Cocktails are a timeless social beverage, and in case you needed an extra excuse to break out your highball glasses, April 9 is National Gin and Tonic Day!
In honour of this delicious occasion we sat down with Drew Davies from Kubarz. The “Doyen of Cocktails”, he knows a thing or two about a great G&T!
No cocktail recipes here though, we got straight down to business. Drew’s turned a passion for social events into a blossoming Australian enterprise. But you may remember that lockdown thing we had, where the only “social” was social distancing.
We wanted to know how Kubarz not only survived lockdown but actually tapped into a new market.
The Kubarz story begins in 2003, when founder Drew Davies drew on his extensive event management experience to seek out new opportunities in the events market.
Drew identified a gap in the market, envisioning a service supplying popup bar services with personalised cocktail menus and mixology masterclasses.
With a passion for creativity, personalised experiences, and exceptional service, Kubarz quickly became the go-to partner for taking corporate events to the next level and crafting unforgettable moments for clients.
Since its inception, they’ve grown into a wildly successful company with offices spanning Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth.
Their legacy as a leader in the mobile bar and beverage catering industry is assured, and they continue to inspire others with their vision and passion for excellence.
“It’s been and still is a journey. We’ve had our fair share of challenges along the way and you know, you learn from mistakes and keep on moving.”
COVID-19 threw a wrench into Kubarz’s tried and true offering of face-to-face service. Lockdowns and social distancing made it impossible to hold events, and the industry was forced to pivot.
As Drew explains, “COVID was initially extremely challenging and concerning for the entire events industry, not just Kubarz.”
Rising to the challenge, they began exploring ways to turn the pressures of COVID-19 into opportunities. Noticing a surprising uptick in corporate purchases of cocktail-making kit, they were inspired to innovate their service offering.
“When COVID hit, we pivoted to a virtual cocktail class where we shipped out a cocktail kit and ingredients to our customers’ homes, to pair with online events hosted over programs like Zoom and bring Kubarz into the quarantine lives of clients.”
This market expansion not only allowed Kubarz to continue offering their services during a challenging time, it even allowed them to reach clients who were new to the Kubarz offering.
Virtual services presented its own set of logistical challenges, with reliable delivery of cocktail ingredients to customers being of paramount importance. No cocktail shaker, no class!
Kubarz recognized the need for a logistics solution that could meet these fluctuating deadlines with unwavering dependability.
In Drew’s words, “through trial and error using Australia Post, the delivery times and customer service was an issue. Unreliable timings shipping out around the country was also an issue. Discovering GT-EX was a game changer for us.”
With GT-EX on board things moved fast, with Kubarz’s virtual cocktail classes taking the lockdown market by storm.
At its peak thousands of shipments a month travelled through the GT-EX network into the hands of Kubarz customers.
“Kubarz shipped out tens of thousands of boxes with GT-EX and they were great. 99% of our packages arrived on time, if not more. The speed and efficiency with which our packages were delivered across Australia was truly remarkable.”
It was the combination of modern electronic tracking and a responsive human touch that made the difference for Kubarz and their demanding corporate clients.
“The ability to log in to the portal for real-time updates, or call a dedicated customer service representative to track a package’s ETA and status, was exceptional.”
The events industry has experienced a resurgence in the past year as COVID restrictions have eased, and festivals and gatherings making a comeback.
The shift from “survival” to “growth” has infused new life into the industry, with many companies planning exciting expansions.
Kubarz is no exception, with plans to enter the event market in Adelaide and lift the city’s events to new heights. Get ready Adelaide, Kubarz is coming to revolutionise your events scene!
Kubarz’s story is one of passion, perseverance, and innovation. From humble beginnings in 2003 to the challenges presented by COVID-19, they’re certainly not afraid to take risks and roll with changes.
We can’t wait to see what’s next for Drew and the team.
On National Gin and Tonic day, we’ll be raising a celebratory G&T to Kubarz! 🍸