Imagine walking into a sales showroom to buy a car and the staff knew nothing about the cars? It is doubtful you would buy from them. Now imagine walking into a pub/bar/restaurant and asking about the drinks offering and recommendations and the staff having no knowledge. Unfortunately that happens more than it doesn’t in the on-trade. In Britain, bar work is often seen as a stop-gap rather than as a career choice, not least because wages are low. Consequently there is a regular turn-over of staff, so many licensees do not bother to train staff or cannot risk the financial outlay of paying to train staff members who might quickly move on. But there are proven commercial benefits for having trained staff. They are good for business because they:
– Perform better and have more confidence
– Upsell to customers
– Give customers a better experience so they spend more. Good is not enough in a competitive market. customer experience has to be excellent.
– Feel valued, are happier, enjoy their work more, stay in the job for longer meaning a lower staff churn.
Offering staff training opportunities will attract better job candidates. Better candidates means better customer experience, increased sales, and returning customers.
When lock-down ends and the on-trade can reopen, venues will be competing to attract customers who have become used to home-drinking and socializing through video conferencing. Prices in the on-trade are higher than home-drinking, so customers will be expecting a premium experience of quality, service and knowledge from staff. Table service will remain at least in the short term and that makes it even more important that staff know what they are selling and can advise customers especially if there is no written menu describing the drinks offering, and if customers are unable to stand at the bar to see what drinks there are.
School of Booze has an e-learning platform that offers convenient and good value online courses in beer, cider, and wine, so staff have the knowledge to give customers a premium experience (click here for the online courses page). The slogan is Your Device, Your Place, Your Pace’ because staff can do the learning when it suits them not suits me.
Customers value a hospitality business more if the staff are educated, they review it favourably on social media, and become returning customers.