Web Based Restaurant Training
Restaurateurs know proactive training translates to bottom line performance, and things like great service, high standards, and expert menu knowledge don’t come easily. Precious time required for training can be obliterated by the chaos that defines the restaurant business. Successful restaurants depend on teamwork: they huddle up for daily pre-shift meetings, hold each other accountable, and look to their veteran players in every position to make great service happen.Yet, when it comes to training, too many owners and managers attempt to go it alone, committed to the notion that one person, should write, produce, deliver, and measure a company training program on their own. In theory, it’s a fantastic idea. In practice, it’s often doomed to failure.
How do successful restaurants navigate the storm? Is the answer a single product or solution? Of course not.
Great training begins with leadership and employees who understand its importance. It should be customized and exclusive to every position, from Host/Hostess to Dishwasher. Progression through the program should be based on understanding, and honed with hands-on training and follow up. Testing should be constant, and easy to track. Yet, for a small operator (1 to 5 locations) to create this sort of content on their own is an epic achievement.Savvy restaurateurs are using new technology, and tapping into the talents of their staff. When operators tap into the innate sense of teamwork already present in their restaurants, great training happens. More often than not, employees will step up and contribute to training in ways management hadn’t ever considered.
How can you make the most of teamwork and training? Here are a few tips:
1. Recognize your trainers!
If you have an employee that excels at training new employees, even during busy times in the restaurant, then praise them for their efforts to assist with training and ask them to assist you with your newest training plan.
2. Have a conversation with your leaders about training.
Gather their feedback, hear their challenges and applaud their successes. Let them know how important they are to the future of the business. If you’re an owner or manager, don’t spend too much time criticizing inconsistency. Instead, take ownership, and act. Involvement of key staff members will yield the results you seek.
3. Consider your time and know your role.
If you’re considering a web-based training system, it’s important to assign tasks to the right people. If you’re a manager who’s buried in day-to-day operations, delegation is your friend. There are dozens of web-based learning management systems (LMS) available to restaurants. Regardless of your choice, you’ll need help from your team. If you’re busy with other projects, don’t let them fuel procrastination on training, but don’t try take it on alone. Know your role, and trust your staff.
4. Get everyone involved in the process.
Training materials are evolving, and web-video is leading the way. Chefs and kitchen staff are producing more back-of-house training video than any position I’ve seen. Bartenders are teaching mixology to new hires and co-workers, and Servers, Hosts, and Hostesses are increasingly comfortable with using video to teach standards, and how to deal with different situations. You can delegate key employees to take pictures, shoot video, and even write test questions. Employees will enjoy seeing themselves in training materials.
5. Implementation as a Team
Web-based training is a better way to deliver technical training (menus, policies, etc) to your staff, and it’s really turned a screwdriver into a power drill. Restaurants are adopting LMS technology at an astounding rate. Having said that, the paradigm shift from traditional ways of training to web-based training is not easy. While the software can be easy to use, training doesn’t get easier until a proper setup and implementation have been executed. It requires strategy, careful planning, and teamwork. Some restaurants can get there in 30 days, while others take longer. The most important thing is to set and adhere to a goal for implementation, which will require the work of the entire team to meet. Return on investment and improvement happens after a successful roll out.
6. Utilize Your Team & Content
Software alone is just software, and employees just want it to work. They’d like to access it on their phones and tablets, and learn around their schedules. In their world, employees need to know how to properly run the dishwasher, sell the beer or wine menu, bus a table, or rotate product in the coolers. Great training content takes restaurants from customer satisfaction to guest elation. A great web-based training solution helps your staff to adapt quickly, and utilizing the talents of your team ensures a solid training culture for the future.