WSET - taking customer service to new levels

25. January 2012 09:27

As we survey the current on-trade landscape it's apparent that if operators want to reverse the trend whereby 'staying in' has become the new 'going out', then finding ways to add value to the experience of going out is absolutely key.

This means raising the quality of the customer experience by taking customer service to new levels. Wine is an important category for the on-trade and not just for restaurants, but increasingly for pubs and bars as well. Indeed, these categories have become increasingly blurred as the pub and bar trade has cashed in on casual dining to great effect.

But 'casual' doesn't have to mean slapdash - and indeed it shouldn't! Staff with a good knowledge of wines used to be the preserve of top-class restaurants when wine had a high snob-appeal. But the world has moved on, and the growing demand for wine means that staff selling and serving it in any type of premises should all have a good understanding of the basics. That's why CPL Training has decided to make wine training available on open, scheduled courses available at 15 locations throughout the UK.

The Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) one-day Foundation Certificate in Wine will not only help you know your claret from your Beaujolais, but will teach you the main styles of wine, how to match wine to food, how to serve it and the characteristics of the main grape varieties. You'll also be introduced to the WSET Systematic Approach to Wine Tasting!

Can you imagine the difference this could make to the customer experience in your venue? Staff who can advise customers how to make wine choices that complement the food; who can persuade customers to trade up to a new wine by enthusiastically describing how wonderful it tastes; or advising younger customers on a good, light party wine.

Investing in a little staff training in wine could seriously enhance your bottom line!

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About the author

Paul Chase

Paul Chase is a graduate political economist with over 20 years experience operating licensed retail premises. He is a co-founder of CPL Training and as a Director and Head of UK Compliance is responsible for ensuring that the business targets of this department are delivered to the Board.

Widely acknowledged as a sector expert, Paul is also responsible for compliance course development and works closely with awarding bodies developing and maintaining CPL’s licensed retail sector qualifications. In addition Paul manages a number of key corporate accounts.

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