Training scheme aims to go distance


Pubco launches new package to help lessees boost staff know-how

SCOTTISH & Newcastle Pub Company is to launch a new distance learning package designed to help its lessees train their bar staff.
Developed by the pubco’s head of training Michael Soderquest, Training for Success aims to help pub lessees improve the standard of customer service in their outlet by training staff across a range of topics from service and standards to product knowledge.
The course includes everything from health, safety and hygiene regulations to how to serve drinks and food properly. It also covers licensing legislation in Scotland, and England and Wales, and can be used by lessees north of the border in addition to the two hours’ mandatory training required under the Licensing (Scotland) Act.
Designed with flexibility in mind, the training package can be used as a self-learning tool by staff at home, during quiet moments at work, or as the basis for training sessions run by the lessee.
The pack, which is free to lessees, includes two copies of the magazine-style guide, which is said to be written to appeal to staff.
The guide is split into nine sections, with chapters on the ‘perfect serve’ for food and drinks and ‘retail is detail’, which covers how to present a pub’s offer in a way to maximise profits. Each chapter includes top tips and troubleshooting checklists.
As well as the guide, the pack includes quizzes on every chapter to check understanding, certificates for completion of the course, training records for lessees to fill in and a guide for lessees.
The guide will also be available online later this year.
Soderquest said investment in training by lessees has a “key role to play in the motivation and commitment of pub staff and, ultimately, in the success of a pub business”.
While the primary objective of the course is to help lessees improve customer service, he said it also aims to provide lessees with evidence of training and due diligence required by legislation.
“There is sometimes a myth in this industry that there is no point in training people – either because they are only part time or temporary, or because they just go off and get another job,” said Soderquest.
“All the evidence would suggest otherwise. If you train people, they feel more valued; have more respect for their work and workplace and become more loyal.
“Staff can be a pub’s strongest or weakest link.
“In a tough economic climate where customers are not prepared to spend their limited disposable income on second best, it is vital that service is better than ever.”