Heineken UK is committed to driving the 'quality agenda' within the UK on-trade. To do this the brewer strives to improve the quality of consumers' drinking experience and has established a number of initiatives designed to assist licensees with understanding the brand-specific considerations of delivering a perfect serve - every time.
The company urges licensees to think like a consumer when it comes to delivering excellence at the bar.
In this Sell More, Save More (SMSM) update, Heineken UK's Paul Graham, on-trade channel planning manager, and Susie Matthews, marketing operations manager, share some of their learnings with the outlets participating in this year's campaign.
Passion for brands
We talk about brands, but how well do we really know them? Heineken UK believes that by arming barstaff with key information about the brands they sell, it can help pubs to enhance their consumers' experience - driving repeat visits and therefore growing outlet sales.
By providing a simple monthly training session for staff, licensees can share their own knowledge to maximise the opportunity to increase the rates of repeat purchase and encourage barstaff to upsell to higher margin products where appropriate.
Simply ensuring barstaff know the correct pouring techniques for draught beers, understand the different ABVs of the draught and packaged products on offer or even have access to tasting notes for cask ales and speciality beers, means they can talk with confidence about the products and brands they are ultimately responsible for selling.
A little knowledge really does go a long way - consumers will invariably try something new if given a recommendation by a member of staff.
Share the knowledge
Steve Bennett at the Stanley Arms in Portslade, Sussex, is a good example of where this sharing of knowledge works well.
Steve has a passion for real ale and is clearly a well informed, credible ambassador for his wide range of cask brands. He's done well to invest his own time in training staff to empower them to be able to advise consumers about the vast range of beers available at the pub.
However, if barstaff are to become brand ambassadors then managers and licensees need to be supported by brand owners in providing staff with the tools to do the job - delivering the brand knowledge required to enable staff to sell confidently.
We would advise all of the SMSM licensees to challenge their drink suppliers to make available some element of training covering correct dispense specs and temperatures, definitions of perfect serve for their brands, ABVs or even simply key brand nuggets to help upskill your barstaff. If your suppliers care about the quality presentation of their products they should support you and provide training as required.
Heineken UK is keen to recognise and support those who are delivering the gold standard of beer and cider serve.
If the product is not served or kept correctly, customers will receive a poor or sub-standard tasting beer as a result. Incorrect or aged glassware also needs to be addressed. Customers may not complain about it at the time, but they simply won't come back.
• In addition, in conjunction with the brewer's technical services provider Heineken is developing an approach aimed at providing more upfront quality training after installation.
Heineken UK has established an internal training programme to improve beer-in-glass quality, focused on ensuring:
• All product is dispensed at the correct speed and temperature
• The glass is cooled after washing, and is clean and free from taints
• The correct branded glass is used
• Barstaff should use correct pouring techniques
• Barstaff are knowledgeable about the product and are having 'fun' selling it - sharing their knowledge with consumers