How to Integrate New Employees into Your Restaurant Team


Your new server seems bright enough and she’s got more experience than most of the people on your team, so why not fly through training and get her out on the floor? Well, maybe because she’ll walk out the door if you do.

Why? Because the more employees know, the less stress they feel. And according to a recent Gallup poll, 80 percent of us say we feel stress on the job, while 40 percent admit we need help managing this stress. Add that fact to the stress that naturally comes from a new job and you’ll see why many new employees don’t stick.

Here’s how to increase the odds and create a more productive team while you’re at it…

  • Invest the time.  It’s tempting to ask one person to “show ‘em the ropes,” but the more detailed your training plan is the more successful it will be. Assign different people different orientation tasks. Have your star server share his or her selling techniques, ask the chef to describe how he creates specialty dishes, and encourage the host to introduce regulars. Not only will new hires benefit from an array of perspectives, they’ll also get to know their team members.
  • Go beyond the basics. Yes, your team members need to know how to perform their jobs, but they also need to know why they should care about your company. Explain your concept, tell them your own philosophy, and show them testimonials, awards and letters you’ve received. Enthusiastic employees make the best salespeople!
  • Motivate them. Before you can effectively train anyone, you need to convince them why they want to learn the information. If you’re turning new servers into salespeople, be sure that your training is centered on the benefits – greater tips! – they’ll receive. Motivating new employees makes the entire onboarding process much easier.
  • Assign a buddy. For the first few shifts, have your team member follow around one of your star employees. It’s the best way to have hands-on training without the stress of failing in front of a customer.

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