As you begin to break down the various aspects of running a restaurant, what your employees should know and how they need to conduct themselves, it won’t be long before you realize that there is a great deal they’ll need to learn to keep the operation running smoothly.
Developing an effective training plan is key to ensuring consistency and quality in your place of business. Interestingly, it can also mean retaining more of your workers over the long haul, as a lack of training is a problem in many companies.
Here are several items to include in your employee training plan.
What Your Restaurant Is About
Whether it’s kitchen staff, servers, or greeters, new employees should have the opportunity to learn what your restaurant business represents.
In your introduction, you should consider explaining:
- The concept of your business. Who is your target audience, and how is it set up to appeal to them? Why do your customers come to you?
- Goals. What are you looking to achieve with your restaurant? What is your mission?
- Code of conduct and policies. A general overview of what’s expected of team members.
If there is specific language or terminology team members should be familiar with, this is a good time to define them as well.
Your staff needs to know how to conduct themselves and what’s expected of them at work. You’ll want to outline expectations in terms of hygiene, personal appearance, behavior, attitude, etiquette, and mannerisms to help your employees understand what will be required of them.
In every business, customer touch points are critical to your success. Servers and greeters will be coming in direct contact with your customers, so the impression they make with them can have an impact on the outcome of customer experience.
What skills should your employees possess? There will be some differences depending on what their role is, but it’s good to look at both macro and micro skills.
For instance, all your team members will need to communicate with each other. Part of maintaining a good working environment will be ensuring that everyone is on the same page. Servers and greeters, in general, should also have good people skills.
In the kitchen, you may have specific requirements for your chefs depending on the dishes your restaurant is offering. You may need to take a closer look at their experience, or make learning certain technical skills a part of the training program.
There are many different aspects to service, from setting tables and taking order to carrying trays and cleaning tables after guests have left.
You may require your servers to know the menu so they know what to recommend your customers. You may need your greeters to welcome guests in a specific way. Procedures for handling accidents, broken dishes, or spillage is another important category.
A broader overview of good service and the underlying psychology can also be beneficial to your employees so they know how to conduct themselves and ensure everything flows smoothly.
Cooking & Dishes
This is more for the back-of-house team than the front-of-house team, but nevertheless a key part of running a restaurant – preparing and making the various menu items you offer.
You may want to cover: Cooking methods, descriptions for the different types of dishes (appetizers, salads, entrees, desserts, etc.), culinary terms, and so on.
More than likely, you’ll also have procedures and checklists for your kitchen staff, whether it’s cleaning their hands before preparing a meal, or how a certain dish should look before it’s ready to be brought out to customers.
There may be many other aspects to cover in your employee training. The above is but a starting point, and you should carefully consider what content to include, and the most effective way to share it with new hires.
You can create the vision, but if you can’t find people to follow it, your restaurant won’t develop into the business you’re looking to build. It’s as much about finding the right people as it is offering the right training.