Investing the time to train new staff is highly underrated. You can’t simply tell new employees to serve a table or prepare dishes and expect them to do well, even if they have years of experience.
Proper training ensures that your new staff members make less mistakes, know exactly what their responsibilities are and how to provide the best service to your guests.
Start the first shift with an introduction. Use 10-20 minutes to show the new employee around, show them the premises, talk about the workflow and operations in your restaurant. It’s important that a new employee understands the bigger picture and what their role is. It’s also crucial to explain to them what mistakes they could possibly make and how those will interfere with the work of the rest of the staff.
Try to organise a quick meeting with your staff where you can present the new employee and they meet their coworkers. The more welcomed your new employee feels, the more effort they will put in performing their best.
There are a lot of practical things people need to learn when they start working at a new restaurant. To begin with, new employees need to know the menu. Regardless, if it is a waiter or a kitchen assistant. They need to know what food you offer, what are the ingredients and how are the dishes prepared. Your waiters’ ability to answer questions about the menu is crucial for providing good service and making sure people with allergies and specific food preferences feel welcome and safe at your restaurant.
Introduce the new staff to the systems you use. For example, the POS system - how do you add an order, what happens after an order is punched in, how to accept payments, etc.
Having a user-friendly system that new staff members can easily learn will help you reduce the risk of mistakes such as sending a wrong order to the kitchen or assigning an order to the wrong table.
Does your restaurant use a staff management system? Then show the new employee how to use it - how to accept shifts, ask for days off, call in sick. This will ensure that you don't end up understaffed on a busy day because people don't know what to do when they are sick.
Safety precautions also shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s important that everyone in your restaurant knows what should happen in case of an emergency, where the emergency exits are and how to help your guests in these situations. Another important aspect is food safety. Your staff members must know how food should be handled and stored and who to turn to if they see any violations.
Showing new staff members exactly what you expect them to do is essential. Let’s take an example with a waiter. You have to walk them through the process of welcoming new guests, how to present the menu, what drinks to recommend with different dishes. It’s a very good idea to talk about what they can upsell, when is a good time to upsell, and even exact phrases they can use. This will make them more likely to try to upsell and increase your profits.
Many guests rely on recommendations from the waiters when they choose what to order. Ideally, your waiters should always be ready to suggest a dish or two and a wine or a cocktail to pair it with. This is not only a great upselling opportunity but it’s a good way to create a relationship with the guests and make them feel taken care of.
Once a waiter knows the basic tasks that are required from them, it’s a good idea to let them observe and assist an experienced waiter for a day or two. Observing how another waiter communicates with the guests, how they answer questions about the food or how they upsell, will make the new waiter a lot more comfortable and ready to start engaging with guests.
These observation shifts are also a great opportunity to practice table setting, accepting reservations and welcoming new guests. Also the new employee can always learn a trick or two from an experienced staff member that will make them more efficient.
Motivated employees go the extra mile to deliver better service and provide a better experience for your guests. Make sure to keep new employees engaged with social gatherings so they feel a part of the team. Also listen to them if they have any questions or new ideas.
Training is an essential part of any job. The more knowledge new employees have, the better they will perform in providing good service and increasing your revenue.
Training new employees can be expensive, so make sure your new staff feels happy and motivated working for you. Create a positive work environment at your restaurant where people help each other, have a good time and are happy to show up for work.How to train new restaurant staff in 5 steps?
Desi is the Social Media manager for Quickorder. She has great insight into how restaurants can improve their sales using social media and other digital marketing strategies.
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