Tailored beverage training, without a magic wand
Platform features
By Dan Bignold
Feb 3rd, 2020
Every manager wants bespoke training to suit the specific learning needs of their staff, because not every outlet offers the same service. Problem is, not every manager has the time to produce it. Here’s our answer.

Managers who want total control over staff training are right to worry that ready-written solutions might be teaching their teams something wrong or irrelevant. Understandably, they might put off starting that long-promised learning and development program until they’ve got the time to write it – themselves – from the ground up.

But then… managers don’t have time, so progress grinds to a halt. Even with a learning management system that includes (at a price) a further bespoke authoring tool – promising to take the pain out of content creation – it’s still no magic wand. Creating good training content that’s just right for your staff takes hours – simple, arduous, inescapable hours.

"Where's that magic wand you promised me?"

At Small Batch Learning we also don’t offer magic wands. Nor indeed genies or fairy dust. But we’ve managed to make the not-enough-hours headache easier to resolve.

Our solution is customisable content. Any manager can launch an outlet training account with ready-made training plans from Small Batch Learning – written, illustrated, uploaded and ready-to-train. No sweat. We’ve got training plans built specifically for both bartenders, waitstaff and retail staff, and suitable for either level 1 or level 2 team members, depending on experience. And since our content has been endorsed by leaders from the bar and beverage industry, you can relax knowing what we’re teaching your staff is correct.

But, we get it. Sometimes training doesn’t have to be incorrect for it to still be wrong for your particular business. Maybe you do want bartenders to put the ice in the glass first for mixed drinks; maybe you have specific protocols for upselling that have to be inserted into any lesson talking about making money; or, maybe you just want to change all our pictures for images of your own staff in their venue’s uniform instead.

We hate highways anyway.

We often use the phrase “job-optimized” at Small Batch Learning, which is our promise to deliver training that’s both relevant to the learner and beneficial to your business. Platform technology that allows our own content to be customized is one of the key reasons we can make that promise.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you run a cocktail and wine bar, and your staff really don’t need to learn about beer. (Perhaps it would be a good idea for them to learn about beer later, but you want to focus their time on spirits and wine to start, because that’s what they’ll be expected to discuss with guests.)

First, you might add our Small Batch Learning Bartender | Level 1 training plan to your outlet’s training dashboard as the starting point. Then you might decide to add the more specialized Level 2 wine-tasting course to this plan, called “Tasting & Recommending Wine | Level 2”. To do this, first you need to “customize" the training plan, so that authorship (and editing permission) is passed from Small Batch Learning to you:

  1. Click on the three dots next to the training plan you want to change, click customize. Confirm. (The image above shows another course, but the process is the same for all training plans, courses, batches or lessons.)
  2. Next, in the same way, click on the three dots in each of the courses, and remove the ones you don't want. You might decide to get rid of any beer training. So you keep going down through our content hierarchy, deleting the Beer Service | Level 1 course and and two separate lessons covering beer in the Alcoholic Beverages | Level 1 course.
  3. Once that’s done, You might also want to add a new page to our wines by the glass lesson, explaining some tips, advice or rules regarding how wine service works in your outlet. Click customize on the lesson you want to adjust, confirm, then start re-editing.

You now have a new version of the training plan, with wine bumped up and beer removed, so that Small Batch Learning’s content has been job-optimized to match the specific learning needs of your staff. Customized training programs like this could be any mix of our content and your content, in whatever combination suits you, giving you a completely bespoke training solution – just with some heavy-duty support and serious time saving from us.

But sorry, still no magic wands.