Craft Beer Training for Your Staff

craft beer training for your staffOne of the prime goals when selling craft beer in your bar, is educating the customer and involving them in the experience. Since you can’t be everywhere in your bar at the same time, you need to be able to rely on your staff to do so. This can be tricky, as it requires people with a passion for the craft, but there are ways to get your staff involved and interested. The following are some quick tips and tricks to get everyone on board, and increase your revenue.

Keep it Simple
One thing every beer training program advises, is to keep it simple with the staff. With thousands of craft beers, there is no way for one person to know the taste and aroma of each one. General product knowledge is emphasized, which includes the different styles you offer, sizes, and brief history of each beer. Once familiarized with the styles, it will also be easier for your staff to recommend food pairings.

Explain to them the difference between ales and lagers, darks and lights, and make sure they have a good recited description on hand for every craft beer you offer.

Product Knowledge
All staff should be familiar with the four P’s when serving craft beer. That is portion, preparation, presentation, and price.

  • Portion – The very basic of craft beer, is knowing what sizes are offered. Servers should always be suggesting the larger sizes, while naturally describing the beer, and making it sound irresistible.
  • Preparation – Staff should be knowledgeable on the basic flavors of each craft beer. They should know how each is made, and as an extra bonus, where it was brewed.
  • Presentation – What color is the beer? How it is served, and what temperature it should be served at, are also forms of the presentation. If the beer has a garnish, the staff should be aware of what that is, as most are meant to enhance the flavor of the beverage.
  • Price – Somewhat of a no-brainer, this is craft beer knowledge 101. A customer can’t buy something, if they don’t know the price, and many menus don’t always display them, as they can change quickly.

Cheat Sheets
Sometimes, people can get in the weeds and even the best of staff can forget their knowledge when under stress. TapHunter offers a great app, where a server can follow the trending of your location, so they can always be immediately aware of any changes on the taps. Utilizing this app, will allow the staff to print a unique cheat sheet menu (separate from that of your patrons) that won’t over-involve a customer, yet allow them to stay on top of the adjustments. They can also use TapHunter’s online dashboard to quickly update the menus, so they can get back on the floor.

There are also several printable posters for free online, that display pictures of different craft beers, with a brief explanation. Having a large visual posted in the back of the house can save time over having the server thumb through a book.

Craft beer is served very differently than many other beverages. The more informed a server is, the more they will sell. A knowledgeable staff member will quickly see how it can increase their tips, as well as your revenue. Having a passionate staff works best for all parties, including a satisfactory customer experience.