How to Make Time for Training

Posted on June 10, 2011 by James Keil

"We've got a training program," explained the veteran Restaurant Manager. "The challenge is in making sure it gets done."

Typically, restaurants that are successful offer training for their employees. This training may be quite extensive and takes a great deal of time, both to complete and to organize.

But at a restaurant, time is one of the most difficult components to manage effectively: restaurant staff training is often forced to maintain a strict schedule, whether it's going well or poorly. For too many busy restaurants, training takes a back seat to other responsibilities, and the idea of delivering quality training with less time becomes even more daunting.

When evaluating a new system, reviewing your current process is a great place to start. What's working? What isn't working? Is it happening? If not, why not? For successful restaurants, the payoff for effective restaurant staff training is much bigger than its cost, and they understand its many rewards.

Traditional methods, while not terribly efficient, can be surprisingly effective. They work because training is vitally important to the restaurant, and the restaurant makes them work. They work because there is a strong training culture at the heart of the business. When training becomes a core element of a restaurant's culture, it succeeds. From there, efficiencies and opportunities to improve can be more clearly assessed.

Restaurants big and small that already have, or are working toward a more effective system are consistently among the first to inquire with us about online restaurant training.

They know that regardless of training systems, some things will remain constant:
  • All employees, front and back, must deliver on expectations consistently.
  • Employee success is directly related to the understanding and retention of technical information.
In the front of the house, effective training means the difference between being simply an order-taker, or a trusted guide and representative of the restaurant. In the kitchen, it's about consistent execution. Increased ticket averages, returning customers, and confident staff are all byproducts of a strong and well-supported training culture. The actual training content remains the same whether it is printed on paper, played on a DVD player, or complete and contained on a custom training site for the restaurant.

The real benefits of online restaurant training are the ability to control content, evaluate performance, and document results in a fraction of the time it takes to do on paper. For the employee, online training provides versatility to busy schedules by giving them the ability to access information when they need it most.

The hands-on training process, while a big part of the restaurant business, is not replaced by an online system- rather, training time becomes shorter and more effective, because learners are prepared prior to their hands-on training. Collectively, web-based training gives staff more time to focus on the restaurant, and reduces interruptions to the operation.

Any training system stands a very tough chance of making it into a restaurant's core culture if it's complicated or difficult to manage. I enthusiastically recommend some investigation into web-based restaurant training. It's definitely worth taking a look, and just might make the job of training your staff a whole lot easier.