So, what’s next for bartenders looking to advance their careers?
We asked Kevin Denton Rex, Head of Mixology & Education, Pernod Ricard, this question. His answer? BarSmarts.
Tell us about BarSmarts. What inspired this program?
BarSmarts was initially conceived as an online educational resource for bartenders in 2008. It came about as a partnership between wine and spirits educators, Beverage Alcohol Resource (BAR) and Pernod Ricard USA. BAR 5 Day was the pre-eminent spirits and cocktail education program, but it was limited in the number of students it could handle. BarSmarts was a way to educate more people in more markets than just New York. Pernod Ricard has continuously operated the program since 2008. In 2022, the online program was relaunched to meet the needs of a post-Covid workforce, focusing on upskilling beginners and setting foundational benchmarks for service, hygiene, product knowledge and hospitality.
What should bartenders know about Bar Smarts?
BarSmarts is an online program designed for many different folks who wish to learn more about the service of alcohol. For $29, you get access to “Basics” and “Professional.” As the name states, the modules in Basics cover everything a person should know before stepping behind a bar (it’s a great primer for servers and back waiters, too). Professional is divided into three modules- Ingredients, Techniques, and Hospitality. This is where you will learn about different types of alcohol, as well as how to serve them in a variety of ways. The hospitality module is a series of videos around topics that are important to everyone who works at a bar or restaurant- team building, diversity, creativity and creating a culture that develops regular guests.
Who else should enroll in BarSmarts? Who should take BarSmarts Program?
Whether you are brand new to the business and have never set foot behind a bar, or you own a chain of bars and restaurants and are looking for a convenient tool to level up your staff, it really has it all.
What is the biggest take away for bartenders who finish the BarSmarts Program?
Aside from the baseline fundamentals included in the program, there is a global job board for any BarSmarts user to post and respond to. You can build your own personal profile to share with prospective employers. There’s a robust glossary with nearly everything you’d encounter in a bar defined (in English and Spanish), as well as links to lots of great resources for continuing education.
Why is the commitment to the support of bartenders important to Pernod Ricard?
We believe that as a leading spirits supplier it is our duty to provide value to those who serve our products. There are so many opportunities to grow and cultivate a career in this exciting and rewarding industry. We want to help as many folks as we can on their journey.