This year has brought forth several challenges for the US restaurant industry with hiring being the biggest obstacle. Despite several strategies being created and implemented, no one has been able to work out an effective solution to the hiring crisis. Unemployment benefits were assumed to be one of the biggest factors behind people not showing up for interviews or trying to fill in available positions. With the unemployment benefits being revoked, the hiring situation doesn’t seem to be getting better.
According to an article published in the LA Times, unemployment benefits were not the reasons behind people staying home and choosing not to work. The article mentions that people are in fact looking for “better work”. Even the government’s latest monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) report mentions that workers looking for better work opportunities is the reason behind the delayed job recovery.
In such a scenario, it is quintessential for restaurants to ensure that their staff is trained, provided growth opportunities, and given the right tools to make them perform better. Restaurants have to hold on to their employed staff and help them to stay engaged with their workplace by creating value for them instead of only focusing on monetary incentives. This has become the core of all employee engagement programs that are being implemented across restaurants, especially in the post-pandemic scenario.
Training your restaurant staff
It is a common misconception that training is provided annually and / or at the time of onboarding. This is exactly what holds back employees from performing well at their jobs. The lack of performance creates demotivation and stress, leading to high turnover. Various studies have shown that regular training, assessment, and employee engagement have helped organizations improve their productivity and also retain their staff. By providing the opportunity to upskill and develop their competencies, employees are able to meet the expectations kept from them and also perform better at their jobs which keeps their morale high.
We have compiled a list of proven methods to help you train your restaurant staff effectively.
STEP 1: Focus On Onboarding & Orientation
Most organizations do not realize the importance of conducting onboarding and orientation for new employees. Irrespective of whether the person joining the organization is an experienced candidate or a fresher, they need to be provided a proper onboarding including an introduction to the company’s working culture and basic training as per the defined SOPs. This helps to ensure a good organizational fit and sets the expectations with respect to performance and productivity.
Orientation helps employees familiarize themselves with the restaurant’s best practices, goals, history, philosophy and the facility. This forms the basis for the training and skill development opportunities that are provided to the employees.
STEP 2: Create a custom training pathway
Training should always be customized to the needs of the individual for the best outcomes. In order to provide the appropriate training pathways, you need to evaluate the competency levels of the employee. By using a performance management solution, you can easily conduct performance evaluations of your employees and identify the core areas of improvement or new competency requirements.
Once the competency development needs are identified, you can create a training pathway with step-by-step learning modules and training review to ensure that the required skills are developed. For restaurant staff, this custom training pathway would be highly useful as it would allow them to learn at their own pace and also track their training while learning on the job.
STEP 3: Provide coaching
Simply providing training will not help you to bring out the best in your employees. Even with the training, the employees will be required to implement the learnings in their work. There is a possibility of mistakes being made. In such cases, managers should step in to mentor the employees and provide coaching wherever required to help them implement the learnings from the training effectively.
With the Workpulse Performance Management and Training Platform, you can not only identify skill development needs of your employees, but also create training pathways and provide coaching throughout the process to help employees through the 4 key phases of restaurant training – see it, learn it, do it, check it.
STEP 4: Train your staff to use the latest technology
The majority of today’s workforce comprises millennials and Gen Z who are inclined towards using technology to make their work and life easier. However, this does not eliminate the presence of people in the team who might not be familiar with technology. As part of the training program for your restaurant staff, you need to ensure that your employees are trained to use the latest technology.
Whether it is a digital food safety system, or a preventative maintenance management platform, your employees should be made familiar with the way the latest technology helps in streamlining everyday tasks and processes.
In fact, all employees (irrespective of their tenure in the organization) should be provided regular training to understand and use technology to become efficient at their work. Technology is only as good as the people who use it. This is why restaurant staff needs to be kept updated with the latest technology which would help them perform better.
STEP 5: Conduct regular employee performance evaluations
Performance evaluations should not be conducted only during annual appraisals. Managers should conduct regular performance evaluations to understand the competency development requirement of their employees and also to help them progress further in their career. This is a key factor is ensuring employee satisfaction which eventually contributes to employee retention. Considering that the restaurant industry is witnessing a high turnover (with QSRs having a minimum turnover of 150%), performance evaluations, training, and competency development opportunities can help to ensure longer tenure of the employees and also help in building a people-first culture.
STEP 6: Recognize your top performers
Employee recognition is more of an engagement strategy than being part of the training regime. However, by combining employee engagement and training, you can ensure higher productivity and efficiency in employees. The training enables them to perform better while the recognition and rewarding helps to keep their morale high through motivation.
Performance driven companies ensure a good balance between employee engagement, training & development, and career growth opportunities. This is what most restaurants need to follow in order to retain their best talents and create an environment which promotes productivity and growth.
Create a people-first culture with the workpulse performance management & training platform
Restaurants need to invest in their employees because they are the direct point of contacts for guests. With proper training, and skill development, you can ensure that your employees contribute towards enhancing the brand value of your restaurant by delivering top notch services. Moreover, the creation of a people-first culture would encourage more people to apply for positions in the organizations and become a part of the thriving culture that promotes personal and professional growth.
With the Workpulse Performance Management & Training platform, you can create a highly productive environment, empower your employees to grow, and enable your team to perform better through regular competency development opportunities.
Request a demo of our Performance Management and Training Platform to learn how your restaurant can perform better and retain employees effectively.