To Train or Not to Train?


Turnover rates in the restaurant industry have always been high. About half of the people who part ways with their restaurant employers quit, but you probably already know that. It’s not really surprising, given that the restaurant industry employs a lot of students that come and go as their school schedules change.

So what do you do with staff members who are planning on leaving sooner rather than later? Train them, that’s what. While it might seem like a waste to invest in training employees who won’t be sticking around for long, that’s just simply not true. In this business, service is your invisible product. It’s what sets you apart from your competition and creates (or destroys) guest loyalty.

Training Student Employees is an Investment, Not an Expense

When you look at it that way, you can’t afford not to train. Here’s why:

  • All employees, even the ones who are just there until graduation, are an investment in your business. Training student employees, and keeping them motivated, will pay off in the long run.
  • Word-of-mouth advertising will make or break you. Training on service, sales, and safety are essential to ensuring your guests have only good things to say about your restaurant to their friends.
  • Your guests “vote” with their feet. A third of guests who have a bad experience will not say anything to you about it, but will never return.
  • Good training creates a positive culture. When you have a well trained staff, you’re creating a culture where employees know they are valued. Their positive attitudes will show through to guests.
  • Today’s trainees are tomorrow’s trainers. New employees are sponges for information. They’ll look to your existing staff as examples, whether they’re officially job shadowing or not.

Fight Turnover with Training

Providing training and career development for your employees shows your company’s commitment and increases employee engagement and motivation. Your employees need training not just to do their jobs today, but to maintain a high level of quality work down the road. Well-trained employees are confident, motivated, and loyal. Just like other parts of your business, training is a two-way street. When you make an investment in your employees, they’ll be more invested in your long term goals and profits. The benefits of a satisfied, well-trained team go far beyond your bottom line.

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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