Back to Basics – Raising the Bar!


Edrington UK’s Whisky Specialists, Michael Green and Joseph Ellis share their thoughts on the importance of training post-lockdown and Edrington’s extensive educational offering…

The recent restrictions imposed upon the hospitality industry due to the pandemic have demanded change, initiating new ways of working and creating opportunities for revenue growth and people progression.

Whilst the challenges facing the hospitality sector are varied there are some issues that all of us have in common. The skilled labour shortage, staff retention, the ever-changing expectations and demands of customers, no show reservations and revenue shortages are just a few that we are currently battling.

Recruiting new staff is a major issue for most venues and as new team members join the industry there is a growing demand for training of the basics. Edrington UK has an exceptional portfolio of premium brands and as part of our advocacy and training strategy we want to help facilitate the delivery of industry leading education.

Training sessions covering service and personal standards, service disciplines, the tools of the trade, creating service excellence, overcoming objections, maximising upselling opportunities, teamwork, leadership, wellbeing, and responsible service are some of the areas we cover. At Edrington UK nothing is more important to us than helping to shape the future of our fabulous industry and share our knowledge, experience, and passion.

The Edrington UK Whisky Academy is our education programme specifically aimed at internal colleagues and customers across the UK. We want to ensure our colleagues and customers have a sound understanding of the different brands within our whisky portfolio and the broader whisky category.

Level 1 of the Whisky Academy is accredited by the Wine and Spirits Education Trust so everyone that goes through the course and passes the exam will be qualified in Level 1 Spirits from the WSET.

Even though the vast majority of lockdown restrictions are now over, we are still very much aware of potential travel constraints and so with the help of the Wine and Spirits Education Trust we are also able to offer both of these courses virtually.

Investing in the training of staff not only ensures that your guests are receiving the best service that you as a business can offer, but we know it also helps with staff retention, morale, recruitment, and cohesion of the team.

Now more than ever it is important that the whole team works as one to deliver exceptional customer service to your guests. Communication between back of house, the bar team and the front of house team is critical to growing business and maximising opportunities for sales, profitability, and guest experience.

The art of bartending is a highly skilled profession. As the on-trade returns to normality the demand for quality mixed drinks and sophisticated cocktail making means that the role of the bartender is complex. We believe that making great cocktails isn’t too difficult as long as you have the right training and an eye for detail.

The FOH team and the style that they adopt communicates the products and personality of the establishment to your guests. First impressions are made within the first three seconds so your FOH service can be the unique point of difference that puts you ahead of the competition.

Great service is top down, requires solid communication skills, being planned and prepared, pre-emptive and should be natural and effortless.

Finding a seamless balance between FOH and BOH has been likened to finding the Holy Grail. You need to find the right people, who can communicate well with each other. We encourage you to help them to help your business, by supporting them, encouraging them, and mentoring them. Be transparent, genuine, and trustworthy. Great working conditions, mutual respect, and a regard for one another along with great communication skills coupled with effective leadership will go a long way to making the guest experience the best that it can be.

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