When it comes to restaurant staff there are certain parameters and expectations. They need to be courteous, welcoming, unobtrusive and yet present whenever needed. The restaurant caters to all kinds of people, children and even pets. And so staff should know how to manage and welcome all of them. However, when it comes to the bar staff these parameters shift, but only a little. Just like every staff they too need to have an understanding of customers and their needs. We all have been there when we have left our menu choices to the waiters because we are too confused to choose. What type of customer would like what is a skill every staff needs to have.
If you are planning to or already own a brewery, pub, bar or club, then you should know that your staff might need a little extra training in handling your customers and providing them with excellent service. Unlike restaurants, the bar has many different kinds of menus and areas which serve different customers as per their needs. And so, the responsibility of personalising their experience for the customer falls in the hands of the bar staff. It is not a skill they can acquire on their first day. As customers change, so do their demands and so do the restaurant market trends. And so, there are requirements of training and re-training your staff. And if you are not sure where to start, this blog is here to help you!
4 Tips On Training Your Bar Staff
The best way to win customers’ loyalty is by delivering the best service to them. It is the managers’ and owners’ job to train the staff. And so, this requires a substantial amount of time and resources investment.
1. Hire An Expert
When we say expert it does not necessarily mean an industry expert. Any new employee can be trained by an already trained and well-versed staff member. Making cocktails or serving drinks is a very punctilious task. It requires a good understanding of all the ingredients, their measurements, the liquor types, the balance of additional flavours and a knack for serving a great drink. Many employees might be quick to pick it up and would become customer favourites. Such staffs rank higher in the hierarchy; bar managers or head bartenders are the bar staff who are ideal to train the others.
A well-trained staff would quickly become reliable and precedent for the new ones. Under their training, the new ones would be able to learn the tricks of the trade, memorise the menu and provide quick service. The trained staff would also assist the new staff in understanding the different types of customers. It is essential for even the bar staff to be engaging and entertaining. Such interactive skills can be inculcated by a staff that has been interacting with the customers for the longest.
The kind of drink an individual drinks is very subjective and situational. If your staff isn’t well trained in drawing a difference then you lose customers. Where your new staff is to handle the customers or be behind the counter and prepare drinks, he or she should be cross-trained.
2. Cross Train
Mostly waiters and bartenders are the ones who handle the customers’ front. But there is another set of staff that works only for cleaning, managing, restocking and supplying essentials to the bar counter and other areas of the bar. This also includes the kitchen staff working at the back-of-the-house preparing menu orders. It is essential that all of your staff is cross-trained in handling all the various kinds of roles in the bar. There are many ways this helps. Your staff would have a skill upgrade and hence would be satisfied with his/her role. There would not be a need of hiring extra employees as the existing ones would be able to manage everything. In case of any assistance, the staff would be able to provide and guide each other without involving managers and owners.
A great way of cross-training the staff in handling all tasks would be training them to cook, clean, prepare cocktails and remember recipes. Calling meetings before opening hours keeps everyone updated about their and each others’ roles. An essential task while managing these training falls on the manager and owner’s hands; i.e. to be patient, diligent and understanding. New staff would not be able to immediately get a hang of all the tasks. And so, he/ she should be provided benefits of doubts and given spaces for improvement until bar management comes automatically to them.
3. Prioritise Customer Experience
Above everything, your bar staff should know to provide customers with a memorable experience. Be it bartenders entertaining behind the bar counters or captains suggesting the ideal menu to the customers; there should be good memories and value addition to customers’ day. This all adds to good customer testimonials and word-of-mouth marketing.
In a bar or a pub, customers come to enjoy their evenings either by dancing, drinking, or meeting with their friends and families. Any hindrance, delay or inconvenience provided during such times can affect the bar’s reputation. At the same time, people tend to lose their sense of judgement under the influence and can cause a nuisance for other customers and staff. The task of managing such customers also falls in the hands of the bar staff. They should be trained and well-equipped in assisting such customers without disturbing or bothering others. Such skills are acquired by summarising the above two; Being trained by expert staff.
4. PoS Assistance
Bar, breweries, clubs and pubs run late till night. The whole day is invested in cleaning and preparing the space to serve the customers. And to do so, many staff are involved during many odd hours for their shifts. Managing the staff for smooth workflow can be done with an efficient PoS. The staff or the manager can clock in their hours with multiple billing terminals which assists owners in assessing the staffs’ performance. On the other side, PoS also helps the staff in managing bar areas, customers and their orders and bill payment through various modes, without much hassle.
During rush hours, there are chances of inventory running out. But with PoS integration, all of this can be known and managed before hands to avoid any disturbance in customers’ experience. Teaching your staff to manage a PoS is just as essential as training them in managing customers. The technology is employed to do all kinds of tasks without any human intervention or errors so that your staff can work on improving their skills and customer experience.
Managing a bar is different from managing a restaurant. And so the staff need different kinds of training and skills. Hope this blog was helpful. For more restaurant industry-related updates, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Instagram!