In the latest version of 5THWAVE Podcast, Jeffrey Young interviews three experienced hospitality professionals to cover the why, what, how of training in Hospitality and Coffee. Some notes by way of summary:

Founder of Cherry Coffee Training Tim Sturk opens the recording, outlining his background with TGI Fridays and leading training during the 1990s. A run-in with James Hoffman, then an emergent World Barista Champion converted the apprehensive younger Sturk, who now solely focuses on coffee train with CCT. He highlights the importance of motivation, citing a new joiner to a local cafe who is a wife of a Ukrainian soldier, versus the a student told by her mother to work.

Sturk’s training can cost £200 per day and in replying to ROI queries, will reply “Well if you don’t train them but they stay, what impact that will have on the business?“ In selling his training, he backs the approach that conveys integrity of what training is trying to achieve, reminding clients that training isn’t everything - follow-up is important, so too the “embedding period”.

Ben Helt, Training Director at Specialty Coffee Association, plugged in from Kansas City, Missouri next to outline the structure and scale of the leading coffee certification. 40,000 trainees received programmes from some 1,800 trainers in 2021. This includes programmes across five modules, each with three courses - a retail focus characterises the first module, with brewing and science of extraction the next. A third module covers sensory skills and analysis. Roasting makes up a fourth, then Green Coffee Module. New programmes related to Coffee Sustainability Programme, and a course for technicians (both professional and at-home).

Diana Getchius wrapped the audio on day one as VP of Human Resources at Union Square Hospitality Group (after nearly a decade at the company). During the Covid-19 pandemic, The Square was developed - a Learning Management System that allowed for the digital delivery of training. This didn’t eclipse Union Square’s in-person emphasis and a tactic when hiring - looking for 51% of what it takes. Their onboarding and ongoing training can complete the remaining 49%.

Listen to the episode at

Header photo: Brooke Cagle of Tributary Studio, Arkansas