In the restaurant industry, properly training all levels of staff is part of the recipe for success.
Roy Yamaguchi, celebrity chef and owner of award-winning Hawaiian restaurant, Roy’s, admits that his restaurant wouldn’t be nearly the smash hit that it is without a certain level of education: “You don’t go to school to become the best chef in the world right after you graduate. School is always a starting point so what people forget is that you go to school to build a foundation, and you want to build a foundation that’s not going to crumble,” he once said.
To that end, restaurant owners should approach training for their employees with the same attitude. With an in-depth onboarding program, they are helping employees build that foundation. As the business continues to grow and evolve, there should be logical continuing education opportunities for employees, similar to the upkeep and maintenance of a building.
Initial training is especially important to set the tone for new employees. In restaurants with high turnover rates, it can sometimes be tempting for restaurant owners and managers to want to skimp on the training for new employees. After all, they may see training as a waste of time, especially if they will likely need to train another new employee right afterward to take a recently trained employee’s place. However, some data points suggest that these restaurants are not focused on the right things, and this lack of proper training might be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. A study out of Northern Georgia University found that when a restaurant employee’s satisfaction with their training increased, their rate of wanting to stay with that restaurant increased as well.
Onboarding is a unique opportunity for a restaurant to establish its culture, put Standard Operating Procedures into place, and distribute literature like a restaurant handbook that employees can use for continual reference. When an employee feels well-equipped for a job, they are more likely to feel fulfilled by that job and have intentions to stick with it.
While initial training is crucial for building a foundation, ongoing training is just as important. Creating a culture of ongoing learning can help take a restaurant far. Employees who grow to expect ongoing training can also be better at adapting to changes and embracing a growth mindset, which can help in the continuous improvement of a restaurant over time. A study of 137 restaurants in the Canary Islands found that Human Resources Management practices that supported a continuous learning culture had overall better results in effectively training and retaining their employees. This shows the worth of ongoing training in the overall success of an establishment.
Not all training can happen in-person, especially with recent restrictions and limits in response to COVID-19. Luckily, there are plenty of online training modules that are intensive and employee-focused. These can be used as the backbone of training, or as a supplemental way to fill in educational gaps. Online programs can help save time and resources while getting new employees on board and helping veteran employees adapt to changing policies.
It’s no question that the ongoing pandemic has changed the restaurant industry in numerous ways. It has thrown a curveball at many restaurant owners and has shown that even when employees have been thoroughly trained, there can always be more to learn. In response to the pandemic, restaurants had to train employees about intensified cleaning and disease mitigation techniques, following the guidelines provided by the CDC.
Implementing These Structures
While many restaurants know the importance of training in theory, sometimes the most difficult thing is putting a training program into practice. Luckily, Synergy Sync’s restaurant training program can help. We have recommended timetables and training modules you can schedule, and as a result, you will have a well-prepared staff embracing a culture of ongoing learning in no time.