…and do it over and over again.
Many multi-location restaurants rely on one-time video training during employee orientation. That simply doesn’t make sense. Wait staff have a tremendous responsibility to wow your customers and create a memorable experience. That’s why a consistent, in-person training program is vital for any restaurant looking for long-term success.
A great approach to training is through the buddy system. For example, pair each new employee with an experienced employee and create a way to test progress (like they do at Crabby Bill’s Seafood in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida). Low marks in improvement should result in a thorough investigation into both the trainee and trainer.
The best restaurants train staff in person at the start and then continue with ongoing training. The restaurant Houston’s is the example we like to give because they don’t let a single person hit the floor until they have memorized the menu. Houston’s knows the importance of planning and setting standards that every one of their employee’s must stick to. It’s through this kind of consistency that keeps all members of the team on the same page and ensures the best possible customer service.
Training should be constant.
Educate whenever you can. For instance, there will always be tasks that your team will be able to improve on, so hold a training session! Also, be sure to schedule in-depth trainings whenever the menu changes so your wait staff can continue to impress with their extensive knowledge. The result will be an efficiently run restaurant and happy customers.
It’s logical. If your customers have a stellar experience with superb service, of course, they’ll want to come back. Wouldn’t you?
It’s immediately obvious when you walk into a restaurant that invests in training quality staff. A good server…
- is attentive
- knows the menu
- is present (not distracted by a cellphone or other device)
- has just the right number of tables
- knows how to address a customer and problem solve
- wears hair back, has clean shoes, and doesn’t smell like cigarette smoke
- can pair wine or cocktails with any menu item
- doesn’t gather at host stand or anywhere else visible to guests
- elevates the guest experience
- has the savvy to up-sell with appetizer and dessert orders
According to the National Restaurant Association, there are 14.4-million restaurant industry employees in the United States today with an anticipated 1.7 million additional restaurant jobs created by the year 2026. With this vast amount of growth coming to the restaurant industry, it’s important to stay ahead of your competition by providing continuous training to your wait staff so your restaurant can run as efficiently as possible.
A portion of this article was featured in our book “How to Make Menu Addicts.” Get your copy of the complete book here.