Staffing is the biggest challenge facing the restaurant industry. Quit rates have reached a record. While the hospitality industry has finally recovered from two years of lockdowns and a grueling work environment, labor shortages continue to make it difficult for restaurant owners to hire, train, or retain qualified employees.
Why training restaurant staff is important
Restaurant owners and managers feel the pressure as so many restaurants are looking to fill multiple positions, sometimes at once. It’s okay; take a deep breath, and then it’s time for you to review your employee training program. It’s not just that thoughtful, thorough restaurant training can make the difference between smooth sailing and chaos in your daily life, but it also:
- The majority of workers say that professional development and growth opportunities are the top priorities for them in the workplace.
- One of the main reasons why hospitality workers leave the industry is the lack of growth opportunities or the inability to upskill.
- Almost 70% of hospitality workers say that a lack of training will make them leave the company.
- The best way to create smart, motivated, and skilled restaurant employees is through comprehensive employee training.
Understanding how restaurant training improves morale, retention, and motivation
You want to hire the best staff for your restaurant. Employees who are committed and care about providing excellent service. You need to invest in training for restaurant staff and create opportunities for advancement if you want to attract and retain the best employees.
Train restaurant staff in a comprehensive manner
If you think that a relaxed approach to service standards will make you the employer everyone wants, then it’s not true. It may be true for employees who are only there to clock in and out. But a good employee, the unicorn you’re searching for, won’t take up the slack.
A strong training program for restaurants is essential.
- Raising the skills level of all employees in the restaurant
- Motivating employees and boosting morale
- Building employee confidence
- Improves overall performance
The type of employee you want to hire will be attracted by a team that is motivated, skilled, and strong.
Opportunities for growth
Lack of growth opportunities is one of the top reasons people give for leaving an organization. Professional development is a non-negotiable for Millennials and Generation Z, who will make up more than 70% of the workforce in 2025. In a survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, frontline employees ranked job growth above compensation as their top priority. Learning opportunities ranked third.
You may be tempted to think that ongoing training in restaurants is a waste of money or time. After all, what if the employees leave? It couldn’t possibly be farther from the truth. Your employees will want to work faster and smarter. Giving them more responsibility and teaching them new skills keeps them engaged and interested, which makes them more likely to remain with you.
Make sure your employee handbook has the latest information.
The employee handbook provides general information to new and current employees about your restaurant’s policies and procedures. Your guide needs to be updated if you haven’t updated it in the last few years. Your employee handbook needs to set expectations and provide answers to frequently asked questions by new employees. It should include the following:
- History of Restaurants and Their Story
- Mission and Vision
- Employee Code of Conduct
- Employment policies and rules
- Emergency Procedures
- Compensation and Benefits
- Working hours and Paid Time Off (PTO).
Download our employee handbook template and get started on creating your handbook or updating your current one.
Develop a restaurant training program that is clearly defined.
A clearly defined restaurant training plan will outline the steps, milestones, and timeline of the training process. Many of the topics you’ll cover in your restaurant training plan are also included in your employee manual. Make sure your project is up to date based on industry trends, requirements, and health regulations.
What should you include in your training plan for restaurants?
- A schedule and timeline: Clearly outline the amount of time required to complete your training plan.
- Your mission and vision for your restaurant: While these should be included in your manual, it is important to discuss and present them more thoroughly during training so that new employees have a better understanding.
- Staffing and roles: Define and explain each team member’s expectations and responsibilities. Inform new employees about the workflows and their roles within team dynamics and processes.
- Menu Discovery: This is part of regular training, not just the initial training for new employees. Review your menu and any specific dishes, ingredients, and other information that new employees should be aware of.
- Table setting and restaurant layout: Each restaurant is unique. Review table numbers, structures of the front and back of the house, and guidelines for table setting.
- Selling tactic: Give examples to new servers of how you would like to greet guests and the tone that they should use. Training and advice on upselling and suggestive selling will build their confidence and help you improve your bottom line.
- Company Policies: Inform employees of workplace policies, such as dress codes and workplace rules, including best practices and reviews.
- Technology for restaurants: Include training in your restaurant’s platform, Point of Sale, and payment terminals.