Staff that understand a product sell more of it
Platform features
By Dan Bignold
Dec 17th, 2019
Small Batch Learning’s free Virtual Menu tool reduces service black spots, by making sure all staff get the product training required both to meet customer expectation and maximize revenue opportunities in your business.

Staff that understand a product sell more of it, especially when it’s something new or a premium offering that requires a little more up-selling to justify a price difference. The problem facing managers is you can’t be sure all your staff members are confident explaining everything your bar sells.

What happens when a guest or customer comes in looking for a recommendation, but speaks to the “wrong” team member? How can you gather concise, fluff-free info on each and every bottle, in one convenient learning location, and make sure all staff can access it?

The answer is Small Batch Learning’s Virtual Menu tool. This feature on the Small Batch Learning platform (freely available to all users) allows managers to create an online breakdown of their real-life menu or stocklist – called a Virtual Menu – to which they can add all the products and recipes sold in their outlet, and then assign staff to train on it.

1. Setting up

From the manager’s training dashboard, managers create a new Virtual Menu, then select products from Small Batch Learning’s 800+ (and growing) library of product write-ups to add to it. (If the product you want to isn’t yet in our library, send Small Batch Learning a request and we’ll add it for free.)

Next, the manager assigns the relevant staff to the new menu, so that the menu appears in each staff member’s My Learning section. New staff can be added to existing menus, while existing staff can be removed from menus that are no longer relevant to their job. A small progress bar tells the learner how many items in each menu they’ve already opened and read, helping them track their training.

Each product entry presents specific information on production and raw materials (through simple icons) as well as tasting notes to create clear and concise selling points for each product. Managers can even enter prices for each product, and for different size serves.

2. Brand lessons

Small Batch Learning works with brands to develop short and sharp lessons to engage staff in product knowledge, enabling them to even better recommend and sell to guests. Delivered through the Virtual Menu, these product training lessons allow managers to train their teams on the individual SKUs relevant to each outlet.

Product lessons include quizzes to make sure that staff engage with and learn the key selling points for each SKU, helping cement learning and enabling managers to track their progress through each menu. When a staff member opens a menu, these lessons are shown with the small red lesson icon. When your staff completes the lesson and passes the quiz, the icon turns to green with a tick.

3. Flexibility

A manager can create as many menus as they wish. They might choose to create separate lists of beer and spirits, or perhaps separate ones for different bars, service areas or outlets within a hotel property.

Each menu can also have as many or as few products as the manager wants, although we think it’s easier for a learner to navigate shorter menus, and gain a sense of achievement for completing each one, rather than spend a long time on a single, very long menu. And because a manager can create unlimited menus (the Virtual Menu is all part of the free suite of tools on the already-free platform), there’s no need to squeeze everything into one.

Add in the ability to include your cocktail recipes, both classics and signatures, to a Virtual Menu, and we reckon hospitality and retail outlets have an incredibly powerful – and flexible – tool for training large numbers of staff on the product knowledge essential to maximising sales in your business.

What happens when a guest or customer comes in looking for a recommendation, but speaks to the “wrong” team member? 

Because Small Batch Learning’s online learning platform is free, whether your business has five staff or 5,000, managers can make sure all staff acquire necessary knowledge, not just specialist bartenders or sommeliers. By removing one of the major barriers to training – cost – the Virtual Menu will help reduce service black spots in your business.

To find out more about the training we offer click here, or to set up your outlet’s own free training account, click here.

Bottles pattern
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