The framework and criteria for The Pinnacle Guide has been designed to allow each and every venue that applies the opportunity to showcase their own excellence – recognising cocktail bars of all sizes and styles whilst minimising subjectivity.
Beyond being a measure of excellence, this transparent and detailed approach is also designed to give venues pause for thought on where they may have room for improvement, with the ambition of elevating the industry by encouraging higher standards across the globe.
We are now collating all feedback received on these criteria and applications to be awarded a PIN will open later in the year.
The application process will be in-depth and is designed to take significant consideration from those seeking to be awarded 1, 2 or 3 PIN status. This detailed application allows a venue to showcase what it is they are most proud of and will provide the background information a reviewer will use when visiting the bar.
Beyond explanation and demonstration of drinks programme and overall concept, venues will have the opportunity to communicate what truly makes their bar top tier, including systems and processes, behind the scenes infrastructure, considerations to staff wellbeing and DEI practises. Environmental endeavours will be weaved throughout all eight modules as a key measure of excellence.
It will be possible to complete The Pinnacle Guide application form in your preferred language and it does not need to be completed in one-sitting – to ensure venues are completely confident in their final application.
The application form makes up two thirds of the overall points available within the The Pinnacle Guide framework.
The application form will be assessed using a set of clear parameters for excellence, with each question weighted appropriately and a marking system designed to limit assessment subjectivity as far as possible. The application assessor will qualify and verify response accuracy, (a process continued during the in-person reviews).
Not all questions will have points attributed to them and are instead included to set the scene for the assessors and ultimately the anonymous reviewers.
Once an application has passed the assessment stage, anonymous reviewers will be allocated to the venue and briefed with the specific bar’s submission.
The anonymous reviewer’s visit will entail verification of information submitted during the application as well as personal feedback on the more tangible elements of great hospitality. As with all stages of the process, venues will be assessed in terms of appropriateness to their own concept.
The key to this part of the anonymous review process is to assess the “feeling” generated by the bar within the reviewer, through the drinks service, hospitality and ambience, factoring in the thoughtful touches that elevate a guests experience.
Each venue will receive at least two, if not more, anonymous visits before PINNED status is confirmed.
An in-person visit from an anonymous reviewer is a key stage in awarding a PIN. As such, we have taken great care when deciding who these individuals should be. The outcome from our discussions was that reviewers should be a mixture of industry professionals and discerning consumers, but regardless of their professional background, each individual will have gone through and been tested on The Pinnacle Guide Reviewer Training Programme.
Between February – August 2022, we hosted a series of Round Table Discussions via zoom, with each session led by a panel of industry experts tackling a different element of The Pinnacle Guide. All recordings are still freely available to watch back below plus there are short-read analyses created exclusively for Difford’s Guide.
If you have any feedback or ideas that you would like to share with the team – our door is always open. Send us an email and we’ll arrange a phone or zoom call to discuss your thoughts, or explain our own.