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How much could upskilling bar staff during lockdown boost pub profits?

By The Morning Advertiser

- Last updated on GMT

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While skipping keg day and ignoring pour form can leave profits languishing in drip trays, a renewed focus on staff training while venues are closed can help publicans boost their bottom line at a time when it matters most.

With venues closed or operating takeaway services with reduced staff, the second lockdown could present a perfect opportunity for hospitality workers to upskill.

Having staff on top of their game is especially important for publicans in the current climate given that a quality pint, a quality venue and quality customer service are “increasingly paramount” in driving custom.

“We pride ourselves on the support we provide our customers and, as we navigate this new climate together, with rapidly evolving regulations, it’s an important time to consider changes you can make to develop your business and enhance the customer experience,” a spokesperson from HEINEKEN UK explained.

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But what else goes into a “quality pint”? Great taste, cold temperature, clean glass and a good foamy head, according to HEINEKEN UK. 

Customers are more likely to order a second pint based if they’re impressed with the quality of the first, with Cask Report​ research finding that 40% of customers claiming they would leave an outlet if served a bad pint and would not return.


Though pints are raised at the bar, they’re born in the cellar, meaning that keeping a pub ship shape below decks is ultimately reflected in what pours from your taps.

Given beer and cider are both food products, pub operators and their staff are urged to treat their site’s cellar as a food preparation area by ensuring workers follow best hygiene practices.


Unless you have a SmartDispense system, line cleaning should also be carried out at least once every seven days using brewery approved line cleaner and to the correct dilution, according to HEINEKEN UK. 

If regular line cleaning – encompassing keg couplers, fob detectors, nozzles and taps – is neglected, wild yeast and bacterial infection can result in fobbing and wastage. 

The time and money saved by skipping a line clean will be offset by the amount lost through reduced sales and wasted beer and cider, according to HEINEKEN UK's spokesperson. 



Glassware is also integral to delivering a perfect pint safely, according to HEINEKEN UK. 

By using clean, branded glassware operators will improve site image and give customers a better sensory experience than drinking at home.

Glasswashers also need to be emptied after every trading session as part and parcel of a successful pub programme. If a venue is open all day, it needs to be emptied and refilled at least twice.

At the end of the final session of the day, glasswashers should be empty, with arms and filters removed and cleaned as per manufacturer’s guidelines. Most importantly, the door must be left open. 


When asked “in light of Covid-19 and the current circumstances, what would make you more likely to visit the on trade?” most popular answers revolved around enforced social distancing, regular viral cleaning and staff wearing personal protective equipment. 

However, in addition to social distancing and stringent sanitising of service areas, bar staff are advised to incorporate a number of additional steps in their daily routine. 


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