Ex-Coronation Street barmaid fronts Greene King pub landlord knowledge scheme

By Brett Gibbons

A pub chain has launched a new training programme give its landlords extra skills and knowledge to help them get to know their customers even better.

Greene King Locals, a UK network of 600 plus community pubs, is launching the scheme to teach landlords extra memory tricks and confidence skills to help them become even more connected with their neighbourhoods and able to make visitors feel extra welcome.

It has recruited former Coronation Street star Catherine Tyldesley to launch Landlord Knowledge - an online training programme named after The Knowledge - the London black cabs test.

It looks at a variety of pub events and regular occurrences - from mental health-led scenarios, such as how to spot anxiety and depression in customers, through to ways to diffuse aggressive situations and topped up with fun memory tests to remember those all-important rounds of drinks.

Catherine, who played barmaid Eva Price on the soap, said: "There really is so much more to working behind a bar than pulling pints, so I think the Landlord Knowledge is a brilliant idea.

"I also worked as a barmaid, in real life, before I joined Corrie. I would have been a much better one, had I completed this training.

“Having expert guidance on how to up your knowledge on customers – as well as knowing how best to manage conversations and situations – will do wonders to make the customer experience even better. It would also have diffused many of the brilliant plotlines that were played out in the pub.”

Terry Rigg, landlord of The Fox & Pheasant, a Greene King Locals pub in Buckinghamshire, said: “We’ve always recognised the importance of our pub general managers in the local communities they quite literally serve, so we’re delighted to be rolling out The Landlord Knowledge training across our 600-strong network of pubs.

“We know that our customers always feel welcome in our pubs and that our pub managers, me included, have our fingers on the pulse when it comes to what’s going on in the lives of those who love a visit to their local. But there’s always more that we can do to make the experience even better for everyone.”

Greene King Locals found that half of pub regulars are likely to discuss their worries at the bar. The most common concerns discussed are work (48%) followed by relationships (20%).

However, a quarter of pub managers questioned said they don’t feel comfortable giving advice, with a third saying they’d welcome more training to help them talk about customers’ concerns and worries with more confidence and compassion.

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