March 9, 2009

Pa. plans liquor store training

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has announced a $173,000 program to train state liquor store employees to use their best manners at work.

Joe Conti, chief executive of the liquor board, said Pittsburgh-based consulting firm Solutions 21 has been hired to instruct state liquor store managers who will then give their employees training on how to greet customers and read their visual cues, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Monday.

This is part of the renaissance of the Liquor Control Board, Conti told The Philadelphia Inquirer. The point is to become a specialty retailer and not be known as a government monopoly.

Eric Epstein, the Harrisburg founder of voter education project, criticized the plan as a demented interpretation of happy hour.

It's a sad state of affairs when you have to train people to be kind and courteous, he said.

Patrick Stapleton III, chairman if the liquor board, defended the scheme.

It may seem intuitive, he said. But the reality is that, in stores around the country, customer service is inconsistent and uneven.