Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Maison Program of Pernod Ricard

Luiz Pagano at Pernod Ricard in Paris - ft business press

The goal of most corporate strategies is to build a real and lasting competitive advantage by enhancing the quality of customer service.

Maison Program in Canada. ft John Ormston 

In this spirit, the Maison Program emerges as an innovative initiative by Pernod Ricard, representing an approach to improving customer service quality in the bartender community. Aligned with the corporate strategies of building a lasting competitive advantage, Pernod Ricard created the Maison Program as an educational journey to enhance the skills of professionals in bars, restaurants, and mixology, with a focus on customer service.

Luiz Pagano and other contributors to the Maison Program - Paris, July 2013 - ft business press

The innovative partnership between Pernod Ricard and École Hôtelière de Lausanne took its first steps in November 2012 but was officially announced on November 19, 2013. It was marked by the signing of a partnership agreement with the aim of providing excellence in teaching and professional training, gaining recognition in global customer service. The collaboration between Pernod Ricard and École Hôtelière de Lausanne had existed since 2008 when they jointly participated in the "Responsible Party," a consumption program developed by students and later expanded to a European level.

The course to educators consisted of 11 modules, covering categories such as whiskey, gin, scotch, vodka, cognac, champagne, rum, customer service, and Bartender Theater. It concludes with a substantial diploma.

Targeting both novice and experienced bartenders looking to enhance their skills, the program was made available in various countries, including Canada, Australia, Colombia, Hong Kong, Germany, Finland, South Africa, and Gulf countries. Plans for expansion include Switzerland, Austria, Brazil, and France.

As part of the Pernod Ricard brand education team in Brazil, I had the privilege of participating in the first group of educators.

The program's significant strength undoubtedly lies in its partnership with École Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), an institution with a prestigious history dating back to 1893, adding an exceptional dimension to the training and reinforcing Pernod Ricard's commitment to excellence.

Pernod Ricard has its own university, a global training function throughout the company for all aspects of personnel development.

During my participation in the educator training at the Pernod Ricard University at the company's headquarters in Paris in July 2013, I was inspired by the lectures of two prominent mentors: Will Pitcforth, Global Maison Coordinator, and Eric Fossard, Global Maison Trainer, whose practical experience and profound insights enhanced my understanding of brands on an equally important scale, despite being a Pernod Ricard employee.

Luiz Pagano in Paris, July 2013 - ft business press

The Maison Program aimed to have an independent perspective on beverage choices, whether from Pernod Ricard, Diageo, or another competitor, focusing on the real benefits of beverages and ignoring marketing guidelines from their respective companies.

This unprecedented approach was supported by a strategic collaboration with École hôtelière de Lausanne, whose Educational Director, Isabelle Martin, played a vital role in the partnership and accreditation.

Furthermore, the innovative iPad technology, developed by the London-based agency Contagious, brought an interactive and dynamic dimension to learning, reflecting the Maison Program's commitment to technological advancements. Educators trained at the Pernod Ricard University distributed iPads in their home country classrooms, controlled by them, unlocking and locking access as the class progressed. This dynamic approach was complemented by comparative tastings and clarification sessions.

Each educator and their local country had approved content translated and ready for use, featuring state-of-the-art graphics allowing the visualization and rotation of over 1000 bottles, reading labels and back labels, in five initial languages, with the expectation of adding more.

Luiz Pagano at the Pernod Ricard offices in Paris, August/July 2013 - ft business press

When the program was still in its pilot format, brand educator Ben Davidson, Brand Education Manager in Australia, conducted 64 Maison training sessions in Australia in 2013, conducting initial tests and demonstrating the global reach of this program.

The Maison Program went far beyond being a simple training course, representing a significant milestone in the global training of beverage professionals. 

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