The importance of good staff training
When it comes to pouring the perfect pint of Guinness, as a nation we are extremely critical and rightly so as it is our national drink and no one wants to see it being poured too quickly with a bishop’s collar or running down the outside of the glass. The basics are important to the whole experience and must be right or the drink will be sent right back by any self-respecting stout aficionado.
So why is it when it comes to another hugely popular drink, the gin and tonic, we so frequently get it so wrong?
The answer is simple; we need to invest in training people. So what are we doing wrong and what should we be doing differently? Let’s start with the ice; a perfect G&T should have four large cubes in it but scrapping out the bucket with loads of tiny shards will result in a watery drink. The ice should also be put into the glass first to both cool the glass and prevent the gin from being bruised or cloudy as can happen when the ice is dropped into warm gin as opposed to being poured over ice. The next critical step is to have the correct tonic. With over 70 Irish gins alone as well as 20 or so gins from other locations it is foolish to have just one tonic to pick from as some just simply clash with the gins and become flavourless or cancel each other out. Perhaps the most important thing that can be done to improve quality is to chill your mixers as this will do two things; it will reduce the time that it takes for the ice to melt and water down your drink and it will keep the drink carbonated for longer as room temperature mixers will go flatter quicker.
The style of glass and garnish will always come down to personal taste. My own favourite is An Dulman Irish Maritime Gin with regular Schweppes tonic water served in a copa with a slice of dried lime but if the correct processes are followed then no matter what combination people ask for, quality should be assured.
Junior staff knowledge gap
The workforce has changed since Covid and the industry needs to be mindful that junior bar staff may not have the same knowledge and expertise of more senior staff as they are just starting out in the hospitality industry.
Many bar staff are working part time while planning other careers outside of hospitality. With this in mind and the higher than ever turnover in staff, it is more important than ever that training and upskilling are done on a daily basis so the customer experience is a good one. One or two poor comments on the likes of Instagram or Facebook can so quickly go viral and be extremely damaging to any establishment when it comes to hard fought for clientele.
If you don’t have the knowledge base in your current team that can implement daily training of staff then perhaps a monthly masterclass would suit better and there are several places you can go for this such as your wine and spirits distribution company or onsite training specialists like Future Proof Training that can come on site or train in a classroom setting in areas such as HACCP and manual handling, upselling and customer service, barista skills, introduction to wine and essential bar. Check out www.futureprooftraining.ie for more information.