ITHQ Service de Bar

Prestigious, world-renowned and the provider of comprehensive training for fledgling bartenders from around the globe the - Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec has been successfully schooling hospitality industry professionals for over 45 years.

Since its foundation in 1968 by the government of Quebec, the Institut (more commonly referred to by its acronym ITHQ; in English the Quebec Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management has grown to become Canada’s foremost school specializing in tourism, food service, hospitality skills and extensive sommelier teaching; it comfortably holds a place amongst the cream of the crop in global hotel management training. In its architecturally award-winning building in the heart of Montreal’s tourist district, students are able to study vocational, technical, advanced and university-level programs, with ITHQ the only school in Quebec to offer such a diverse and comprehensive choice of learning packages.

ITHQ classroom bar, BartenderTraining.ca
Photo of ITHQ's classroom bar
Photo provided by Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec

ITHQ’s immersive Service de Bar (Bartending) diploma is a twice-yearly course run in fall and winter for classes of up to 18 students, who will go on to learn everything they need to equip them for the often demanding world of tending bar and drinks service in various venues. The course itself is part-time: eighty hours in total, taking place two evenings a week – typically for five hours each evening – and spread over a period of 8 weeks, with a vast array of topics, skills and techniques of the trade imparted by experienced industry veterans.

The course is available to all-comers, with the proviso that students are at least eighteen years of age before the beginning of classes, and have sufficient knowledge – both spoken and written – of French as this is the language of instruction at ITHQ. Fees are the same for Quebec residents, Canadian non-residents of Quebec, and foreign students: $784 in total, which comprises full tuition, comprehensive course notes and serving apron – any other expenses, including obtaining the prescribed training ‘uniform’ of white shirt, black trousers, black shoes and black tie, must be met by the student.

The Service de Bar program offers schooling in ‘service and mixology as an art form’, and students undergo an intensive period of training so that by the end of the course they will be equipped to tend and manage bar in multiple environments and for a wide range of clientele. Topics covered include the preparation of drinks, diplomacy during service, the principles of modern mixology – in particular for cocktails – and setting up/closing bar, while professionalism is a core value and taught via lessons on dealing with public drunkenness, observation of hygiene and security measures, and development of communication. Industry and technical knowledge is also at the forefront of lessons too, with workshops involving product awareness, the classification of spirits and fortified wines, the principles of fermentation and distillation, and inventory management at venues.

The - Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec - has won numerous awards for its courses, methods and accomplishments, including the Prix d’excellence de l’administration publique (Award of Excellence in Public Administration) in 2012, and in 2010 it became the first Québec institution to be accredited by London’s Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) to offer WSET’s exclusive intermediate training program and its associated diploma. Also in 2010, ITHQ became internationally recognised in hotel management training when it joined The Leading Hotel Schools of the World while in 2003 it was awarded the respected “Ordre du Mérite hôtelier” medal by the Association des hôteliers du Québec.

With this status amongst the world’s elite training schools, a Service de Bar (Bartending) diploma from the - Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec - is a true seal of approval for graduates entering the world of tending bar.

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