If you are in the service industry, then your staff is everything. Especially in the case of restaurants, the backbone of your business is the people who run it. When functional, a restaurant runs like a well-oiled machine. Every component has a part to play, and if even one part slips up, the entire operation will fall apart.
The restaurant business is bursting with opportunities right now. Restaurant owners, like you, are always finding effective ways to train their employees and also keep them engaged, so that top talent stays with them. Training is essential to ensure that your staff is working in tandem together, and everyone is on the same page.
Just having a fancy restaurant décor is not enough, you need a team of highly trained professionals who are all on the same page and work together. The key to doing this is by providing comprehensive training to your staff. Here are some tips to make your training programs deliver on their promise –
Don’t just brief, educate
If you change the way you approach training, you may be surprised at the results! Energy is infectious, and if you give your staff the same, boring, drab briefing, chances are they will jump ship for a more lucrative avenue. Change the way you brief your staff – showcase your passion for the food and service, let your staff know your mission statement, what you stand for, tell them the history of the establishment, and even contributions of past valued employees. If you educate instead of simply brief them, you will instill a sense of pride and passion in your employees. They will strive to deliver the best work simply because they’ve been moved by the humble beginnings of your establishment or because they believe in the work they are doing.
Another important, more technical detail that most training leaves out is providing the staff with information that matters – such as the most popular menu items, items which are nut-free or gluten-free, and even desserts which may be friendly for diabetics. This kind of personalized information will allow your staff to deliver personalized experiences and interactions with guests. They should also be up to speed with the owner, background information of the chefs. This kind of training will help your staff to think out-of-the-box and deliver personalized experiences.
Create staff training videos
When it comes to learning, videos can be one of the most effective mediums of knowledge transfer. It is the preferred mode of communication for corporate trainers, recruiters, and even designers of distance learning courses. This is because adults have a limited attention span. Videos engage them more and help to pick up concepts faster. And of course, your young staff would really love learning by watching videos on their mobile phones.
Demonstration is everything
When it comes to nitty-gritty such as table setting or food running, having senior staff conduct a demonstration is the best way to impart training. Showing the staff allows them an opportunity to ask questions and clear any queries they may have.
Create a buddy system
Being in the restaurant business can be very stressful for freshers, and all the training in the world will not prepare them to deal with real-world situations. Sometimes patrons make peculiar demands and may behave rudely, and in such situations, it helps to have a buddy system in place, where staff can seek guidance and mentorship from senior employees. They can guide them on what to do in these high-pressure situations.
Addressing the language barrier
India has no official language besides English, and there will always be a language barrier from time to time. Encourage communication in English, so that everyone is on the same page and to ensure that your staff is united instead of divided by lingual barriers. While diversity anywhere is always celebrated, everyone communicating in different regional languages may make things confusing. This is why it makes sense to encourage official communication in a common language that everyone understands. Especially in a business where communication is key to smooth execution.
In a business which has such high employee turnover rates, it’s important to focus your efforts on details such as training. Remember that your employees can always jump ship, they have plenty of options, but you need a long-term staff to ensure that everything is running as it should.