Why is training important?
Taking the proper steps to train your staff is crucial to your company and brand. Not only will having a well trained restaurant staff decrease errors and mistakes, it will also clear up confusion and ensure all employees are given equal knowledge on the company and their individual job responsibilities.Well-trained restaurant employees make less mistakes and become better advocates for your brand. #restaurantmarketing #training Click To Tweet
It is important that new employees understand your company and what it stands for from their initial impression. Whether you’re creating a restaurant employee manual for the first time or simply making some improvements to your manual, you should keep these things in mind to ensure proper employee training.
1. Define your standards and mission statement.
Once the employee has finished their training, they are expected to represent your brand. For most consumers this is their first impression of your business. Having a well trained restaurant employee will help your consumer growth as well as help build a positive image inside the consumer’s mind.
To make sure you and your restaurant trainees are on the same page, it is important to state and establish your mission statement.
Answer These Questions
Not sure what your mission statement is? Here are some basic questions to get you started.
- Why are you in business?
- What do you want your business to be known for?
- How do you want to achieve this?
- Who is your customer base?
As you go through these questions, your mission statement will start to take form. Make sure it’s clear, concise, and will provide meaning to your employees. It’s important that they understand the values of their roles.
Examples of Restaurant Mission Statements We Love
- McDonald’s– “McDonald’s brand mission is to be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink.”
- Starbucks – “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
- Which Wich’s – “Some want to make superior sandwiches. Some want to make the world a better place. We want to do both.”
- Sonic Drive-In’s Vision – “To become America’s most loved restaurant brand.”
2. Feed off your team.
Ask your team what they’d like to learn.
This would be a great time to meet with your restaurant staff and see what areas they think would be important training topics. Ask them what has worked in the past as well as what has not worked. Although you want to cover as much information as possible during training, you don’t want to waste time with outdated information.Empower your high performers by making them lead trainers for incoming waitstaff. #restaurants #training Click To Tweet
Highlight your rockstar employees.
Empower your top employees and make them your lead trainers. This way, your new employees will be learning from the strongest on your team. It is important to make this leadership training easy on your waitstaff.
3. Update your training manual annually.
Updating your training manual annually is important so employees have the latest information about your company and can stay on top of safety processes and procedures for their role within their company.
Pro Tip: You should have a training manual for each role within the company: servers, dishwashers, line cooks, prep cooks, bussers, host/hostess, and bartenders.Have a separate #training manual for each role within your #restaurant: servers, dishwashers, hosts, etc. Click To Tweet
The basic outline of a good restaurant training manual should include:
- Company overview and mission statement
- Job description – specific roles and responsibilities
- Dress code
- Day-to-day requirements for the position (opening procedure, interacting with guests, closing procedure, cleaning up)
- Food safety processes/procedures
- Sanitation processes/procedures
There are several restaurant training manual templates available here to help you get started.
4. Create checklists
Whether this new employee is being promoted or is new to restaurant training, the amount of information may be overwhelming. Even an experienced server could appreciate some organization. Break down the steps of their daily position so that it is easier to cover as well as convenient to reference later. Here are some basic restaurant checklists to get started:
- Customer service guidelines
- Food prep guidelines
- Cleaning checklist
- Side work checklists
- Closing duty checklist
Laying out the framework of every position in your training manual will give employees something to refer back to when they’re called to fill in an unfamiliar position in case of a staff emergency.
5. Hands-On Training
This may seem simple, however it is the most important step when building your training manual. One problem that is common in restaurant training is new employees are told how to do things but are never shown. Take into account that everyone learns differently. Most jobs in restaurants require physical action. In this case, let the trainee perform the task so they see and feel how its done and they can also ask for assistance at this time as the trainer will be by their side. If your company has a POS system, let the trainee spend 10-15 minutes on each training shift to better familiarize themselves with the menu and buttons. Make your manual come to life by involving your best staff members and the results will decrease problems in future.
Most of all encourage questions! It is important the new trainee feels comfortable and can ask for help.
6. Don’t stop training
The restaurant industry never stops changing, so make sure your staff is updated at all times. A great way to do this is to cover new material at the beginning of shifts, followed by a quick group quiz after. Hold a contest to see who sells the most of the new item to motivate your staff on product knowledge and sales.@AlwaysFoodSafe offers ongoing food safety education so your #waitstaff never stops #training. Click To Tweet
Stay on top of food safety training as well by encouraging your staff to take an Always Food Safe course for food handling and allergen awareness. They provide ongoing training for staff to keep your employees up to date on the latest food safety tips.
What’s In Your Restaurant Training Manual?
Keep in mind that your training and onboarding plan should be constantly evolving – that’s why we recommend creating a template that you can update for your employees any time.
Dot It can help you create durable branded manuals that are easy to order. Keep all your print assets organized. Treat each new employee as a learning experience to improve your training plan. As we know, the restaurant lifestyle is not as forgiving as we’d like it to be when it comes to setting time aside – but when it comes to training your team, the investment will pay for itself!