Raise the Bar Conference held

20. October 2021.

Strong hospitality growth only possible through innovation and quality workforce

On Monday, October 18, hospitality sector members from Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovenia came together at the 6th Raise the Bar Conference in order to reflect on the tourist season, which provides, despite the challenges caused by the pandemic, a cause for optimism and the search for new, progressive approaches that will encourage the further development of the HoReCa sector.

It was emphasized that the HoReCa sector and related industries will have to continue to adapt to the changes brought about by the pandemic. Consumers increasingly prefer places with a terrace, they look for larger, open spaces and more often choose hospitality outlets where they can have coffee, get breakfast, hold meetings and then also come for dinner and socializing.

“The trends brought about by the pandemic are here to stay. We are all encouraged by the rapid recovery of the hospitality sector and we hope that the positive trends will continue. As in the past four years, the goal of today’s 6th Raise the Bar Conference is to explore and adopt new concepts for future thinking and business with the support of domestic and foreign experts and in cooperation with our customers and partners to respond to new consumer and market demands. Coca-Cola HBC Croatia continues to see its role in contributing to the advancement of the training quality of workforces in the gastronomy and hospitality sector, which we have been doing for the past three years through our strategic platform ‘Raise the Bar’, which we will continue with the support of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Ministry of Science and Education…,” said Ruža Tomić Fontana, General Manager Coca-Cola HBC for Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovenia.

Marko Đurašević, chef of the restaurant and bar Kinoteka in Split, Andrey Bolshakov, head bartender of Insider Bar in Moscow, and chef Igor Gudac focused in their presentations on innovative concepts and concluded that they, along with a quality and trained workforce, are key for the development of sustainable and resilient business models in the hospitality industry.

The most important thing for success is to be surrounded by people who don’t consider problems an obstacle but an inspiration for finding new, original solutions. The five words that guide me in business are team, ideas, conversation, rest and fear. Fear is the most important because it leads to the courage to step out of the comfort zone and to create something daring, something delightful,” said Igor Gudac, chef and member of the expert jury for Raise the Bar scholarships.

Raise the Bar is a strategic platform of Coca-Cola HBC Croatia which has been in place since 2019 with the aim of increasing the training quality of workforces in hospitality and tourism. In addition to the conference, the project includes free training for waiters, baristas and bartenders, scholarships for chefs, pastry chefs and serving staff as well as collaborations with regional competence centers.