3 ways to activate your online training platform
By Duncan Campbell
May 28th, 2020
We give hospitality businesses three approaches to getting their Small Batch Learning platform up and running, from passive effort (and under half an hour) to proactive and fully customised. You choose.

There’s no denying it, implementing a new piece of technology in your business can be tough. Online training is not a new phenomenon, but the learning management system (LMS) also hasn’t been widely adopted by the hospitality industry… yet.

We believe the underlying reason is that technology companies have built learning management systems that, well, “kind of” meet the needs of a bar, restaurant, club or hotel employee training program. But also, kind of, don’t. And hospitality training companies that have adapted to deliver online courses? Well, chances are they’ve used a white-labelled version of said – flawed – technology. Click here if you want to read my last piece on trying to push a square peg through a round hole, aka using training technology not designed for hospitality training. 

Technology is our backbone, and hospitality is our lifeblood, and we merged them to build the most effective online training technology we could, designed to not only meet your business’s needs, but also to allow your managers, bartenders and waitstaff to take control of their learning journey. And best of all, our hospitality LMS won’t cost you a dime. This isn't a free trial. It's free forever. 

You’ll still need to play your part in order to be successful, but we're here to do the heavy lifting. 

We won’t cover your team’s learning journey here, or how our features are designed to enhance customer service and respect your employees' time while they learn (by adopting micro-learning techniques and allowing them to view lessons on mobile devices). But next week's article will cover our training and content philosophy. 

Now, with a thousand things on your plate, we understand that setting up an online learning platform doesn’t rank high on your to-do list for long, particularly if the platform starts getting complicated, fast.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

We’ve created three pathways, depending on how hands on you want to be implementing your online training. When you enquire about setting up your platform, we’ll ask which avenue you want to pursue, and tailor your onboarding experience accordingly.

You’ll still need to play your part in order to be successful, but we're here to do the heavy lifting. So, first, choose how you want to you can activate your team training:

1. Passive learning management: 30-minute commitment

Let’s call this silver service – the learning platform is set up for you with all our key features, so you can roll out a program to train employees online in less than 30 minutes. We’ll send you a five-minute video outlining each step, and 15 minutes later you’ll have sent platform invitations to your team by email. It really is that easy.

With this method, you’ll be using the same great training courses that 90% of venues on Small Batch Learning use, plus a Virtual Menu covering the products that we think your staff should learn. You have the option to customise anything, or add your own menus – when you're ready – but there is no requirement to do so in the meantime. You can still check stats, follow up on areas of concern, and reward both early adopters and high achievers. You'll also have learned how to add any new employees in the future.

We recommend that you, your managers, and the senior members of your team rally behind this new management solution to ensure the adoption rate is high. After all, training has a positive influence on guest experience, and with our upselling course it’ll also help maximise revenue. Did I mention the platform is free-of-charge, forever?

2. Active learning management: 2 to 3-hour commitment

Opt for this method if you’re prepared to spend a few hours customising the platform to become a more venue-specific training solution. It won’t be completely bespoke, but we recommend at least creating your first Virtual Menu to match the products actually sold by your business. In addition, add your signature cocktails and classic cocktail recipes (we’ve got 100s of classics ready for you to customise) to ensure your team are sticking to your specs. More on that here.

Don't fret though. This task can easily be performed by a trusted junior manager or senior bartender who's showing good management potential. The menu functions are super easy to use, and building your own Virtual Menu is a great project for them to prove themselves.

We still recommend using our ready-written training plans, to get started with skills training and category knowledge more quickly. But you can easily add your own SOPs or training materials too using our template “About us & SOPs” course. These are great for contextualising training to highlight your business’s own procedures (especially important for new hires), without needing to start from scratch.

3. Proactive learning management: how long is a piece of string?

Breaking out the big guns – a fully customised, hospitality-specific training solution that you won’t find in a regular learning management system, let alone a free or freemium version. Perfect for groups and businesses that are serious about investing time (yep, still no money) in online training.

We recommend starting with a training needs analysis, and setting your training goals to align with business needs. Uploading SOPs / cocktail specs / menus is just the start. You can then get your teeth stuck into our content, and customise it all to your company’s liking. Prefer your team to two-pour draught beer, or add ice prior to mixer in a mixed drink? Take our ready-written lesson, and edit it. More on that here.

You are free to combine our own lessons and courses with any existing training modules your company has already written – to create a pick-and-mix, no-limits learning solution that understands that every venue or hospitality group is different.

There is no right or wrong way to implement with Small Batch Learning. Our goal is to help you elevate the service experience for your guests, and maximise revenue, through training. And it is our belief that the value you see in implementing training with us will conclude with you building out your fully customised learning management system.

If you haven't done so already, click here to send us an outlet training enquiry, and we'll start you on that journey.  

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