Nestlé Professional expands its training program to cater to market needs

Nestlé Professional

Nestlé Professional shares how its training and education programs are expanding to cater to market needs in a post-pandemic environment.

With more people returning to workplaces and a sense of normalcy now retained in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nestlé Professional Barista Trainer Joanna “Jo” Yuen says the total beverage solutions provider has evolved its educational focus and communication methods to accommodate for the ‘new norm’.

“We’re back to doing a lot of onsite face-to-face barista training. We now have dedicated state champions who conduct barista training, and we work with nationally accredited training centres in major cities, available to our customers free of charge,” Jo says.

“We also still offer virtual training sessions, and have a range of barista training videos, available to customers upon request. Our quality control and technical operations teams also provide training for our automated push-button machines.”

COVID-19 has taught trainers how to be more tech savvy and adaptable to digital teaching, however, Jo says the art of making a great cup of coffee still remains a practical skill.

“I believe our resources will continue to provide budding baristas with good foundational knowledge before practical training, however, training will always benefit from the professional in-person touch. I’m so excited to teach all our customers in a hands-on learning environment again,” she says.

Barista training services have become an even stronger company focus in light of workforce shortages, high turnover, and a gap in skilled or trained employees, says Nestlé Professional Oceania General Manager Scott Stuckmann.

“With a lack of staff being a major issue in the industry right now, many employees are having to take on extra responsibilities. The front of house manager at a hotel who usually checks people in, may now be the person who makes coffee too. Businesses are finding it really hard to get baristas and if they do find baristas, they turn over quickly, as many hospitality workers are on temporary visas. That’s where Jo and our state champion trainers come in,” Scott says.

“Our trainers are helping bridge the gap and providing a competitive advantage for hospitality companies. By teaching staff how to create a quality brew, we’re helping our customers to ensure consistent quality of service, which in turn leads to greater customer retention and increased profitability.”

Also helping Nestlé Professional customers with skilled staff shortages and the demand to retain high volume and quality output, is its fleet of automatic and semi-automatic bean-to-cup machines. The NESCAFÉ Fusion and We Proudly Serve Starbucks machines allow operators to serve barista-quality coffee without needing to recruit experienced staff.

“Equipped with the latest brewed coffee and espresso technology, the commercial coffee machines are user-friendly and can offer a wide selection of the most popular hot and iced beverages made,” Scott says.

“Through the We Proudly Serve Starbucks Coffee Program, our customers and operators can serve a globally recognised brand and their iconic beverages in their own business. It’s a one-stop solution, which includes beverage ingredients, equipment, branded point-of-sale kits and menu boards. From helping customers to identify the ideal solution for their business, to driving sales growth with seasonal campaigns, there’s a commitment to true partnership.”

“This is how we’ve supported the industry, not only by offering automated solutions and maintaining a consistent income for staff but providing baristas with the opportunity to upskill.”

Even on the return to business operations after COVID-19 restrictions, Nestlé Professional helped reboot the equipment of many of its large customers that had machinery sitting idle for a long time.

Within 4 months, Jo trained over 300 cruise ship staff so that tourists returning to international travel could enjoy barista-quality coffee on the extended voyage.

“They only had a small window to dock, get all equipment on board, and train their staff. Jo was training the employees day in day out, along with our technical and operations teams,” Scott says.

“We also employed virtual account managers to ensure we reached our customers in regional areas, all across Australia. We wanted to ensure our clients, which include accommodation, travel and leisure, bakeries, cafés, pubs and clubs, as well as businesses in the education sector, were all receiving the support and training they needed. By dedicating resources that solely focuses on virtual visits, we have the ability to connect with them frequently, while still maintaining a large fleet of salespeople on the ground.”

Scott adds that Nestlé Professional’s sales team supported customers by hand delivering stock and supporting them with complimentary product to ensure they had the stock they needed when the industry began facing supply chain issues.

“Our priority is to work closely with our customers to find the best ways to regrow their volumes, whether that’s with additional point of sale materials, marketing activations or consulting on their repertoire of coffee blends,” he says.

It’s this business co-operation and customer focus that saw Nestlé Professional named the 2022 Foodservice Association Australia Beverage Supplier of the Year, further testament to Nestlé Professional’s more than 150 years of global experience.

By the end of 2022, customers will have another reason to value Nestlé Professional whole roasted beans, which will all feature Rainforest Alliance certification.

As part of Nestlé’s Net Zero Roadmap, Nestlé has made the commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and have 100 per cent of its coffee responsibly sourced by 2025. This means that the coffee can be traced back to an identified farmer group and verified or certified by independent organisations.

“More than 80 per cent of the total energy at our Gympie factory comes from renewable sources, including used coffee grounds. This kind of circular innovation is a great example of sustainability in action,” Scott says.

Going into 2023, Nestlé Professional Barista Trainer Jo says the coffee industry is in a very different place compared to this time last year, and it will be important to keep evolving.

“We’ll continue to incorporate feedback to make our educational support and resources even better and more accessible to our customers. With Nestlé’s longstanding history, we support our customers’ success in their business by finding and partnering them up with the right solutions, backed with the support they need,” Jo says.

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This article appears in the October 2022 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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