This story is sponsored by JERRY.
Proof & Company’s new e-learning platform is designed with excellence and convenience in mind.
In this day and age of the thoughtful barman, server and barista, beverage education is here to stay. While much of the learning so far has been done from master to apprentice, brand ambassador to bar community, tome to the keen reader, there’s a growing desire for a formalised solution that fits within busy beverage operations – and that can deliver measurable results.
Heeding the call is Proof & Company’s new education arm, JERRY, named after the godfather of the modern cocktail, Jerry Thomas. An online e-learning platform built on the muscle of the consultancy’s talent and network of star bartenders, JERRY soft-launched at the end of 2017 (first to Proof & Company’s clients), but is now being rolled out as fully functioning platform.
It has since been adopted by more than 1,000 learners globally, from independent bars like Employees Only Singapore to larger organisations like the JIA Group in Hong Kong and spirits producer Maison Ferrand in France, and the program now has its virtual classroom doors open to any venue who see the benefits of a study program in the workplace.
JERRY is an extension of Proof & Company’s much lauded 360-degree approach to bar consultancy. “Our clients wanted and needed education, but a busy bar with 14-hour shifts leaves little room for content development, let alone weekly training and testing. Our goal with JERRY is to develop beverage professionals and empower managers with a brand agnostic, easy to use online training system,” explains Nicole Smith, JERRY’s head of education and a certified teacher and content specialist, on their initial push for a solution. “We wanted to create an e-learning solution that combined the best thoughts and ideas from three industries – technology, education and hospitality – in holistic program that could be used by pubs and cocktail bars alike.”
What this led to was a three-year exercise in identifying the topics of relevance to the hospitality and bar industry, setting the 400 – and growing – goals they wanted to meet with their program, the recruitment of expert JERRY Professors, and the creation of unbiased content to flesh out the platform.
“JERRY is a game changer for education, training and information sharing for our industry,” explains JERRY Professor Jason Williams. “The seamless integration of tech and real world activities, and the immense amount of customisation means staff will be presented with and actually retain knowledge – venue specific or otherwise. The time burden reduction for managers combined with the large volume of high-quality content is also a powerful and beneficial element of the JERRY learning platform.”
Meet the JERRY Professors
Here are some of the star bartenders enlisted to pen JERRY courses:
– Charlie Ainsbury, Proof & Company
– Joe Alessandroni, Proof & Company
– Mikey Ball, Ballin’ Drinks
– Monica Berg, P(OUR)
– Michael Callahan, The Compound Collective
– Dean Callan, The Collada Club
– Tom Hogan, Proof & Company
– James Goggin, Maverick Drinks
– Huw Griffiths, Union Electric
– Zdenek Kastanek, Proof & Company
– Ethan Liu, Proof & Company
– Chris Lowder, Proof & Company
– Micaela Piccolo, Maison Ferrand
– Agung Prabowo, The Old Man Hong Kong
– Jason Williams, Proof & Company
– Eddy Yang, The Tailor Group Shanghai
JERRY’s course listing is split into seven subjects: beverage, hospitality, preparation, operations, leadership, ethics and strategy. As you study, courses increase in complexity. JERRY takes you from 101s such as beverage history, the introduction to beverage categories and recipe building, then delves deep into areas such as beverage costing, ethics or how to manage a team – addressing the day-to-day challenges of running a venue.
Courses are also organised not only by subject but complexity – from introductory up to foundational, advanced, professional and expert. As users progress, they deepen their knowledge and experience. “Career advancement in f&b is largely reliant on experience,” notes JERRY Professor Jeremy Moreau. “With JERRY, we want to give hosts, servers, bartenders, barbacks and managers the tools they need to be better professionals. We accompany learners from the foundations of their trade, to management and executive positions.”
JERRY is currently available to individuals, teams, and corporates. Individuals may subscribe to the monthly membership via the website jerry.global for the same price as their Netflix membership. Teams may join one of five global learning communities with tailored courses for cocktail bars, beverage retailers, restaurant bars, pubs and hotel bars. Corporates of over four venues may sign up for their own website, customised learning schedule and private learning community.
The curriculum is tailored to the group, and selected from the 90-and-growing list of courses loaded into the system to date. Employees Only Singapore, JERRY’s first clients on the platform, enjoys the flexibility to select courses to augment their own operational needs. “I spend the majority of my time and energy training the staff on the physical and psychological aspect of being a complete bartender,” says its bar partner Steve Schneider. “I have taken to using JERRY as a platform to outsource the product knowledge and spirit education side of training – having an established, legitimate group like Proof & Company aiding me on this side of training allows me to focus my energy and time on what I do best.”
Online and offline
With JERRY, learning isn’t just about setting your team a set of readings to do. Test questions – which are switched up between users to prevent cheating – and videos pepper a course’s different sections to keep things interesting. Each course is designed to take just 30 minutes of a staff member’s time on a smartphone or laptop, and every course includes instructions on how the organisation’s own JERRY Champion can further carry out a 30-minute-long group activity to help reinforce the concepts learned on screen.
“The JERRY activities are an amazing way for teams to build camaraderie and confidence. Learning together gives all team members a voice and brings together a range of perspectives and experience that give richness and depth to the content. They are a great tool for young managers to build confidence and authority with the team with minimal prep time,” JERRY Professor Joe Alessandroni explains.
This multimodal learning model is interactive and engaging to allow all types of learners to cement their proficiency on the topic. Courses require an 80 per cent grade to pass, and staff members take home a certificate for each course they pass. As Professor Charlie Ainsbury notes: “Knowledge through proper and concise education is the reason we succeed in food & beverage. In order to deliver this, one needs a platform that contains a wealth of information, is considered and customised for your venue, adapts and grows to your changing needs and all administered through modern means. That is JERRY.”
What this all adds up to is a leading solution for organisations looking to add value and coherence to their initiatives to further their team’s educational goals. “Good education provides the right opportunities within organisations so they can keep their best team members,” says Smith. And with a platform like JERRY on your side, you’ll be well on your way to bigger and better things as a team and venue.
Packages start from USD 2,500 per year for small teams up to 30 learners, with discounts for bigger teams available on enquiry. For more information, visit jerry.global.