For those of us who’ve been in the restaurant business for decades, the arrival of millennials to the workforce can be a bit of a challenge.
They are smarter, more outspoken, and less tolerant of poor workplace cultures than any generation before them. They have instant access to thousands of resources that tell them “how it should be,” and they’re not afraid to voice their opinion about what needs to change.
Whether you’re on-boarding them for their initial training or you want to provide on-going training, you need new methods and to handle things differently.
- Instead of the classic restaurant training that involves a lot of talk and paper, use online resources. Let your staff study and take exams online. They’re used to it, even if you’re not.
- Explain the reasons behind what you’re teaching. It’s not enough to say, “Greet a table within one minute.” You need to explain to them why it makes a difference to the customers.
- Give them buy-in to the restaurant’s success. Let them know how sales are doing and what everyone can do to increase them.
- Have a restaurant training program that’s detailed, complete, and engaging. Don’t simply talk to your new staff of Millennials, engage with them.
- Offer value beyond cash. A lot of restaurants can’t offer more pay, but there are other things they can offer. One great example is a lunch and dinner for the crew after their shift. Have the cooks make a family style meal out of whatever is starting to turn or something inexpensive. Invite everyone to sit and eat for free. It will cost you maybe $1.00 a meal, but will create massive loyalty.
Millennials are the new workforce. They’re smart and hard-working when their boss understands that they want to be a part of the system, not simply someone who shows up for a shift.