Star Pubs & Bars is investing £75,000 in running new retail skills workshops for its lessees, which it anticipates will deliver 1,000 days of free training this year.

The courses, which will be held at Star Pubs & Bars sites around the country, are open to both lessees and their staff. They are also intended to help meet the staff training needs of multiple operators who want to ensure service standards remain consistently high as their businesses expand.

The initiative is part of the company’s wider focus this year on supporting lessees’ retail skills. Topics have been selected based on feedback from lessees in areas where they think they need additional support. Five courses will be offered covering: social media, merchandising and retail standards, customer service, drinks quality and pre-refurbishment planning.

Chris Jowsey, trading director at Star Pubs & Bars, said: “The leisure industry is extremely competitive with customers looking for premiumisation in every area.

“We are investing significantly in the fabric of our pubs to ensure quality offers that meet customers’ expectations. Our new training programme is designed to build on this, helping operators deliver truly exceptional experiences to their customers by focusing on retailing best practice.

“In compiling the courses, we have not only looked at the most outstanding operators in the hospitality trade, but have also looked outside the industry at the UK’s best retailers for inspiration.”

The company has ap-pointed ABV Training to deliver the workshops.