PUBS and bars should use staff training to drive up standards of service and ultimately help boost their profit margins, say training firms.
They claim an investment in training will pay dividends by motivating staff and improving customers’ experiences.
Paul Chase of CPL Training said training is “very important” and can help reduce staff turnover.
He said: “It’s the way you improve the customer experience and keep them coming back and it reduces staff turnover because staff feel more valued if you invest in them.
“There is a growing awareness of licensed retail as a career path – it’s no longer thought of as a job you do when you’re a student.”
His views were shared by Alice Cardwell Hodges of the BII, who said professional training has had “a very positive affect on the industry”.
She said: “Competent and empowered staff with good customer service skills in both technical and product knowledge will help you retain existing customers, attract new business and will boost the reputation of the industry and premises.”
Larger companies are already embracing the range of courses available, according to Mark Phillips of Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance.
He said: “What has helped recently is some of the larger companies are defining what a career path in their organisation is, so there is a clear progression route.
“That means new recruits are now able to see the industry as a profession with training and development opportunities, and the chance to progress.
“With qualifications, a new recruit can now advance from the bar to the boardroom.”
Frazer Grant, CEO at ABV Training, warned companies could pay the price for not investing in training.
“Think of the dangers of not investing in training,” he said.
“Poorly motivated, lacking knowledge and poor at dealing with complaints are staff that aren’t going to make you money.”
Increasing productivity and professionalism are not the only reasons to invest in staff training.
Changes to legislation in recent years have seen qualifications such as the Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (SCPLH) become a major focus for training firms, while December’s introduction of new EU allergen rules has led to a spike in demand for related courses.
But in legislation-related courses, too, there can be advantages to investing in additional training for staff.
Louise Ramsay of DG Training said encouraging more staff to secure their personal licence can allow a premises manager to take more time off, as well as providing a safety net.
“If something does go wrong and a case ends up in court it will go a long way to prove ‘due diligence’,” said Ramsay.
“If the premises manager was to have their personal licence revoked then there is the option of appointing an existing personal licence holder as the premises manager immediately.”