Waiter carrying dishes

Make sure you let the new hire know what success looks like.

As more and more states continue re-opening, restaurants will need to hire more workers to serve customers amid rising demand.

It’s a great problem to have. But, training all those workers in a short amount of time will be a challenge.

Here are some ideas for how to make the process go smoother:

Write up a detailed curriculum for new hires
When we say to write up a detailed curriculum, we’re really encouraging you to go as deep as possible. Start with a timeline and plan out the different parts of the training. This can include scheduling time for the new hire to shadow a more experienced person. For instance, a new member of the wait staff may shadow an experienced member for two weeks.

Beyond shadowing, the curriculum can encompass other things that might not be so obvious. You could include an overview of the business’ origin and how it got started. Why? It can give the new hire more of a feel for the vision of the business. Also, it might be good to provide some information on the background of the owner or owners (if the new hire has not learned this already during the actual hiring process). Lastly, you can tell the new hire about plans for the restaurant’s future, about characteristics of typical customers and about what makes for a successful shift.

Provide training specific to the new hire’s role and experience
This translates to tailoring the training specific to the new hire so that they receive everything they need to succeed in the new role. If the role is customer-facing (front of house), the training should include information on how to greet and interact with customers. If the hire has previous restaurant experience, they may not need too much of this training. But, if they are brand new, it’s certainly worthwhile to instill the basics of how to keep customers happy and satisfied.

If the role is more back of the house, the training will be entirely different. This is where you’ll need to have the chef work with the new kitchen staff and the managers work with other roles such as dishwashers. These roles have very specific needs as far as training goes and they are vital to keeping the restaurant’s operations running smoothly. For that reason, make sure they have the skills needed to keep things moving during busy shifts.

Review menu information if it’s relevant to the new hire’s role
The menu’s importance can’t be understated. Therefore, it should be almost central to the new hire’s training in most cases. Maybe not for a dishwasher but for almost every other role, the new hire should become intimately familiar with the menu, the ingredients, the preparation of the dishes and the allergy information. You never know what kind of questions will come from customers and it’s always a good idea to be prepared.

Arrange technology training, especially for wait staff and managers
Many employees will need to use technology throughout the day. Make sure the technology is their friend, not an impediment to the employee doing their job.

For the wait staff, they will obviously need to know how to accurately enter an order so the kitchen prepares the meal correctly. There may be special tricks for entering items into the point of sale and there may be ways to enter popular items quickly. If you want or need extra help, it’s usually possible to obtain additional training materials from the point of sale supplier.

For restaurant managers, they will need additional instructions on how to enter special transactions, how to void sales and how to run reports.

Technology training should not take a long time, but it should be ingrained into the new hire’s routine so that they can get more things done quickly and efficiently.

Set clear expectations
Lastly, you probably owe it to the new hire to let them know what you’re expecting. Otherwise, they may not know or understand what they may be doing wrong. Before you set them loose on the customers, sit down with the new employee and let them know what they should expect. And, let them know what success looks like. Do you expect them to clean when the restaurant is not busy? Do you want them to smile and greet customers enthusiastically? Do you expect a certain number of specials to be sold each night? Let them know what goals to aim for so that you’re both on the same page in a (hopefully) mutually beneficial work arrangement.

Want to learn how a point of sale system can make your restaurant operations run even more smoothly? Contact us today for a risk-free demo.

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