Restaurant Training Tips
A restaurant owner or restaurant manager should make sure to provide adequate restaurant training to every new hire and restaurant employee in order to avoid costly food safety and customer service mistakes.
How to Properly Train Serving Staff
The fast pace of the restaurant industry may cause a stressed-out restaurant owner to quickly and inefficiently train new restaurant staff and existing restaurant employee workers. Insufficient training is a huge liability that could have major consequences for food safety and customer service protocol.
Best practice tips for restaurant staff training include-
1. Employee handbook and training manual focal- Creating an employee handbook for all new hire employees to review that includes general information. Consider this handbook as important for front house restaurant staff as your recipe book is for a back house staff member to reference.
A best practice is to sit down with your new hire and go through the training manual to make sure that your new staff member is engaged and can ask any questions they may have before starting on the job. Your training program is much more likely to be a success story if every new staff member is given access to uniform material that includes the standards, missions, and objectives of your restaurant.
2. Customer service- The most successful restaurant training program will have a customer service focus. Make sure your employees remember to do the little things like keep water glasses full and po system updated.
3. Communication- Make sure your front house serving staff communicate effectively with one another and will cover each other if need be during a rush. Creating an atmosphere of team work will encourage employee retention and restaurant staff team building.
4. Shadowing- Another way to increase restaurant staff bonding is by linking a new hire with a current staff member to shadow. Staff training that allows direct shadowing is a best practice in any effective training program as it allows your new hire the opportunity to see first-hand what makes a great restaurant industry employee.
Make sure that your new hire feels comfortable asking your restaurant staff questions especially about food safety and company policy. Not only will this help them to understand the specifics of your business but also avoid costly or dangerous mistakes. For more introverted employees consider providing online training resources within your training program for them to engage with.
5. Guest feedback- Customer service is focal to restaurant industry success. After the shadowing phase, give your new hire a small section to serve and encourage guest feedback. If your po system has the capability to do so, log customer service responses there. If not, consider leaving a feedback card when you drop off the check. Make sure to check in individually with your new hire about any feedback and suggestions.
Ways to Improve Customer Experience and Why Training Matters
There is a direct correlation between higher customer retention rates and customer service experiences. In fact, a positive customer service experience is shown to increase the frequency of visits for 60% of guests. Additionally, great customer service is something that 67% of customers say they would pay more for.
Three best practice techniques for improving customer service and the reasons why an outstaning restaurant staff training plan matters to them include-
1. Staff engagement- Less than half of restaurant industry customers report they were very or extremely satisfied with restaurant staff engagement efforts. An employee training plan should focus on customer service and engagement with patrons to increase this figure.
Having your new hire shadow a highly engaged staff member is a great way to expose them to best practice engagement techniques. Either your restaurant manager or restaurant owner should focus on any customer service success story that occurs during a shift to encourage better engagement in the future. When your restaurant staff sees you congratulating and incentivizing great customer service, overall customer engagement will likely improve.
2. Personalized experience- 95% of restaurant industry patrons report that they would come back to a restaurant that they felt catered to their personal preferences. An additional 70% of restaurant industry patrons express a want for personalized experiences at casual restaurants.
There are easy ways to make your customers feel valued, including remembering items they order and greeting them personally by name at the beginning of their meal. Your training program should encourage customer service personalization best practice techniques including asking about dietary restrictions and making proper eye contact throughout the dining experience.
Restaurant training that focuses on customer service and always strives to make sure engagement levels are high will result in more profitability and business longevity. For these reasons, customer service best practice techniques should be heavily discussed and outlined within your training manual and training program for all serving staff.
3. Positive reviews- Over half of consumers rate restaurant reviews as influential in their decision to patron an establishment. Reviews can show you pain points that you need to work on and incorporate a focus on within your training program for future new hire employees. Great customer service will create better reviews and will boost your exposure to new clientele.