As a restaurant owner, you may think you’re in the food business. Spoiler alert: you’re also in the people business, and that includes your employees. Bring out the best in your team by putting these 18 restaurant training tips to work…
1. Clear communication goes a long way.
On day one of training, new hires should know your expectations. Take a few minutes to meet with your new team members to review your (high) standards! Share your best restaurant training tips so they get the most out of the learning experience – and are excited for more. Ensuring that you’re all on the same page can reduce turnover and let employees know that when it comes to your restaurant…you mean business.
2. Write it down.
Don’t have a manual in place for your restaurant tips? You really should! A record of restaurant training tips and policies will act as a tangible reference for new hires. You can use one overall manual, or break it down into sections that cover specific topics, like customer service, food prep, or scheduling policies. Keep it updated with recent restaurant training tips.
3. Keep your ears open.
Communication should be a two-way street. Listen to what your team has to say about how your training program is working. Check in with new employees to see if they found certain aspects helpful or if it hindered their learning. You may pick up some additional restaurant training tips along the way…
4. Keep your health standards high.
Mishandled food or poor cleaning practices could lead to cross-contamination and even illness for your guests. Both are scenarios you obviously want to avoid! Have your staff participate in a training program like ServSafe to ensure that they are up to date on restaurant training tips for safe food preparation, storage, and prepping.
5. Sharpen your restaurant training tips for kitchen safety.
Kitchens are dangerous places where employees are literally playing with fire. Around every corner are sharp knives, hot surfaces, wet floors, and other safety hazards. That’s why it’s so important to implement safety regulations for your kitchen staff. Use these restaurant training tips for keeping your kitchen a safe environment.
6. Prevent overserving.
A new waiter or bartender may not know the cutoff point when serving guests. It’s your responsibility to ensure that any employee who handles alcohol is aware of the restaurant training tips to prevent overserving. Enrolling in a course like TIPS® can teach them when to stop serving a customer. All it takes is one drunk guest to cause an issue at a restaurant. This could lead to a fine or even the loss of your liquor license, in extreme situations. And that’s a pretty big buzzkill.
7. Review how customers should be treated.
Even if you run a casual restaurant, you should still provide restaurant training tips on how to master customer service. This includes everything from the language your team uses to their dress code. For example, using ma’am and sir would be preferable in a high-end restaurant. However, if you run a local sports pub, guests should be addressed by their first name so everyone feels like a “regular.”
8. Replicate the right customer experience.
Sometimes, restaurant training tips can only cover so much. To help your team really understand your vision, act out the ideal customer experience! Role-play with new hires and seasoned servers, so you can demonstrate what the guest experience should be like: from greeting to dining to paying.
9. Don’t forget the little details.
Little details make the restaurant experience, so emphasize them in your restaurant training tips. If there is specific information you want your staff to share with customers, cover those during training.
Some common features include weekly specials, signature dishes, and entertainment options, like handheld tablets. Instruct your new hires on how to offer or introduce the tablet and run through a quick tutorial on how it works.
10. Share your key ingredients.
Sure, you may rely on a few secret ingredients in your signature dish. But, for all your other menu items, being transparent is key. Share restaurant training tips about how to present key ingredients to your guests. Knowing ingredients – and not just menu items – will help new team members with upselling. Plus, your staff can also keep guests with food allergies safer.
11. Put taste to the test.
Hold a tasting for new employees and encourage them to try everything on the menu! Once they know what a dish tastes like, they’ll be able to describe it better for guests and make honest recommendations - possibly resulting in upsells. Restaurant training tips can sometimes be a little mundane, but a menu tasting always goes over well with new hires.
13. The beauty of distributed practice.
You can use all the restaurant training tips in the world to get your new hires up to speed, but the most important thing is that they remember what they learned.
According to recent studies, the best learning techniques include “distributed practice” and “practice testing.”
Distributed practice basically means breaking up large amounts of information into smaller chunks that are easier to digest. So, split up your training process into different categories to cover on different days. Start with policies, then move on to menu items, and so on…
14. Practice testing makes perfect.
The other key ingredient to this learning technique for restaurant training tips is “practice testing.” Run a small quiz at the end of each training session to evaluate what your new hires retained. If they get a passing score, they move onto the next round of restaurant training tips. If they don’t pass? They repeat the course.
15. Train, rinse, and repeat.
In the restaurant biz, training is ongoing. Hold regular re-training sessions for both new hires and seasoned employees to hone their skills and to share new information.
16. Be punctual.
You expect your staff to be on time for their shifts, so be on time for yours. If anything, aim to get to your restaurant early and be one of the last to leave. Your team will see your dedication and will reflect it in their work ethic. In this particular case, your restaurant training tips will be seen and not heard.
17. Be courteous.
It’s called the Golden Rule for a reason. Treat your team the way you expect to be treated: with respect and appreciation. They’re the reason you’re in business and their attitude will most likely be a direct reflection of yours. Be encouraging when sharing restaurant training tips and let them know that you are all on the same side.
18. Be consistent.
Restaurant training tips don’t work if things are constantly changing. Employees need to know what they’re walking into every day. It’s up to you to provide that consistency. If big changes are on the horizon, be transparent and clear with your team so they can prepare themselves.
Trusted by thousands of bars and restaurants in North America since 1984, Buzztime integrates trivia, card, sports games and live events with innovative tablet technology. While we don't take ourselves too seriously, this is pretty serious business.