a person and I always say that he is the ‘salt of the earth’... add in his expertise in ‘mixology’ and there is no better to partner with.”

These premium courses co-created by Kyle and Kellie will prepare anyone to thrive as a bartender in all types of establishments, while also preparing you for the business side of the beverage industry. Therefore, you will train to learn both the art and business-sides of bartending, while effectively mastering the most up-to-date trends in the industry. The training courses concentrate on the bartending/beverage business from three points of view; the bartender, the customer and the manager. Of course, keeping in mind all the while that the goal is to make better tips while pleasing the customer and to boost profits!

Yes, these concentrated courses can ‘put you in the big leagues’ quickly and effectively... teaching you how to efficiently build the perfect cocktail with a smile on your face. Skills that will not only impress the customer and effectively keep them coming back, but also making your skills desirable on the business side, building you into a bartender that managers want to hire and customers want to get to know better!

“Kellie and I put all our content together so there was a lot to filter through, as to figure out what we were going to use in the courses and for what purposes,” Kyle states. “With such a variety of information to work with, we were able to create a ladder of connecting industry courses from scratch all the way up... starting with the bar course levels of Basic, Professional, Expert and Master. Then, we bridged two management courses – Bar Management and Master Level Management and recently, we’ve released two new courses titled Wine Service Basics and How to Start a Mobile Bar Service.” (Editor: Mobile Bar Service sounds very cool!)

“I’ve been teaching bartending classes ‘live’ for the past 15 years on college campuses,” Kellie added. “Since I was always a good student, I had an idea of how to convey our ideas and keep the information interesting. Since I've registered to take many online courses that I never finished, I closely examined what the online learner wants and also what keeps my attention... and came up with a series of methods to make learning simple and fun for our students.”

Branche and Nicholson now offer eight specific bar courses with a range of costs that can fit into anyone’s budget, while also offering a secured payment-plan set up through Pay Pal that offers students “no interest charges” if paid within six months.

“It’s pretty cool when you can spread the payments out and not ‘lose the bank’ while you’re learning a fun, new field of work, Kyle added. “One other big feature we offer is the language option... people can take the courses in any of 90 languages available. Interested students from around the world can take our courses at anytime - day or night - from practically anywhere!”

What really sets the Bar Professional courses apart are the premium formulas and techniques developed to help you learn an overwhelming amount of information that bartenders must be accustomed to. The Master Code of Mixology is their branded method of instruction for the bar industry, designed to be comprehensive, but easy to learn. Although there are no shortcuts to becoming a qualified and experienced bartender, you will certainly become a respected professional as long as you put in the time to really study and understand the material.

Kyle and Kellie will teach you a wide range of proper, step-by-step, bartending skills such as pouring shots without having to count, various techniques to pour liquor like a pro, a formula for making original cocktails and remembering proper portions of alcohol, surefire ways to increase your tips, specific ways to make your guests feel welcome and even psychology tips to help you get through the rough nights.

“I believe our training courses far surpass others, simply because of the many years of experience Kyle and I have in bartending and management,” Kellie concluded. “Our courses are taught from three points of view (the customer, bartender and manager) so nothing is missing... we cover it all! We teach our students what we would want them to know if we were hiring them and because of this, managers love our students.”

“Another unique aspect of the courses is that students can communicate with me and Kellie virtually anytime via email or phone,” Kyle surmised. “Anyone can read our bios and understand the sincere experience and knowledge from which Kellie and I draw for these courses. Yes, we are the real deal and plan on being here for the long run!

“In our research, we checked out a few other online courses and frankly, they just don’t compare to ours. Other online courses were not very forthcoming with their identity or experience in the business, therefore, you don’t really know for sure who is teaching you and what their expertise actually is... and if something as basic as that is being hidden, than something is wrong.”

Some of Bar Professional's diversified clientele include Hilton Embassy Suites in Anaheim, Levy Restaurants at Dodger Stadium and Far Bar & Chop Suey in Los Angeles, the Glendale Community College hospitality program and Nobelza Tequila in San Diego to name a few.

Bar Professional is also continuing to add new courses in the future, for Kyle and Kellie are always growing and creating as to come up with new ideas. It’s a perfect example of the experience and commitment that makes Bar Professional the new standard in online bar course education for the beverage and bar hospitality industry.

To learn more about Bar Professionals and the various courses Kyle Branche and Kellie Nicholson have to offer, visit www.barprofessional.com and www.barbizz.com. Also watch for additional Bar Professional updates and announcements right here at Standing Room Only.