Created by bartenders for bartenders, the program was founded in 2008 and built to cater to people at all levels. The two-and-half hour BarSmarts Basics program teaches fundamentals, offering a way for users to certify their ability to make and serve classic drinks while gaining inspiration by others in the trade and learning meaningful skills to improve their bar service. The BarSmarts Professional program is five hours long and takes learning one step further, encouraging users to explore additional ingredients and techniques while learning the secrets of great hospitality from industry experts. Both parts of the program are broken up into modules with estimated time commitments, so bartenders can effectively manage their pace.
A glossary of bar terms in both English and Spanish are included, though the program doesn’t demand copious amounts of reading. Instead, users gain knowledge through short videos and snippets that cater to the way people consume information today. Registration comes with access to interactive content that allow users to gamify their BarSmarts experience by unlocking badges and building their personal profile’s “Back Bar.”
Also included in BarSmarts is The Bar World of Tomorrow, which covers knowledge and ideas for a more sustainable bar culture. The course covers topics like sourcing fresh ingredients, saving water and energy, and dealing with waste.
Staff-certified BarSmarts accounts allow managers to register their entire team and utilize the courses as both a management tool and incentive. Multi-venue support is available, and intuitive reports help managers track progress and see where they can best offer support to their employees.
All these BarSmarts courses—which Rex promises will “never be more expensive than a bottle of Jameson”—are available for $29, though ELEVATE attendees were given a promo code for free access.