Proper staff training transforms your restaurant’s performance significantly. Thanks to the popular TV series “The Bear,” everyone is now familiar with how a restaurant operates and how much energy and effort goes into a single plate of carefully curated meals. Restaurants are intense and fast-paced environments, and dealing with food requires a lot of knowledge. You can create a safe and smooth system while elevating your business quality by training your staff in various areas such as food safety, cleaning, customer relations, and more.
How Proper Staff Training Can Transform Your Restaurant?
Proper staff training improves your business in 9 main areas:
1. Improved Food Safety: Food is a delicate product to work with, and it is the core expanse of a restaurant. Each ingredient will require different forms of storage and handling. By training your staff regarding food safety, you can correctly preserve ingredients and protect them from going bad. This way, you can cut back on financial losses and avoid accidentally using spoiled ingredients.
2. Reduced Work-Related Accidents: Restaurants can be dangerous spaces for untrained individuals. There are lots of industrial machinery and sharp knives. By allocating specific staff members to the operations of potentially dangerous objects, training them in these areas can improve workplace safety tremendously and reduce the chances of accidents.
3. Better Hygiene: Restaurant cleaning is a detailed task ranging from cleaning service equipment to deep-cleaning industrial equipment. Trained staff can ensure that the hygiene is up to your standards and that there is no cross-contamination or culmination of germs.
4. Higher Service Quality: Service quality is a major reason customers prefer a restaurant over others. A trained staff will follow the proper etiquette to serve the customers and present the right image. This will reflect positively on your reputation and customer retention.
5. Increased Customer Loyalty: Customer loyalty depends on all the qualities mentioned in this list. Establishing a clean, safe, and welcoming environment will encourage customer loyalty, and these qualities can only be achieved through the collaboration of trained staff members.
6. Food Quality: Working with trained chefs improves the taste of your meals and establishes a standard. A standardized experience is one of the main factors that influence customer loyalty. Staff training in the cooking area will improve the food quality and ensure that you can deliver your promise of a good meal every time a customer walks through your door.
7. Equipment Safety and Longevity: Commercial restaurant equipment requires proper care and maintenance. Since they are quite expensive, you must use them correctly and carry out periodic cleaning and maintenance. Staff training is necessary for the safety and longevity of commercial restaurant machinery.
8. Staff Retention: Staff training also increases staff retention. You can improve the staff’s loyalty to your business through training programs and engrain them as valuable team members. Improving staff retention and operating with a reliable team for a long time is the key to success for a restaurant. Starting from scratch with new people should never be your first choice.
9. Meeting Codes and Regulations: Health codes, local regulations, and federal laws are important for a business to officially exist and survive. Training your staff in these subjects ensures that all codes and regulations are met during operations.
Why Should You Offer Staff Training and Development in Your Restaurant?
Commitment to the company, establishing brand values, increasing performance, and even basic training in all areas are 3 main reasons. Investing in staff training is a smart move that pays off on multiple levels for your establishment.
- Commitment to the Company: Training your staff shows a robust dedication to your establishment’s success. Allocating resources to staff training shows active care for your staff, which would make your employees show reciprocal care. This boosts their motivation and strengthens their connection with the establishment.
- Chance to Establish Your Own Company Values and Methods: Training programs offer a chance to instill and strengthen your restaurant’s distinct values and operational approaches. Ensuring that employee training aligns with the establishment’s principles creates a consistent brand identity and empowers your team to embody and sustain these values in their roles.
- Ensuring Basic Training in All Areas: Thorough training guarantees that each team member acquires the necessary knowledge and skills across all relevant areas. From the front of the house to the kitchen, a well-rounded training approach ensures basic proficiency, which contributes to the overall efficiency and proficiency of the establishment. This basic training is crucial for a smooth and cohesive operation, positively impacting the restaurant’s general level of service and performance.
What are the Basic Staff Training Categories?
Staff training could include many categories. Here, we explain 8 main categories you should include in your training program:
- Diversity and Inclusivity Training: Diversity and inclusivity training aim to endow the staff members with a deep understanding of other people’s cultures, beliefs, restrictions, and choices to create an inclusive setting for all customers. No one should be discriminated against due to their choices and identity, and the staff needs to internalize this fact to make each customer feel valued and welcomed.
- Time Management Training: Every second is counted in a restaurant kitchen. To reduce wait time for the customer and ensure smooth-running of operations in the kitchen, each staff member should be great at time management. You could arrange a cook-and-serve challenge with a timer to show the new members the fast-paced nature of a commercial restaurant kitchen.
- Hygiene Training: Hygiene courses should encompass everything ranging from washing the tablecloths to cleaning the dishwasher’s filters. You can separate this section into two sub-categories: general cleaning and equipment cleaning. The latter will require a more professional approach, and you will need an expert as a trainee.
- First Aid Training: There might be minor injuries in a commercial kitchen due to the common use of knives and other sharp objects. You must have a couple of staff members who can apply for first aid if needed.
- Communication Training: Communication courses should focus on two forms of communication: communication with the customer and other staff members. New staff members should be taught the internal communication system in the restaurant to keep up with the operations. Most businesses will have codes and short phrases to communicate briefly and quickly in fast-paced settings. Also, staff members should have basic training regarding customer communications. It is of utmost importance that everyone in the restaurant is kind and respectful to one another and the customers.
- Cooking Training: Cooking is a broad subject and the backbone of the foodservice sector. You can internally train your staff to cook certain meals, or you could support their education and send them to culinary schools and courses to further polish your cooking staff.
- Food Storage Training: Food is your biggest spending on a daily basis, and it should be protected properly to avoid health hazards. All ingredients will have different storage requirements. You can also read our related article to get information on how food storage affects food safety.
- Service Training: Service is one of the most important parts of restaurants. It’s the most direct way your staff tends to customers. Make sure to train your staff in how to handle customers, how to approach them, and appropriate ways to speak to customers. It would help if you also considered training your staff in in-service equipment and carrying dishes to avoid messy accidents.
What Tools Can I Use for Staff Training?
Getting help from 3rd party companies, online courses, conducting in-house training programs, and establishing your own program are 4 ways and tools you can utilize for staff training.
- Outsourcing to a 3rd Party: Some companies offer general employee training to restaurants. Since they are already equipped with the space and the trainees to provide such a service, they can save you a lot of effort and bring a professional touch to your training stage.
- Establishing Your Own Training Model: Establishing your own training model will allow you lots of freedom and a chance to customize the exercises and teachings to comply with your business values. Combining a 3rd party training program and your in-house training can enhance your business efficiency. You will be able to oversee your employees’ progress and make adjustments if necessary. However, an extensive training program could prove draining, require trainees, and need a separate space to not interfere with the restaurant’s daily operations.
- Online Courses and Seminars: There are many online courses and seminars about staff training. You can choose a few and task your staff with attending to them. This is a great option for theoretical training, such as communication and team-building classes.
- On-the-job Training: This is essential to any orientation and training process. While courses and exercises outside the kitchen could prove useful, on-the-job training offers a tailored educational experience. It shows the staff members how exactly it will be once they have full responsibility.
How to Carry Out Staff Training Properly?
To ensure effective staff training, you should have a careful and well-thought-out approach to its structure and execution. Here are 5 considerations to carry out staff training properly:
- Make a Program: Create an extensive training program that covers key elements like customer service, food safety, and inventory management. Having a checklist guarantees that all the necessary aspects are covered and simplifies the process.
- Orientation and Ice Breakers: Organize a brief orientation period for new recruits. This is an opportunity to convey your mission, company culture, and value proposition. Icebreakers can help create a warm, welcoming atmosphere and allow new employees to integrate and understand the principles of your establishment.
- Buddy System: Establish a buddy system where new employees are paired with existing staff to learn and observe their roles in practice. This approach supports practical learning and builds bonds and camaraderie amongst team members, making onboarding easier and less intimidating.
- Tech and Update Training: Acknowledge the ongoing technological advancements in the restaurant industry. Provide training on restaurant tech and software, focusing on areas like inventory management. You should train both your front-of-house and back-of-house employees. Regularly update your training programs to stay in sync with the evolving industry trends, customer behavior shifts, and legislative updates.
- Cross-Training: While focusing on core responsibilities, incorporate cross-training to enrich your employees understanding and knowledge of various aspects of the establishment. This versatility broadens their knowledge and can be invaluable in situations where properly trained staff members must cover for each other.
Proper staff training increases efficiency and creates an agile environment for your business. A well-trained staff will reflect positively on your reputation, improve customer retention, ensure your business meets health codes and regulations, and improve the overall quality of your service. Your staff’s proper training is one of the most valuable investments you can make for the longevity and quality of your business. Such an investment will pay off in terms of customer and staff retention, standardized, high-quality service and taste, and an overall good reputation.