Ma Nan, a waitress who will work at Beijing's first ever beer festival in May next year, raises a toast to the event.[Agencies]
As many as 1,000 German beer waitresses, chefs and musicians will come to Beijing to stage a month-long German-style Beijing International Beer Festival from May 1 next year.
Michael Schottenhamel, president of Schottenhamel Co Ltd - the beer festival's German organizer - said recruitment has already started and they planned to bring 500 German waitresses.
He told METRO the waitresses would receive training in Chinese culture, behavior and a little bit Chinese history and language like "hello", "thank you" and "beer".
The only requirements for a candidate to land a waitress job are to be friendly, honest and communicative.
He added that they also want a Chinese team to work with their German employees.
The Chinese organizer of the event, Xiedao group, plans to recruit 10,000 people for this event. The majority will be waitresses.
College graduate Ma Nan, 20, who majored in business English, was one such recent recruit. She believes it will be an excellent opportunity.
"I think it's a great job. Twenty of my friends and classmates also applied after they heard about my job. Not only will my English improve but also my communication skills. I am really looking forward to working with German waitresses," she said.
Qi Duo, assistant to the president of Xiedao group, said the requirements for Chinese waitresses are higher than for the German team. They must be college degree holders, over 1.6 meters tall and in possession of reasonably fluent English.
The first round of Chinese interviews closed last week with 300 out of the 500 applicants hired. The next round will take place at the end of December. Campus recruitments will then follow, Qi said.
Beer waitresses will receive a commission of three yuan for each mug of beer sold. It is estimated they can make up to 20,000 yuan over the festival, in addition to a standard salary during training. According to Schottenhamel, one important area of the training is to learn how to hold as many mugs as possible.
He said although the mugs are quite heavy - a 1-liter mug weighs about 2 kg - he isn't concerned that typically slim Chinese women will have any problems.
"It's all about technique. After the training they will be able to hold several mugs at the same time. I know a German waitress who can hold 19 mugs," Schottenhamel said.
Stefan Frank, German beer expert and a brewer for the Paulaner Bruhaus chain of restaurants, told METRO that many cities in China such as Dalian and Qingdao already have their own beer festivals. He thinks it is a good idea to have an international beer festival in Beijing.
"I will bring my friends to the festival and I am looking forward to drinking authentic beer," he said.
The Beijing Beer Festival will take place at the Xiedao Eco-Green Holiday Villa with an area of 420,000 sq m. Eight Bavarian-styled steel-framed vacuum-glass tents will accommodate an estimated 140,000 visitors.
Schottenhamel has a long history of beer in Germany and has set up the first tents ever at the Munich Beer Festival dating back to its opening in 1867.