Setting Your Restaurant Training Stage


The restaurant business is like show business. Your back-of-house staff is your crew, and your front-of-house staff is your cast. Your guests – the most important people in your restaurant – are your audience. And you? You’re everything else – producer, director, and oftentimes, financier. Just like you wouldn’t face opening night of a show without a lot of rehearsals, you can’t expect your staff to give a star performance without preparation.

What to Include in Your New Hire Restaurant Training

It’s up to you to set the stage with training from each employee’s very first day on the job. At a minimum, here’s what you should be focusing on with your new hires and reviewing regularly with all restaurant employees:

Your restaurant’s culture. Every restaurant is unique – what’s your story? While it may seem like process and procedure are the first things that should be covered in new employee training, the story of your restaurant is just as important. What sets you apart from the competition? What is your atmosphere? Don’t just recite your company’s vision and mission, demonstrate them yourself and show new employees what they look like in action.

Your guest service philosophy. If your guests – members of your audience– don’t give you rave reviews, you won’t have a second act. That’s why your new hire training must cover the entire cycle of service from the time a guest pulls in the parking lot to the time they walk out the door.

The service and sales connection. Your servers are salespeople, not order-takers. Sales training is most important for your front-of-house cast, but it’s critical that all employees understand their role making the sales process support ongoing guest loyalty.

Restaurant safety and compliance. The glitz and glamour of any production is grounded in rules that keep people – and the business – safe. Worker’s compensation and personal injury claims can derail a restaurant that’s otherwise destined for greatness. To stay in business and avoid public relations nightmares, your employees must follow all rules governing things like responsible alcohol sales, PCI compliance, and food safety. When it comes to safety and compliance restaurant training, follow this mantra: Train, test, assess, repeat.

Restaurant Service and Sales Training

The Service & Sales Excellence Waitstaff Training Series is based on Service That Sells!, a restaurant training philosophy developed by restaurant owners for restaurant owners. Click here to learn more.

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