The team at GS has been really busy throughout 2014 helping our client Living Ventures open a raft of exciting new and existing concepts in cities like Chester, Leeds, London and, of course, Manchester.
Artisan, Long Bar, Grand Pacific and the Botantist are four spectacular recent openings which complement nearby multi award-winning LV brands like the Oast House, Alchemist and Australasia in Manchester’s Spinningfields sector.
One of the many things I admire about Living Ventures is its total commitment to training and standards. This is every bit as important to LV as the numerous creative concepts it develops.
When I am chatting to other operators I have no hesitation in using Tim Bacon, Jeremy Roberts and the rest of the LV team as the benchmark to emulate for training their people.
MY BRIEF IS TO CHAMPION CLIENT TRAINING
Their commitment to training and service is second to none. I share their enthusaism as one of my key roles at GS is to champion client training to ensure hospitality operators genuinely benefit from the EPOS and digital technology at their disposal.
As a former operator myself with a dozen or so years experience, I heard a lot of excuses in my early days about the reluctance to embrace technology.
These luddites, as we called them, tend not to like change, no matter what they do.
They don’t like the thought of having to adapt to new ways of doing things in order to integrate new business systems into an existing operation.
Classic symptoms from front of house staff and managers are a negative attitude, a refusal to learn new skills or adopt different procedures and an inability to maintain the system.
TRAINING MAKES THEIR JOBS EASIER AND BENEFITS CUSTOMERS TOO
My experience and the positive response of our clients to training shows the opposite is true. Training is essential if your investment in EPOS technology is going to pay dividends.
Whenever I meet new clients, I always explain clearly how training and services benefits their staff and their customers.
I do this by focusing on two keywords: training and perseverance. Our training extends way beyond showing staff how to physically use the hardware and software.
It’s all about showing staff why the EPOS solution benefits them and the business that employs them.
MORE TIME TO INTERACT AND ENGAGE WITH CUSTOMERS
I focus on showing them how the system will make their jobs easier, giving them more time to interact and engage with customers.
I will also highlight how the technology eliminates human error by automating processes – and how following pre-dispensing procedures saves them grief from customers, their work colleagues and their managers.
Throughout the integration of a new EPOS system, it is really important to persevere. Naturally, adopting a new system is going to have teething issues as you and your staff get used to the new technology and different ways of doing things.
You can only successfully tackle any ‘issues’ by positively working together, communicating openly without prejudice and arranging extra training whenever appropriate.
LEAVING ‘ISSUES’ UNRESOLVED IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER.
Imagine, for example, ignoring the complaints of an unhappy customer eating in your restaurant or having a few drinks in your bar.
If you did, you wouldn’t be surprised if you failed to retain their future custom.
This equally applies to training and the adoption of technology. Jeremy kindly points out that GS shares his commitment to getting things done today, not tomorrow.
It’s an attitude we willingly and happily embrace. A positive attitude to training is really important if you want to successfully integrate your EPOS solution into your business and optimise the benefits of your investment.
GS client support manager RACHEL GAUNT has training in her blood. She started her hospitality career front of house with Living Ventures before being promoted to look after the training and development of all front of house staff. Training has remained core to her ethos even when combining staff development and senior head office managerial roles. She heads our external client training offering. Here she talks about how a positive attitude to training is really important for operators wanting to sustain and grow their enterprises.