Restaurant staff training is essential for the success of your restaurant as all great performances are a result of hard work and training.
But running a successful restaurant is just like running a marathon where the front of house staffs need to give their best performance to the customer who arrives at the beginning and end of their shift to stay ahead.
The only difference here is that instead of time, the success is calculated based on the revenue generated and feedbacks received.
But finest wait staffs aren’t born, they’re made.
Restaurant Staff Training
A well-trained restaurant staff is the key to repeat business as delicious food coupled with memorable experience guarantees a return visit.
Carefully train your front of the house staffs as the way they deliver themselves in front of your customers can help make or break your restaurant.
Assign restaurant managers to constantly observe and coach your wait staffs to refine their skills.
Finally, ensure that your finest wait staffs are always on the front line.
Let’s take a look at the steps that you can take to train your staffs.
Hire the Right People
Training is crucial but great waiters aren’t necessarily trained to be champions. Most of it is the talent and personality that is just who they are.
So, consider every aspect of the position when interviewing.
To make sure that they match with the culture within your company hire staffs whose personalities and values are aligned with your concept.
For example, if the theme of your restaurant is calm and quiet hire a staff that has a strong sense of decorum. Hire a restaurant staff that is lively and outgoing if the theme is fun oriented.
If you don’t have years of interviewing experience seek the help of experienced managers or a mentor within the industry to help you come to a conclusion on the personality traits that will best suit your restaurant’s concept.
Conduct group discussions to help determine not only the strategies that did work in the past but also those that did not work.
Who knows, your staffs might come up with a unique idea that never even crossed your mind.
A well researched standard recipe of KFC made them the brand that they are today.
Likewise, a well-researched restaurant staff training program will ensure that your staffs are well-trained and stand up to your expectations.
Pen down a training programs that stresses the major points to be covered. Observe the results and take special care not to overload your future staffs.
This can be achieved by breaking down the training program into various sessions to reduce the load.
Avoiding the training program is a recipe for disaster as even a single bad review from your customers will have a permanent impact on the reputation of your restaurant.
Always stress the point that you want your employees to follow. Be it to always greet the customers with a smile or to up-sell items.
You should lay out everything specifically covering who, what, how, when and where.
Many trainees become frustrated when the job requirements are unclear and this could lead to the loss of a valuable employee. It is simply best to prevent such situations by conducting daily staff meetings that provide clear directions in the beginning.
Developing a Training Program
The present generation has higher expectations when it comes to training because of the way they were taught in school.
This means that throwing them into the training program without any proper guidance is not going to work.
To gain their loyalty the key point that should be kept in mind is to mentor them, not manage them.
As a result of this mutually respectful relationship, they’ll want to learn more from your company.
Method 1) Video
What’s the first thing that you do when you don’t know the answer to something?
You Google it right?
And end up on Youtube.
Incorporating video into the restaurant training program will make it more interesting as most of you prefer to watch an instructional video than having to read a book to learn the same thing.
This doesn’t mean that you should fire your restaurant’s in-person trainer. To reap the complete benefits of this method, complement it with in-person training.
Method 2) Mobile and Tablet Training
How many times have you caught your staffs using WhatsApp or Facebook?
Many a time right?
Even if you haven’t caught them you can guess that they do use their phones behind your back during shifts.
Instead of banning mobile devices what if you could use that to your advantage. Does it sound too good to be true? Well, it isn’t.
Training your staffs to use tablet or mobile-based restaurant management software not only helps them but it also reduces the cost associated with printing the training material.
Method 3) Mentoring
Before purchasing a product we rely on reviews from our peers who own that product or know someone who does, as it easier for us to relate to our peers.
As managers don’t have enough time to individually mentor each trainee, assigning a peer mentor for each new staff will work.
As your staffs will be more comfortable around their peer mentor, they’ll open up about their problem areas and mistakes. This will allow you to properly measure their weakness, and where you need to focus more of your training.
Method 4) Gamification
Think about how much time your staffs spend on their phone playing clash of clans or mini-militia. If you can use that use that urge to play games to your advantage, you will entertain and teach them something.
That might sound a bit strange, but gamification could involve anything from deadlines and competitions to playful badges or points that can be redeemed online. Because gamification provides such a fun experience, it actually increases the impact of your training as everyone would try hard to stay ahead on the leaderboard.
Method 5) Team Building
Training is crucial, but so is retention. Create opportunities for socializing, like after work competitions, parties or anything else that you can come up with that’ll make your staffs socialize more.
By building relationships at work your staffs will be far more productive and are less likely to leave.
Restaurants are competitive and stressful environments, so if you could make your staff’s life less stressful, then they will acquire new skills, increasing their contribution to your restaurant.
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