It’s a tough industry. Transient. People have a short attention span. In staffing, it’s a revolving door. Margins are thin. Training people is expensive, then they leave.
Restauranteurs pull all the stops to keep staff long enough to draw decent returns on their recruits.
From search and hiring, orientation and training, to technology, cost of food and wine for training. New staff cost.
You do your best to please your staff. Your objective is spot on, but the revolving door keeps spinning.
Case in point is wine training. You bring out the nibbles, exotic cheeses and fruit. You open a few bottles of vino. The expensive type. You spend precious time to set up the room, prepare slides, print information sheets and put all your effort to make sure the session goes smoothly.
You pay staff to attend the training too. And, nowadays, you’re not even sure if everyone will show up.
“WORST IS FEELING THAT YOU ARE ASKING TOO MUCH FROM YOUR STAFF.”
When it comes to learning and training, the idea is to equip staff with the knowledge needed to deliver better service and increase the company’s revenue. With that comes an increased sense of pride, better take home pay, and better retention. Everyone wins.
Why is it then, as an example, that asking staff to take tasting notes during tastings and training may come across as asking them to do too much?
We remember 20 percent of what we hear, 30 percent of what we see, but 90 percent of what we hear, see and do.
With these facts well documented, how could anyone serious about learning and providing good wine service not take tasting notes during training?
“THE EASY ALTERNATIVE IS THE STATUS QUO.”
Taste some wine, giggle with friends, learn a bit about the wine regions of the world, and take off for your shift. If you ever wondered how your team can get better at upselling wine, well, maybe they can. But they’ll need to better remember what to upsell to.
How can anyone with a normal IQ remember the details of all the wines they train on, after attending many wine producer tastings and other wine seminars?
Have you ever attended a lecture, a class or seminar, did not take notes and felt that you got the best out of the session?
Were you able to fully remember things later? Like at exam time?
Wine is a complex subject. The wine list is long, food parings and wine characteristics aren’t always easy to remember, and proper upselling requires even better memory and skill.
The same applies to any task where a bit more effort can make the difference between average and great performance.
Armed with better training, recall and information, your restaurant staff will galvanize your sales and enjoy their work even more.
There is only upside when everyone takes tasting notes during wine tastings or training. So, do ask everyone to take that extra step, even it feels like asking them yet for one more thing.
Digital wine tasting notes, rather than paper, make it even easier, better and faster. The right tool should also allow your staff to refer to their tasting notes on the fly, when they need them the most.
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The restaurant business is tough as it is.
“EVERY POSITIVE TWEAK CONTRIBUTES TO THE BOTTOM LINE.”
So how do you put the theory into practice?
Every manager and sommelier have their own approach that works for them.
Ahead of your next wine training session, try highlighting the benefits of taking tasting notes to your team, and make the practice mandatory. Not taking tasting notes is just asking to forget.
Once the rewards start to flow, your staff may just thank you for the idea. And tough love.